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Showing posts from June, 2005

FLAGGING O'LEARYGATE: The 3 Stages of Cover-Up

All the mea culpas from born-again investigative reporters who missed the Crocus story are enough to get Frances Russell to write another anti-Christian column.

And instead of reciting Hail Mary's to get absolution, they've taken to chanting "Red Flags" whenever they interview or write about government officials. Sadly, it's only lip service, since they don't seem to know what the term means.

They certainly don't demonstrate that they would do anything different despite their public declarations of guilt. One only has to look at how the news media treat O'Learygate, the latest scandal under the current government's watch, one which is replete with Red Flags.

O'Learygate is named after Brian O'Leary, the superintendent of the Seven Oaks School Division --- and former NDP campaign manager --- who guided the division's unlawful foray into land development. He said he was only selling surplus land, land which wasn't needed for a new high …

CROCUS COLLAPSE: The Revolution Is Over

Buried deep, deep, deep in the Winnipeg Free Press story about the Crocus Fund Scandal this weekend was a comment from John Doyle, the spokesman for the Manitoba Federation of Labour.

Doyle was a little bit testy, to say the least. We imagine he's been hearing from a lot of union brothers and sisters who stand to lose a good chunk of their pension savings with the demise of Crocus.

Anyway, Doyle wanted it clear that the MFL "strenuously denies any responsibility for misleading investors", as the paper put it. "I feel badly for these people. But there is no responsibility for the MFL in this," was the way Doyle put it.

We beg to differ, John.

The Crocus Fund is sponsored by the MFL. The majority of the board of directors is appointed bythe MFL. The MFL hired, or at least approved wholeheartedly of, the management. The MFL seconded people to sell Crocus shares. And the direction of the Crocus Investment Fund was set by theMFL.

And that's really why John Doyle of t…

BLACK ROD EXCLUSIVE: Seven Oaks Land Scheme Swimming in Red Ink

The provincial government's report on O'Learygate is packed with bombshells, blackguards and bamboozlers.

The Seven Oaks School Division lost in the range of $200-300,000 on the Swinford Park land development, according to the report tabled by the Education Minister. Like true gamblers, the board is doubling up, hoping to recoup the loss and make some profit on the third and final phase of the project.


But the Division's numbers have been so far off the mark that the Public Schools Finance Board, which oversees school board spending, is having coniptions, and is hinting that the public should brace itself for a sea of red ink when all the accounting is done.

The report containing these details was released late last Thursday and reads like a reprise of the Crocus Fund audit: a runaway administration, unlawful activities, a total failure of oversight, inflated valuations, and a whistleblower dismised by a Cabinet Minister.

And then, there is the shadowy NDP connections to the p…

Crocus Disguised $10M Loan, MSM Ignored Story

It was February, 2002, the dead of winter, and officials of the Crocus Investment Fund got wind of an unhappy investor who was talking to Opposition members of the Legislature.They did what the Crocus Manual on Disgruntled Investors called for---they threatened him with lawyers to shut him up. Then they paid a visit to the Opposition members with the same message.

It's now late spring, 2005, and the recipients of these "friendly visits" are talking about them for the first time. The threat of Crocus officials going all Sopranos on them is over. These days the only attorneys the former Crocus directors and managers are talking about, are criminal defence lawyers.

After the scorching report on Crocus management practices by Auditor General Jon Singleton, the province has announced it is bringing in a special prosecutor from Ontario to examine the details and determine whether any ex-Crocus alumni will be making the perp walk soon.

The Black Rod is big on justice, so we are pr…