Skip to main content

O'Learygate: The Provincial Auditor's selective, misleading timeline exposed

Last time, we showed you how the architects of O'Learygate misled the public, the press and the Legislature by slipping an IOU they wrote to themselves into the books to hide a $307,000 loss on a land development they secretly backed with taxpayers' money.

In her special audit of the O'Learygate land development, Manitoba auditor general Carol Bellringer said such a deception was perfectly okay according to generally accepted accounting principles.

Also perfectly okay is how an IOU that may never be cashed can be considered an asset, while debts that will have to be paid are not considered as liabilities.

As part of the land agreement the Seven Oaks School Division signed with the City of Winnipeg the school board is obligated to pay another $265,000 once a new school is constructed on the land the SOSD bought and developed in Swinford Park. In addition, they must pay $58,000 for drainage.

That's $323,000 in future expenses that are written into the development deal signed more than five years ago.

Yet Carol Bellringer doesn't consider them part of her audit.

That's probably because the school division plans on hiding these expenses in yet a third set of books--- the cost of a new school whenever and if ever its built, which will be paid for by money from the Public Schools Finance Board.

But there are other costs which are just as concrete and just as hidden. Only this time by Auditor General Carol Bellringer.

As part of its Swinford Park land development, the Seven Oaks School Division is contracted to put in a nature pond (cost $40,000) and trees (cost $28,000). They estimated additional professional fees (engineers, lawyers, etc.) would eat up another $10,000.

But that $78,000, is not counted by Carol Bellringer when she added up the loss on the Swinford Park development. That's because she stopped counting in January, 2005 even though she says her audit was through May 2006, a date she picked out of her hat to begin with.

Although her report came out almost 18 months later, she failed to update the expenses of the development project, thereby hiding 20 percent of the loss by keeping it off the books in her report.

Why the auditor general couldn't make one phone call in 18 months to see whether some or all of the $78,000 had been spent, is unexplained.

She could have contacted The Black Rod -- and we would have told her that the only sign of a nature pond according to residents is pools of stagnant water that breed mosquitoes in the spring and summer.

But Bellringer's lack of curiousity as well as effort doesn't stop there.

* On Page 22 of her special audit into O'Learygate she writes of an unusual recommendation made to the Seven Oaks School Board.

"On July 23, 2003, after analyzing the tenders submitted by builders and individuals for the purchase of the Swinford Park lots, the Planner recommended to SOSD that all tenders be rejected. The Planner believed that if the tenders were accepted, the builders would take an unreasonably large portion of the profit. His view was that it would be more profitable to SOSD for them to complete the development."

"In interviews with SOSD Board and staff, we were told that it was at this point that they became fully committed to being the developer..."

Oh?

* In June, 2005, Education Minister Peter Bjornson presented the legislature with a report into O'Learygate prepared by his department with help from the Department of Finance. Carol Bellringer must have been aware of this report.

On Page 2 of that report, in a "chronology of significant events", is this:

"November 18, 2002: final land purchase agreement -- 0.35 acres -- SOSD commits to undertake development of the land as part of the agreement."

So according to the Education Minister, the Seven Oaks School Division became developers in November, 2002.

But according to Manitoba's Auditor General, they didn't make that decision until eight months later, in July of 2003.

Busted.

- Did the school board lie to Carol Bellringer?

- Did they, in hindsight after being caught red-handed misusing public funds, concoct a new chronology to explain their actions?

- Or did Carol Bellringer try to mislead the public, and the Legislature, by ignoring this evidence in her report?

She knew or, in her own terminology, "should have known" what was in the Bjornson report.

Just as she overlooked the outbreak of mass amnesia among at the trustees ( http://blackrod.blogspot.com/2005/06/black-rod-exclusive-seven-oaks-land.html ), she overlooked the commitment by the board to become land developers at a time they are claiming they had no such intention.

O'Learygate is not over yet, not by a longshot.

Carol Bellringer's credibility as Auditor General is another story.

Popular posts from this blog

The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. There, we said it.

Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion.  We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak.  Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi

Crips and Bloodz true cultural anchors of Winnipeg's aboriginal gangs

(Bebo tribute page to Aaron Nabess on the right, his handgun-toting friend on the left) At least six murder victims in Winnipeg in the past year are linked to a network of thuglife, gangster rap-styled, mainly aboriginal street gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods after the major black gangs of L.A. The Black Rod has been monitoring these gangs for several months ever since discovering memorial tributes to victim Josh Prince on numerous pages on Bebo.com, a social networking website like Myspace and Facebook. Josh Prince , a student of Kildonan East Collegiate, was stabbed to death the night of May 26 allegedly while breaking up a fight. His family said at the time he had once been associated with an unidentified gang, but had since broken away. But the devotion to Prince on sites like Watt Street Bloodz and Kingk Notorious Bloodz (King-K-BLOODZ4Life) shows that at the time of his death he was still accepted as one of their own. Our searches of Bebo have turned up another f

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate

As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits. Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police. * She's spent years  bashing Christianity  as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada. * She's called for  a boycott of white businesses . * And with her  Marxist research partner, she's  smeared city police as intransigent racists . Step up Nahanni Fontaine, running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh. While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over

Exposing the CBC/WFP double-team smear of a hero cop

Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not

Winnipeg needs a new police chief - ASAP

When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in  a single year.  (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent.  Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161.  Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it.    A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police