More than money was abused; Greens call for inquiry into G20-G8 civil liberty abuses

The Auditor General’s final report into the G20-G8 summit reveals a gross abuse of the public purse, with overspending, overestimates of costs, lack of proper approval processes, and misleading categorization of expenses.

“The Harper government was clearly not diligent or transparent with public funds. The lack of control is reminiscent of the sponsorship scandal,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.  “It is very troubling. Where is the accountability?”

Among the most troubling figures is that Conservative MP Tony Clement’s riding received a hefty reward of $50 million dollars, ten times more than previous summit hosts.  Mr. Clement has now been appointed President of the Treasury Board Secretariat, in charge of preventing wasteful government spending.  “This whole situation does not give Canadians much faith in our government’s ability to properly manage public monies,” said May.

Greens also want to ensure that the financial scandal is not the only issue receiving attention.  The G20-G8 still requires an inquiry into the abuse of civil liberties. “We must not allow the abuses to be swept under the carpet. We need a full inquiry into the chain of command, the routine Charter violations, how people (some pulled off commuter rail even before reaching Toronto) were left in inadequate jails without access to legal counsel or a chance to call family, for 24 hours. Protecting our rights as a country requires getting to the bottom of what happened,” said May.