Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 03.21.05
Quebec City


Don't you just love Canada's Gomery Inquiry?

So far the good Mr. Gomery and the government's lawyers haave asked 36,000 questions.

And so far the answer to 35,990 have been "I don't remember."

The remaining ten have dealt with golf balls and the civil service equivalent of "the dog ate my homework."

Mind you, one can understand the difficulty the witnesses have had.

I know for myself, I'd have trouble remembering exactly why I charged $300,000 for a box of flags and six stick-on logos.

But don't forget it was for a good cause.

After all, we came pretty close to losing the last referendum in Quebec.

Now, I know some of you think that putting $200 million Into saving the country after the vote is sort of like locking the barn door after the cows have gone for a romp.

But if you think of it more as putting new curtains and air conditioning into the stall so the cows would think twice the next time, it all makes sense.

At least to Mr. Chretien, our former Prime Minister.

The problem is that the people involved just don't get it.

If you make a tee shirt for four bucks and then sell It to your dad for $36, that's good business. At least for you.

If your dad then turns around and claims he designed them, arranged their distribution, added labels and fluffed them up and then charges the federal Government $180 each, It's not going to look so good.

It looks even worse when you and your entire work force then give the governing party a whopping big donation.

Now, it may be that the donation to the Liberal party was just in recognition of the wonderful job It did coming within about six votes of losing the Country.

But, as I said, it just doesn't look so good.

And if you add to the $200 million that's already gone missing the $100 million or so for the inquiry, it looks worse.

Perhaps we should just forget about the whole thing and accept the fact that the cookie-jar mentality is just part and parcel of government, any government.

Then we could take the Gomery Report and put It into the big, dark room in the basement of the House Of Commons with all the other reports, on the shelf right next to the Romanow Report on Health Care.

Failing that, we could get the government to just send each of us one of those miniature Canadian flags and bill us the $50 directly.

At least that way we'd eliminate the middleman.