07 March 2005

Fraser should leave the building

The latest report from the Auditor General into travel claims and other expenses by the province's Citizen's Representative (CR) makes it pretty clear that, among other things:

- there is a lack of control over cellular telephones within the Office of the Citizen's Representative resulting in large bills for cellular use outside normal office hours; and,

- the CR's problems with providing accurate travel claims is much worse than originally presented, including a claim for travel across the province to Port aux Basques when cellular telephone records indicate the cell phone was in Nova Scotia and St. John's.

In the ordinary course of things - that is had Mr. March owned up to the obvious problems - these specific claims might not warrant removing the CR from office. They would warrant a reprimand and imposition of much tighter controls on spending public funds within the CR's office.


Fraser March's aggressive - and excessive - attack on the Auditor General and others have raised this issue to a much greater level. His unwillingness to be bound by legitimate rules is too much to tolerate any further. The public deserves better.

Mr. March's credibility is now in doubt, as is his fundamental commitment to spending public money appropriately and with proper accountability. His earlier attacks confirm that Mr. March is unwilling to be accountable while supposedly holding others to account for their actions as he is charged with doing as the citizen's representative.

There is no room in public office for any level of hypocrisy, let alone that embodied in Mr. March's behaviour as the citizen's representative.


There has been enough of this matter strewn across the news media.

Now is the time to end it.

If Mr. March has an ounce of integrity, he will resign immediately and without further explanation or equivocation.

If he will not resign, then he should be fired forthwith with no expectation of severance or other compensation beyond the minimum provided in his employment contract.

If anyone needs an ethical benchmark here, look at Boeing or check out the federal government standards. Heck when it comes to real accountability, the whole provincial government here could do well to copy the example set in Ottawa.

There is no excuse for further delay.