Thursday, January 17, 2008

Liberal Regime Knew of AECL Problems, Did Nothing

Recently we've been treated to the spectacle of the Liberals beating on the Conservative government for the problems affecting Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

But it turns out that, once again, the Liberals are trying to wrongly, hypocritically project blame for their own cavalier, uncaring incompetence and neglect onto the Conservatives, hoping to escape scrutiny for their actions (and lack thereof) during their former regime.

Calling for Minister Lunn's firing, in addition to all the other hot air spewery, is an attempt on the Liberals' part to divert attention from the Liberal record.

Canada's Auditor-General repeatedly raised red flags over internal management issues at Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. under previous Liberal governments, according to newly released documents.

The reports, made public for the first time yesterday, were generated by the auditor's special examinations of the nuclear facility in 1998 and 2002. They show that a cluster of systemic "deficiencies" have plagued AECL for more than a decade - a time span during which both the Liberals and Conservatives were in office.


The 1998 report also forecast troubles with the aging Chalk River reactor, which at the time required the company to set aside least $10-million a year for refurbishments. Much of that went to cover "urgent work, such as safety issues, and matters that could
interrupt business operations," the report said, adding, "Significant deferred
maintenance remains."

At the time, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale was responsible for overseeing AECL as minister of natural resources. The Auditor-General's report said a copy of the document was delivered to the minister's office for review. However, it is unclear whether Mr. Goodale made any attempts to improve relations with AECL or aid in its long-term planning problems.

I think it's rather hypocritical and unhelpful to blame the Conservatives for things the Liberals screwed up over many years, whereas the Conservatives have only been in power for a couple of years (with a minority in Parliament and with a Liberal-dominated Senate, meaning that getting many things fixed is easier said than done, thanks to Opposition stonewalling) and cannot reasonably, in just that short period of time, be expected to fix everything the Liberals absent-mindedly broke or allowed to break when they had the chance to do stuff right (which they didn't, obviously, to their shameful discredit).

Obviously, the Liberals had other things on their minds. Like ADSCAM, same-sex marriage, all those mysterious multibilliondollar foundations... there's still a staggering amount of investigation yet to be done/be completed... News of the Liberals' nefarious doings throughout their reign will only keep on trickling, trickling, trickling... perhaps the dam containing all this information will break one day and come and wash the Liberal Party away for good!