Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Radical Proposal

Imagine. Newspapers will suggest any wild idea just to sell newspapers!

Just tell the truth
Times Colonist
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Mockery might be the first response to news that the RCMP paid a consultant $25,000 to coach commissioner Giulano Zaccardelli for two appearances before a parliamentary committee.

Taxpayers should get a refund. Despite 60 hours of preparation, Zaccardelli bombed. He first told the committee he knew as soon as Maher Arar was sent to Syria by U.S. authorities that the detention was based on false information provided by the RCMP.

Less than three months later, he said he hadn't found about the RCMP's role in Arar's imprisonment and torture until years later. His explanations were baffling.

**But the case raises broader questions. How many senior government employees are spending huge amounts of time and money on such coaching? What happened to the idea of simply telling the truth?

It's perfectly reasonable for Zaccardelli and others to get basic communications training. But $25,000 worth of preparation for two meetings isn't just a waste of money. It shows an unwillingness to be straight with Canadians and their representatives.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

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