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June 10, 2010

Documents show Stephen Harper misusing public funds

CANADA - According to 950+ pages of documents obtained by the Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act the Privy Council Office (PCO) has been conscripted by Stephen Harper's Prime Minister’s Office to act as an unofficial propaganda division.

Normally the Privy Council Office and similar bureaucratic institutions in Canada have held time-honoured tradition of non-partisan public servants. New orders from Stephen Harper however dictate that the PCO will now serve the will of the Prime Minister, and if you don't like it then you can quit.

In other words the PCO has become another propaganda tool for the minority Conservative government, but this time it breaks conflict of interest guidelines which dictates that bureaucrats must remain non-partisan.

This act has federal officials and public-policy analysts upset and they say it is undermining democracy in Canada... and its counterintuitive to the promise Stephen Harper made in 2005 to introduce a new era of transparency and accountability in government. Where is the transparency if bureaucrats are forced to promote Conservative propaganga?

“We discussed every single issue and micromanaged every news release — everything,” said one former Harper-era PCO official. “Pretty much any event, or any rollout of an announcement, would have an MEP [a memo from the PMO] that would lay out the strategy.”

The identities of public servants who have worked at PCO and other government departments are not being revealed because they fear retribution from their political masters.

The 950+ documents released to the Canadian Press shows a thousand different instances of the government using public funds for propaganda.

The propaganda tactics include anything from billion-dollar purchases of military aircraft to donations to community groups, often with the Conservative logo stamped on the big phony cheque. MEP memos typically focused on any event where there would be a photo shoot so that a Conservative MP could be present claiming responsibility.

Its all about misappropriating government workers and public funds to use them for publicity. It is just plain corrupt and illegal.

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