Yeah, I'm starting to see a pattern here:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is sending his controversial special adviser Wajid Khan on another fact-finding mission and is planning to turn some of the recommendations from Mr. Khan's secret report on the Middle East into policy, a government official said yesterday.
Well, it's not like you should complain given the excellent value we all got out of Khan's first taxpayer-funded junket, right? Oh, wait ...
Meanwhile, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion demanded yesterday that Mr. Harper make public the Khan report, which cost at least $13,000. He even questioned if a report actually exists.
"I want to hear the Prime Minister say, 'I received a written report.' I want him to say 'and then I will make it public.' And people will know what is in it and the speculation will stop," Mr. Dion said during a news conference yesterday.
"It is not healthy to have speculation like that. What is in the report?" said Mr. Dion. "I will see it and then I will say there is a report. I didn't see it."
But there's a report, right? Right?
Yesterday, the government official confirmed he has "physically" seen a paper version of the report, although he has not read it. He would not say how many pages it contained.
But I'll bet it had a really neat cover. Those ones always get higher marks.
AFTERSNARK: Hey, here's an idea. Given how much the Blogging Tories obsess over proper use of the taxpayer's money, let's see how many can work up a modicum of outrage over this egregious violation of the public trust.
Hey, here's one:
I think it's fair to ask questions about what is contained in Wajid Khan's report to Stephen Harper in his capacity as Special Advisor.
Oh, yes, yes, YES ... tantalize me with your subtle hints of transparency and accountability. Then cruelly dash my hopes:
But as this government official observes, there may also be good reasons not to make it public:
"The Prime Minister receives advice from plenty of advisers," the official said. "If that advice were to become public there would be very little value to it and ultimately good advice becomes government policy. Bad advice doesn't become government policy."
Um ... and which "government official" would that be? Ah ... this one (emphasis added):
"[In] the report that was submitted by Wajid Khan, there was some good advice in there and you are likely to see some of that advice be reflected in what the government will be doing in the future," said the official, who asked not to be named.
Isn't that adorable? That a report on a publicly-funded junket should be kept secret is defended by an official who insists on anonymity.
Does it get any funnier than this?
DOUBLE PLUS GOOD BONUS SNARK: Hey, kids ... let me refresh your memory:
On April 11, 2006, the Government of Canada introduced the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan to make government more accountable.
The Government of Canada delivered on this commitment by passing the Federal Accountability Act, which was granted Royal Assent on December 12, 2006.
Through the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, the Government of Canada has brought forward specific measures to help strengthen accountability and increase transparency and oversight in government operations.
Cue Blogging Tories sputtering, "But ... but ... but ... the Liberals!"