Mr. Speaker, high ranking officials at Health Canada have mishandled tens of millions of dollars in public funds in their dealings with the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation.
A former assistant deputy minister of Health Canada, Paul Cochrane, was recently found guilty of fraud and income tax evasion. Last week, a Health Canada director, Patrick Nottingham, was convicted of influence peddling and fraud. One received a fine and served three months of a total one and a half year jail sentence. The other received a two year house arrest. So much for the Liberal promise to severely punish anyone responsible for abusing public funds.
No doubt it makes the government look better for someone else to take the fall but this is not about Liberal image. It is about government officials who put their own greed ahead of a first nations community desperately in need of government support for health programs for its people. It is about a Liberal government that is so steeped in a culture of entitlement, so ethically bankrupt that it cannot see, let alone judge, its own criminal behaviour.
Never has the need been greater for an independent inquiry.