Monday, October 03, 2005

A Matter of Law?

Off go the Tories on another unsubstantive escapade. How many more election losses until they realize that they need to put forward policies as opposed to attacking mismanagement? Unbelievable.

That aside, I am interested in the following Question Period exchange:

"Will the prime minister acknowledge that this severance package is nothing but
a Liberal damage-control deal," Pallister asked.

In his response, McCallum returned to the same message he'd already conveyed several times. "As I just explained, this is the letter of law," McCallum said. "The government will pay the minimum it is required to pay under the law."

Severance pay is obviously a requirement when employees are terminated, but when an executive quits of his own volition? Does that not seem rather bizarre? Any legal analysts out know much about employment law?

UPDATE: From the text of Dingwall's letter of resignation, it seems clear that he resigned on his own initiative. Additionally, an exchange in the Senate's Question Period on Wednesday, September 28th confirms that at no time was Dingwall called on to leave his post at the Mint:
Senator Stratton: Honourable senators, that letter amounts to nothing but obfuscation and whitewash. Was Mr. Dingwall pushed, was he fired, or did he leave voluntarily?

An independent audit of those expenses must be conducted, not an audit by the board of the Royal Canadian Mint. Was he fired? Was he pushed? Did he voluntarily resign? Those are fundamental questions.

Senator Austin: Honourable senators, I have three points. First, Mr. Dingwall stepped out as President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint on his own initiative. He was not pushed and his resignation was not requested. Mr. Dingwall is showing his high regard for public service and the defence of the institution for which he
was responsible. He does not want the Royal Canadian Mint to be involved in
controversy over his behaviour...

What would be the purpose of law requiring severance pay to people who retire in such circumstances, if there is absolutely no issue of his being forced out? Dingwall has received enough from the Canadian taxpayer.


Blogger Liam O'Brien said...

While I agree that the Tories should be putting forward a platform launch and focusing on legislation and ideas they like, I fail to see what's wrong with reminding people about mismanagement.

Besides, somebody's got to say something about it. A few years back I remember J-schools squeeling when Con Black bought Canadian newspapers -- concentration of media ownership, right-wing influence yadda yadda yadda....

yet even after the Kimber incident, the actual examples of Aspers' grit editorial pressures, the fact that we have most Liberal donors in charge of most major Canadian media sources, folks no longer seem to see a problem there...

Double Standard Canada.... Typical.

Don't worry though. The Crown Corp that reports on the Crown depends on the Crown and whose Board of Directors mostly donates to the party now in charge of the crown will soon be back from strike!


12:14 AM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

I don't disagree. It's not wrong to remind people about mismanagement, but it plays into Liberal hands come election time. If the opposition, Canada's "Unnatural Governing party", cannot put forward policy, the Liberals will define their platform for them, shamelessly, and to the CPC's sure detriment.

Sorry, but Canadians assume that all government officials will be corrupt to some extent. Deplorable, but that's today's democracy. To win votes back to your side of the aisle, you'll need to bring more to the table than angry whining about chicklets and $138 pizzas.

Back to the legal issue, let's see the government lawyers reasoning that Dingwall should get severence upon quitting. Intuitively, it just doesn't make any sense that the law should require it.

3:57 PM  

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