By John Geddes, Paul Wells, Jonathon Gatehouse, Julie Smyth, Aaron Wherry and Michael Petrou - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - 0 Comments
The Maclean’s 2012 power list
Ask around about the attributes of influence in the federal government during Stephen Harper’s rule. The answers will vary widely depending on who’s doing the talking, but certain elements will pop up with intriguing regularity. Just about everyone, for instance, agrees that power these days tilts westward. And, sure enough, the top three on our list—the Prime Minister himself, inevitably, followed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the governor of the Bank of Canada—all hail from Alberta.
Yet Harper had little to do with the rise of Beverley McLachlin and Mark Carney. So is this top-of-the-list cluster of Albertans mere happenstance, or a true sign of a pattern of power? One thing it isn’t, we promise, is a contrivance. Maclean’s writers and editors compiled this admittedly subjective list based on our own combined experience covering Ottawa’s most important people, tested against the sage insights of political strategists, veterans of the public service and lobbyists who make it their business to size up the city’s elite.
What makes one partisan or public servant, public figure or private power broker seem to matter more than another can be mysterious. In some cases, managerial style lifted a figure into our sights, like McLachlin’s subtle touch with the nine egos on the top court, or the way top bureaucrat Wayne Wouters boosts the morale of a public service whose pinnacle he commands. Often power flows in well-worn channels, as through the offices of the finance or foreign minister. Sometimes, though, someone cracks the institutional edifice, and influence streams in unexpectedly. Look at what Kevin Page has done as the first parliamentary budget officer. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
As foreshadowed in my letter, I sought legal advice on the issue. Attached is an opinion outlining reasons why the information that was requested falls within the power of direct request; the information is financial or economic data, in the possession of department heads, necessary for discharging the PBO’s mandate, and not subject to any of the statutory exemptions listed. As such, the information should have been provided as requested, and both your department and the other departments that have not complied are in violation of their legal obligations under the Act.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, September 12, 2011 at 5:20 PM - 7 Comments
Glen McGregor translates one email and posts video of Bob Dechert’s promised smile for the cameras. John Baird brushes it all off and says Mr. Dechert will keep his job, while security officials seemingly gave the Conservative MP a pass.
“The renewal of background checks on members of the ministry and parliamentary secretaries has been finalized,” says the note, signed by Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council. “In 2008, the Prime Minister requested that security background checks on Ministers, Ministers of State and Parliamentary Secretaries, and their spouses or partners, be renewed every two years while the appointee occupies a position as Minister, Minister of State or Parliamentary Secretary.”
Further details in the note are censored. But Dechert retained his position as parliamentary secretary immediately after the March security check – and became parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the cabinet shuffle soon after the May 2 election campaign.
By Paul Wells - Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM - 1 Comment
I’ll be gathering nuts and berries on this story all day and will report back to you periodically — pw
Date: May 7, 2009
For immediate release
PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF WAYNE WOUTERS AS CLERK OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL
Ottawa – Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today the appointment of Wayne Wouters as the new Clerk of the Privy Council, effective July 1, 2009.
Mr. Wouters joined the Canadian Public Service in 1982 and is presently Secretary of the Treasury Board. He has served with distinction in a broad range of Ministries including the Privy Council Office. Mr. Wouters was Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Chairperson, Canada Employment Insurance Commission and before that Deputy Minister, Human Resources Development Canada and Deputy Ministry of Labour. Other positions include Director General Department of Energy, Mines and Resources; General Director Department of Finance; and Deputy Minister Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
“I am pleased that Mr. Wouters accepted this very challenging role,” said the Prime Minister. “I am confident that his knowledge and experience will provide the dedication and excellence of service that is a hallmark of the Public Service and the Office of the Clerk.
“I look forward to working with Wayne in his new role.”