SASKATCHEWAN COALITION AGAINST RACISM
MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUDITOR GENERAL SPENDING NO SURPRISE
Recent revelations regarding “questionable spending” within the Office of the Auditor General may come as a surprise to some but not to the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR). “As politicians pretend to wring their hands over this latest revelation of questionable spending within the Auditor General’s Office, we at SCAR can only shake our heads in disbelief as we have been pointing politicians to actions by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) for years that have endorsed the wasteful spending of millions of dollars to block a decades old Canadian Human Rights case of Canadian scientist Dr. Chander Grover.,” said Bob Hughes, SCAR spokesperson. That spending makes the latest allegation miniscule.
Documents obtained through Freedom of Information reveal that Auditor General Sheila Fraser became involved in the Grover racial discrimination case in 2003, while it was before the courts, and recommended actions to deal with the “troublesome case of Dr. Grover” that have now have cost Canadian taxpayers more than $60 million and Dr. Grover’s entire career. The 2004 OAG audit report of Dr. Grover’s employer, the National Research Council, reveals no mention of the costs involved in blocking Dr. Grover’s human rights case.
In an October 2, 2009 letter to Bob Hughes at SCAR, Auditor General Sheila Fraser wrote that the matters “between Dr. Grover and the National Research Council are matters before the court that we cannot examine, either generally or in the context of an audit. To be clear, we will not be conducting an audit of these matters at this time, nor while they remain ongoing matters before the courts.” Of course, that statement was deceptive in nature as the OAG had already become involved in the case in 2003. However, now that Dr. Grover has been forced to abandon the legal aspects of this case in the face of millions of dollars of government spending, there is nothing stopping the OAG from proceeding with such an audit and there is absolutely nothing stopping politicians from questioning the OAG’s actions in the spending of millions (not thousands) of dollars of taxpayers’ money to block Canadian human rights decisions.
CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism