I am Google, hear me roar

I think I’m safe in assuming that everyone reading this is familiar with Google. They may have, perhaps, even used it from time to time. The journalists among us know that Google is no replacement for actual solid reporting. But you should always use Google (or another search engine) to see if you’ve missed anything, or if you’ve got a fact that needs a bit more checking.

So when I saw a Canadian Press story (reproduced on the Globe and Mail website) about the Canadian military purchasing new armoured light vehicles, I didn’t think much of it. And then I thought, didn’t Gordon O’Conner, our Defense Minister, used to be a lobbyist for the industry that just supplied him with over $30 million dollars of equipment.

And then I thought, did the writer at least use Google to see if he lobbied for the company that just got the contract for $30 million dollars of taxpayer dollars?

No. The writer did not.


  1. In fairness, the media has done a good job of covering O’Connor’s former ties to the industry. It’s definately relavent context to this story but in general, they’ve done a decent job on this. Not as good as the Liberals in Question Period, but not bad.

  2. I agree, but I do think it is relevant when the Minister signs one of his first contracts to note that he did indeed previously work for that company. It was brought up, years ago, that Dick Cheney worked for Halliburton, but it was still relevant to the story about that company winning no-bid contracts for the U.S. government in Iraq…

  3. To be fair, this contract is simply an extension of an earlier contract signed for these types of vehicles in December (by the previous minister) which are currently being used in Afghanistan. As well, more of these vehicles were necessary since DND decided to restrict use of smaller jeep-type vehicles that offers less protection. Yes I do believe O’Connor’s lobbying is of importance, but I don’t think it is of issue here.

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