The George Radwanski file
CBC News Online | March 15, 2006
By the time George Radwanski was appointed Canada's privacy commissioner in 2000, he had amassed an impressive list of accomplishments. Radwanski won many awards during a 20-year journalism career, and served as editor in chief of the Toronto Star. He was also a policy adviser to then Ontario premier David Peterson and the author of a best-selling biography of Pierre Trudeau.
Former privacy commissioner George Radwanski (CP Photo)
But Radwanski’s tenure as privacy commissioner was to end under a cloud following intense scrutiny of his spending.
Oct. 19, 2000
Radwanski is appointed privacy commissioner for a seven-year term.
June 13, 2003
MPs on a Commons committee say Radwanski deliberately tried to mislead them about his expenses. Radwanski decries "smear campaign" and vows to fight on.
June 19, 2003
A Commons committee calls for a full audit of Radwanski's expense claims, which include more than $500,000 in travel claims, $250 drinks tabs, and dinner bills of more than $450, usually shared with one staff member.
June 20, 2003
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency says it's investigating reports that $540,000 of Radwanski's tax debt was forgiven shortly before his appointment. Radwanski's staff asks him to step aside.
June 23, 2003
Radwanski resigns, blaming "a powerful political backlash from some who would prefer a less forceful privacy commissioner." His severance package is worth $82,562.
Sept. 30, 2003
Radwanski sees advance copy of Auditor General Sheila Fraser's report, calling it a "vicious personal attack. "
Oct. 1, 2003
Fraser calls for an RCMP investigation of Radwanski. Her department's audit reveals "a major failure of management controls and the abuse of public funds by the former commissioner and some senior executives, for their personal benefit." Fraser calls Radwanski's tenure a "reign of terror."
Nov. 4, 2003
A Commons committee recommends Radwanski be found in contempt of Parliament for lying to Canadians, altering documents and falsifying records.
Nov. 6, 2003
Radwanski apologizes to Parliament for his behaviour as Canada's privacy commissioner. MPs later vote to find him in contempt of Parliament for providing information about his spending.
Jan. 17, 2004
RCMP confirms it is launching a criminal investigation into Radwanski's conduct.
April 30, 2004
Treasury Board documents show the federal government cut Radwanski's severance package to nothing.
March 15, 2006
RCMP charges Radwanski with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust. His lawyer says Radwanski "asserts his innocence."