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Sheila Fraser Presentation

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Sheila Fraser – Auditor General

Sheila Fraser was the guest speaker on September 2. Born in Dundee, Quebec she has a special relationship to Glengarry.
These days she tries to keep our financial ship afloat in Ottawa, as Auditor General.
GHS President Allan Macdonell, opened the meeting by thanking the Reverend Andrea Harrison for facilitating the use of St. Andrew’s Church. He then called upon Allan Sullivan to introduce the guest speaker.
Ms. Fraser opened her presentation with some of the history of her ancestors coming to this area in the early 1800s from Scotland and referred to the second Auditor General, John Fraser who served from 1905 to 1919. She herself is the tenth Auditor General. She revealed that her mandate of ten years is focussed largely on the typical financial aspects, and also the performance aspect of auditing. She sees environmental protection as a priority. Her staff of 650 accountants, engineers, sociologists, and other civil servants work within a budget of 98 million dollars. She also covers Heritage concerns such as Fort Henry and Cape Spear. Another highlight of interest is the auditing of the conservation of official residences. Rideau Hall has been the beneficiary but virtually no work has been directed at 24 Sussex Drive. The work of her department is an important contribution in achieving accountability and democracy in our government.
The question period leads to further interesting and relevant points. Bill Gilsdorf pointed out the cumbersome difficulties that smaller initiatives such as local museum voluntary staff encounter in trying to register for public funding from Federal government. Miss Fraser acknowledged the issue. In response to another question from the floor she explained the procedure in doing an audit, which typically takes eighteen months.
In thanking the speaker, Gay Hamilton remarked on the real connections that seem to have been made in an interesting talk. It is encouraging to note the emphasis on heritage.
Miss Hamilton presented Ms. Fraser with two very “personal” gifts on behalf of the GHS: A copy of the recently published “Dictionary of Glengarry Biography” by Royce MacGillivray and a copy of the GHS founder, Hugh P. MacMillan’s “Adventures of a Paper Sleuth”, which she graciously accepted.
After the interesting presentation, the entire crowd was invited to the adjoining Irvine Hall to partake in the generously laid-out delectables and refreshing drinks.
Adapted from the notes of R.Bleile