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View Poll Results: which party do you support?
NDP 8 22.86%
Conservatives 7 20.00%
Green 7 20.00%
Bloc 3 8.57%
Liberal 10 28.57%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-05-2011, 12:32 AM   #261 (permalink)
the gat'll killya quicker, when I'm drunk off the liquor

The Mara sisters are hot!
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Originally Posted by 'trane View Post
i think the surge in quebec created a lot of momentum towards an overall surge in support across the country, but i don't mean to suggest that it is entirely due to what happened in quebec. a qualifier like 'to a large extent' was certainly needed there.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:50 PM   #262 (permalink)

giant steps
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anyone still think we elected the party of fiscal prudence?

Tony Clement kept auditor in dark on G8 spending, municipal files suggest - The Globe and Mail

...(T)he NDP bypassed the federal government, using freedom of information laws to seek out documents directly from municipalities. There, via hundreds of pages from Bracebridge and Huntsville, a very different picture emerged as to what federal officials knew.

For instance, the documents include minutes of a Feb. 27, 2009, meeting in Huntsville, chaired by Mr. Clement, where the minister explained how G8 legacy funding would work.

In addition to representatives from local communities, the meeting was also attended by four federal public servants from FedNor – a development agency for Northern Ontario then led by Mr. Clement – and two officials from Industry Canada, also led at the time by Mr. Clement.

Other meetings were attended by Gérald Cossette, then the G8 summit manager with the federal department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

At a news conference in Ottawa, NDP MP Charlie Angus said the documents show the funding process was able to escape the jurisdiction of the Auditor-General because it was all run out of Mr. Clement’s constituency office – which is not supposed to be involved in ministerial, or government, work.

“The use of a constituency office to funnel money is very disturbing,” Mr. Angus said, arguing the documents raise new questions about a process that has already attracted plenty of controversy.

“If you wanted money from Tony, call Tony’s staff. They’d get you the money. We didn’t know that. And what we also didn’t know was that senior bureaucrats who told the Auditor-General that they didn’t know anything about this process, sat in on meetings and helped write the criteria based on the suggestions of the local mayors. We didn’t know any of this and the question is, why didn’t we know this?”
When building gazebos violates the public trust - The Globe and Mail

Misled. The Auditor-General report’s may not use the word, but that’s what the federal government did to Parliament, and therefore to Canadians, by spending $50-million of public money in the Muskoka region of Ontario for the 2010 G8 summit, and calling it “investments in infrastructure to reduce border congestion.” Governments always play fiscal shell games, so why be moved to outrage this time?

First, even by standards of the cynic, the process was brazenly irregular. Muskoka is hundreds of kilometres from any border – a conveniently available existing line item was used as cover for the unrelated spending. There was no documentation around the choice of the 32 projects, which included new logistics centres that performed no G8-related logistics, new runways for airports where no G8-related planes landed, and gazebos and other goodies of marginal connection to the G8, all in Tony Clement’s riding.

Second, it put good public administration at the mercy of politics. Some modest tweaking of any kind of government spending for political gain is to be expected. But professional public servants ought, at least, to be at the table, to bring some rigour to the process. Instead, they were absent. The report does little to dispel a picture of Mr. Clement and then-infrastructure minister John Baird, two experienced ministers who should have known better, sitting down together, alone, to pick projects.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:33 PM   #263 (permalink)

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the continuing saga:

“Putting it in context, this was one of the largest and most outrageous pork barrel spending sprees in memory. Tony Clement was certainly a huge political player because of the amount of largesse he was throwing around,” Mr. Angus said. “So, what was he doing suggesting jobs in municipalities?”

On Aug. 10, 2008, Mr. Clement sent an e-mail from his account at Health Canada, where he was then the minister, to Vern Freedlander which discussed the G8 and said: “Would you like to be retained by the town?”

After Mr. Freedlander expressed some interest, his e-mail was sent to Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty who replied: “I am emailing Vern now.”

Mr. Clement then replied: “Good stuff!”

Calls to Mr. Clement’s office were returned by the staff of John Baird, the Foreign Affairs Minister. “This issue has been thoroughly aired,” said Chris Day, a spokesman for Mr. Baird.

Mr. Angus said he was hoping to get a response directly from Mr. Clement because it seems “highly unusual that the Minister has, out of the blue, asked someone if they are interested in getting a job and then calls the mayor and the mayor says he’ll get on it.”
NDP accuses Tony Clement of ‘ward boss’ politics - The Globe and Mail
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:16 PM   #264 (permalink)

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it's getting uglier and uglier. tony clement is looking dirrrrrrrrrrrrrty in this.

NDP accuses Clement of misleading MPs, doctoring Hansard on G8 - The Globe and Mail

When he appeared before the Commons public accounts committee on Nov. 2, Mr. Clement said a 33rd project was removed from the list on the direction of the municipality.

“One [of the projects] fell off the table because the local municipality decided that, because they would be incurring costs as well, that they did not want to be responsible to their taxpayer base for that,” the minister testified.

But an e-mail from a representative of the town of Gravenhurst to the minister’s constituency office says the mayor had been advised by Mr. Clement that “this project should be removed from the G8 Project List and be included in the Town of Gravenhurst’s application for the Building Canada Fund – on the advice of Mr. Minister Clement, please remove this project from the G8 Project List.”

Mr. Clement also told the committee the municipalities sent the projects to his constituency office where they were passed on to Infrastructure Canada without review or analysis.

“They delivered those prioritized projects to the constituency office, who then, in turn, without additional review or alteration, transmitted them, ultimately, to the Department of Transport and Infrastructure Canada, where the minister responsible would make the decision” he testified.

But Mr. Angus said the documents show that is false.

Letters of rejection sent by Mr. Clement’s ministerial office to the chief operating officer of the Township of Muskoka Lakes say “the Minister’s staff and department officials have reviewed all proposals received” and “competing priorities restrict our ability to fund all of these local G8 initiatives.”

The proposals for projects from the local municipalities who wanted a share of the G8 legacy fund were submitted on hand-made forms created by the local mayors, rather than official federal application documents. When Mr. Clement was asked at the committee if he would provide those forms to the committee, he replied: “Sure.”

That response is recorded on tape and also in the initial transcript of the proceedings. But it was removed from the official Hansard, which was released a day or two later. The Hansard can be altered only by the MP, or the staff of the MP, who is speaking.

In watching the recording of he committee meeting, it is somewhat unclear whether Mr. Clement was saying "sure" in response to the question he had just been asked, or if he was saying "sure" to indicate that he understood the question.

“Who changed the Hansard record? Why is it that Mr. Clement gave a clear statement, at committee, that he would provide documents, on record?” Mr. Angus asked. “Who went then behind, after the fact, and had those words removed?”

The testimony before the public accounts committee followed many weeks of opposition questions in the House of Commons about the G8 spending in Muskoka – all of which were answered by ministers other than Mr. Clement.

In the end, however, there is little that the New Democrats can do as the opposition in a majority government, to hold ministers to account. Mr. Angus said the issue is in hands of the Prime Minister.

“Mr. Clement has become toxic deadweight to this government. He has burnt his bridges of credibility. He has misrepresented the facts. He can’t even stand up in the House and answer a question because he knows it puts him deeper into the doo doo,” the NDP MP told reporters. “The question is about Stephen Harper’s government. Is this the new norm, that ministers can come to committee and misrepresent facts?”
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