April 24, 2011

G20 spending continues to outrage Canadians

People’s Voice Editorial

The Conservative strategy of appearing as champions of “law and order”, careful spending and open government took a direct hit on April 11, with the release of a “bombshell” confidential report from Auditor‑General Sheila Fraser about “pork‑barrel largesse, dubious spending and misinforming Parliament.” Whether the pro-Tory corporate media will use this news to spank “Bubble Boy” Stephen Harper is highly doubtful, but the contents are stunning.

According to the Globe and Mail, the draft report says the government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50 million G8 slush fund that lavished money on questionable projects in Industry Minister Tony Clement’s riding. The minister, the mayor of Huntsville, and the general manager of Deerhurst Resort which hosted the summit, chose 32 projects to fund, ranging from $100,000 on a gazebo, to $1.1 million for sidewalk and tree upgrades, and $194,000 for a park, all an hour’s drive distant from the summit. Add to this the earlier revelations that hundreds of millions of dollars were poured into “security preparations” which amounted to mind-boggling violations of civil liberties in Toronto, and a clear picture emerges.

If ever a Canadian government could be fairly accused of corruption, enormous waste, arrogant contempt for taxpayers and Parliament, utter disregard for the rule of law, and obsessive secrecy, this is it. Little wonder that opinion surveys show that nearly three-quarters of voters who don’t favour the Tories are deeply frightened by the possibility of a Harper majority. As the saying goes, Canadians should be “be afraid… be very afraid.” Then they should get out and vote to dump Mr. Harper on May 2.

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