Clement and Baird defend G8 spending

Rule bent in the interest of “efficiency,” committee told


Treasury Board President Tony Clement and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said they acted in the interest of “efficiency” while managing funds for the G8 legacy fund, the Globe and Mail reports. In his testimony before the House of Commons public accounts committee on Wednesday, Clement said municipal officials in his Muskoka riding used his constituency office to sort out requests for funding, because this would speed up the selection process. Eventually, of the 33 projects that were sent to Infrastructure Canada for review, 32 were approved. Baird, who was infrastructure minister at the time, said he used the border infrastructure fund to pay for the project because those funds could be accessed quickly. “It was merely a delivery mechanism,” he told MPs. Last spring, Auditor-General Sheila Fraser found that the Conservative government broke the rules when it used the border money in Clement’s riding. John Wiersma, who replaced Fraser on an interim basis, warned that further audits are impossible because of a lack of paper trail. The NDP allege that the legacy fund was used to boost Clement’s chances in the 2008 election, after he won the Muskoka riding by a mere 28 votes in 2006.

The Globe and Mail

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Clement and Baird defend G8 spending

  1. The rationale provided by these two clowns for carpet bombing an entire rural riding, including locations far removed from the actual G8 venue, with 50 million dollars’ worth of baubles, absolutely challenges the credulity of even the most naive.

    It baffles me how they can maintain that this is in any way an “efficient”, let alone justifiable, dispersal of public money. And do it with straight faces.

  2. Gee guys – thanks for keeping the cost per vote bought under control.

  3. They are leading by example, people.  If the rules (in this case for accountability) aren’t to their liking, they ignore them.  Many provinces are going to follow Clement’s and Baird’s example when they refuse to implement the expensive and destructive rules set out in the Tory crime bill.  Perhaps we should all follow their example when we need to effeciently appropriate our next round of groceries, considering that the RCMP doesn’t consider effeciently appropriating things that don’t belong to you to be a crime anymore.

    • I expect I could distribute my tax dollars far more efficiently on my own than this government can. I wonder if I can expect the same treatment as Clement should I decide to do so.

      Of course, I’ll provide them with receipts.

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