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Keeping them honest


 

Does this make the Chronicle-Herald the first media outlet to do its own check of how the government has allocated its stimulus spending?

Nova Scotians in Conservative ridings should be feeling a little action in their economic plan by now, because an analysis of federal stimulus spending in the province shows blue ridings are awash in pork.

In fact, more money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia’s other eight ridings put together. Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s riding of Central Nova is the big winner, with $87.7 million in stimulus money, 13 times as much as the $6.6 million being spent in Dartmouth, held by a Liberal. In fact, Mr. MacKay’s riding received more money than all five Liberal ridings in the province combined.


 

Keeping them honest

  1. Call an election, Harper, before your own personal Chuck Guite shows up!

  2. This follows in the earlier, fine work of journalist/blogger Parker Donham who actually mapped out the pork in Nova Scotia.

    And isn't it strange how very very ver quiet the usually very very very loud PMO has been on this? I mean, other than a couple of "no, we're being fair", or "we're the Conservatives, trust us", there has been no comprehensive response to the very obvious partisan pork, or the Conservative cheque logo-ing campaign, or any real response to Kevin Page's damning report on their accountability and his requests for the actual full numbers.

    • Forget the *current* PMO – think of the indignation and contempt which would have spewed from the *previous* OLO when Harper was there.

    • or the Conservative cheque logo-ing campaign

      There has been a response to this. The PMO agreed with the opposition, and has apologised.

      • Too little, too late. The apology only appeared after they realized that this time the con was in the spotlight.

    • Never at a loss for a cover story, Tim Powers has reassured us all that "the Liberals' obsession with fiction clouds their reality."
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/silver-power

      The pattern of hauling out the Liberals as the real problem whenever they themselves get caught bending the rules doesn't seem to be working all that well this time. Canadian taxpayers know they're going to be paying for this stimulus for a very long time, and discovering that a political party is exploiting it for their own purposes is going to make a lot of people cranky.

      • You can tell the Conservatives are obviously shaken by this and taking it very seriously. They immediately went DefCon 2 (Defend Conservatives), blaming Keddy's staff, right out of the gate.

        With that not working to quell the fire, loyalists like Powers are simultaneously trying the ever difficult split defence: tryin a DefCon6 – nah, this is no story but just a sign of how desperate the Liberals are – while at the same time going all the way to DefCon1 – Adscam! Adscam! Adscam! Adscam!

        As a reminder:
        DefCon6: Dismiss the story/controversy/event as minor, not relevant and a non-story.
        DefCon5: If it does not go away, blame the Liberal Party.
        DefCon4: If it still does not go away, blame the media.
        DefCon3: If it still does not go away, find some other non-Conservative to blame – a bureaucrat, provincial premier
        DefCon2: If it has still not gone away, blame a staffer and fire him or her if necessary
        DefCon1: If none of the foregoing has worked to deflect, start talking about the Sponsorship Scandal, broken GST promises, Trudeau's NEP, torture, "just visiting".

  3. Why, with such few exceptions, are the Canadian media so passive? The Liberals suggested this corruption weeks ago. Is this the only outlet that has bothered to check it out and come up with some facts?

    • Same reason they were quiet state-side during the recent unpleasantness – the desire to curry favour with the ruling administration, an artificial setting of a bar in order to appear "fair" (which in most cases means no coverage for things like this and endless panel discussions about Iggy's leadership problems) and simple outright business – investigative journalism costs more than simply reprinting press releases and brings less consumer dollars.

    • 1.) The media is generally disinterested in legitimate issues of public policy.

      2.) Years of accusations of liberal bias from the political right have injected a sense of self-loathing into the media, resulting in a fear of holding conservative politicians to account.

    • I actually think it is because this kind of journalism requires time and in-depth analysis, something the Ottawa bureaus are not structured to do. Also, because of internal turf wars, the Ottawa bureau won't ask / the National desk will not insist that a non-bureau reporter do this work.

      It has nothing to do with intensions or even laziness – it's a question of leadership and structure.

    • Maybe it's because blogs are now driving the news agenda to a greater extent.

  4. $55 million for Highways in Antigonish? Are they paving it in gold?

    • Lahey defense fund?

    • No. Though that would be nice.

      They're four-laning the TC from a town ( New Glasgow ) about 35 miles west to the Strait about
      30 miles east .. almost all in Peter's riding. Nothing new. Been in the plans for at least 10 years.
      Involves designing interchanges for Antigonish that can maintain the traffic flow for MickeyD's and
      …… er, Timmy's.
      I would prefer that they take the tolls off the 30-40 miles of the TC that they've privatized and charge
      tolls for. But I believe that involves a Calgary firm so I guess that's out.
      And the four-lane is , in part , to assist a firm that's building a container superport near the Strait
      that is supposed to supercharge the "Atlantic Gateway" that is very close to what passes for
      Peter's heart.

    • No. though that would be nice.

      They're four-laning the TC from a town ( New Glasgow ) about 35 miles west to the Strait about
      30 miles east .. almost all in Peter's riding. Nothing new. Been in the plans for at least 10 years.
      Involves designing interchanges for Antigonish that can maintain the traffic flow for MickeyD's and
      …… er, Timmy's.
      I would prefer that they take the tolls off the 30-40 miles of the TC that they've privatized and charge
      tolls for. But I believe that involves a Calgary firm so I guess that's out.
      And the four-lane is , in part , to assist a firm that's building a container superport near the Strait
      that is supposed to supercharge the "Atlantic Gateway" that is very close to what passes for
      Peter's heart.

  5. Classic "our principles don't apply to us" crap from Say Anything Steve.

  6. "In fact, more money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia's other eight ridings put together."

    'Twas ever thus. This is a dog bites man story for anyone with an attention span longer than a gnat's.

    Here are just two articles I found on the Libs. I am sure if I had access to newspaper archives, I am certain I would find similar stories from Sir John A's time.

    "A disproportionate share of federal funding for celebrations of Canada Day and other national holidays was given to organizations in ridings held by Liberal MPs, according to an analysis done by the Ottawa Citizen." CanWest, January '06

    "The controversy surrounding former prime minister Jean Chrétien's involvement in two properties in his riding is rooted in events that are more than a decade old." CBC, January '06

  7. "In fact, more money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia's other eight ridings put together."

    'Twas ever thus. This is a dog bites man story for anyone with an attention span longer than a gnat's.

    Here are just two articles I found on the Libs. And if I had access to newspaper archives I would find similar stories from Sir John A's time.

    "A disproportionate share of federal funding for celebrations of Canada Day and other national holidays was given to organizations in ridings held by Liberal MPs, according to an analysis done by the Ottawa Citizen." CanWest, January '06

    "The controversy surrounding former prime minister Jean Chrétien's involvement in two properties in his riding is rooted in events that are more than a decade old." CBC, January '06

  8. "In fact, more money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia's other eight ridings put together."

    'Twas ever thus. This is a dog bites man story for anyone with an attention span longer than a gnat's.

    Here are just two articles I found on the Libs. And if I had access to newspaper archives I would find similar stories from Sir John A's time.

    "A disproportionate share of federal funding for celebrations of Canada Day and other national holidays was given to organizations in ridings held by Liberal MPs, according to an analysis done by the Ottawa Citizen." CanWest, January '06

    "The controversy surrounding former prime minister Jean Chrétien's involvement in two properties in his riding is rooted in events that are more than a decade old." CBC, January '06

    • This particular government made a big deal out of passing acccountability legislation. Which I applauded. And which I bloody well expect them to live up to.

    • This particular government made a big deal out of passing accountability legislation. Which I applauded. And which I bloody well expect them to live up to.

      • How does the accountability act stop MPs from representing their ridings? This kind of thing irritates me as well but there is no way to stop it unless we abolish MPs/ ridings/constituents. Money and ridings mostly balance out over time – except for traditional dipper and bloq ridings of course, they get the short end of stick all the time.

        • "How does the accountability act stop MPs from representing their ridings?"

          By demanding that public servants act in the public interest. Properly administered, it still allows MPs to lobby for their own ridings (which we assume they all do). But it provides a means of ensuring that partisan (among other) influences are not tainting public expenditures.

          I'm not naive, and I realize governing party will always have some wiggle room (though it's even more galling from a minority government). But that's no reason to throw our hands up and let them abuse the public trust as they wish. Particularly when spending money under the guise of an economic emergency, but in all cases, governments need to remember who they serve.

      • ""In fact, more money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia's other eight ridings put together.""

        How does the accountability act stop MPs from representing their ridings? They are just doing their jobs. This kind of thing irritates me as well but there is no way to stop it unless we abolish MPs/ ridings/constituents. Money and ridings mostly balance out over time – except for traditional dipper and bloq ridings of course, they get the short end of stick all the time.

    • Ouch! You're going back to the old "the Liberals did it so it's okay if we do it" line? Desperate times again.

      • ooh, you're doing the old "that line is so desperate" line. Desperate times all over again.

      • ooh, you're doing the old "that line is so desperate" line. Desparete times all over again.

    • Yeah, I've got to say, if the best the "we will bring change to Ottawa" folks can come up with (STILL) is "what's your problem, this is the way things have always worked!" then that's pretty sad.

      I'd be more sympathetic to the "the Liberals used to do this too!" line of argument if the entire campaign that ousted the Liberals from power hadn't been "we're not going to do what the Liberals have always done".

      • What's pretty sad is making this seem like Cons have done something particularly egregious. Both parties are equally as guilty when it comes to pork. That's why I don't think this is going to become a scandal – are people really going to be shocked by 'MPs favour their own ridings' headlines?

        • It is extremely and unprecedentally egregious. Both parties are not equally as guilty, nor are other Conservative parties are different times.

          1. The sheer scale of this stimulus pork is unprecedented. I don't think this much money has been committed and announced in such a short period of time every. Not even close. Billions and billions and billions are being spent.

          2. I also don't think any government, Liberal, PC, NDP, Socred, etc. has ever been THIS lopsided in its favouratism.

          Those two undeniable facts PLUS the fact that this was approved when Canadians were suffering and actually needed the money in every region will make this scandal grow as more facts come out.

          PLUS Say Anything Steve RAN on a campaign of MORE accountability, of putting a Patronage Commissioner in place, of making a Budget Chief independent. That he is not only LESS accountable than his predecessors but has actually had to break several key promises in order to be so, does not sit well with Canadians.

          • I think you are exaggerating. There is no evidence that this government is any different than previous governments with respect to pork. And frankly, yes, he ran a campaign of accountability, but this about the logo/name on a cheque, let's get some perspective.

          • On the contrary, there is no evidence that this government is the same. Soudas tried to claim that tonight and provided 8 pictures of Liberals with novelty cheques; they all had the Government of Canada logo large and the focus of attention and only one of them had a tiny illegible individual MPs signature. So if the Conservative war machine can't find it then it doesn't exist.

            But it really isn't about the novelty cheques. That is what you guys just don't get. This is just the most visible image of the pork and entitlement sickness that has already crept into Say Anything's government. With billions and billions and billions more dollars going to Tory ridings in the middle of a recession when Canadians everywhere are hurting, using taxpayer dollars for the Action! Plan ad campaign that is a barely disguised Conservative ad, using taxpayer dollars to promote the Prime Minister even more than the Action! Plan against the recommendations of the PCO, using Ministerial offices to launch partisan press release attacks on other parties or organize fundraisers, etc etc etc… these guys think the Government of Canada is their to serve them and not the other way around.

  9. I have to say (and I would regardless of which party were getting the short end of the stick here), it's nice to see the media getting into it, doing some research and laying out the results in a front page article. That's responsible journalism. Makes me proud to be a Nova Scotian.

    • Okay. Mr. Maher is a good reporter. And the CH let him put his time and resources into this.

      But it would not have been "national" if this was not the age of the internet and websites.

      The "national" press .. and weather reports … still think that " out east " is somewhere
      around Brockville. And that's a good thing.

  10. So they've effectively admitted that they've been using public funds for their own partisan purposes? The treasury as a political slush fund? And we should leave it at that?
    Nah, I think this might have some legs yet.

  11. I think the "Liberals did this too so it's ok if we shovel pork to ourselves" is not only obviously a bad and weak excuse, but it is also wrong.

    I think every government has probably been a bit more attentive to its own.

    But never ever on this scale. That is what makes this so problematic. And on two fronts are the Tories way more brazen about shovelling pork to themselves: (1) the sheer dollar amounts we are talking about are incompatible with any other period – across the country, the Tories are spending billions and billions of dollars; (2) the size of the imbalance – with 36% of the popular vote in the last election and 22% of the support from all eligible voters, Say Anything Steve's shovelling has gone anywhere from 3:1 in favour of Tory ridings to 8:1 in favour of Tory ridings, in every region across the entire country.

    The Liberals did not do this. The Mulroney Tories did not do this. The McGuinty Liberals are not doing this. The Harris Tories and the Rae NDP did not do this. Heck, as bad as Bush was in turning surplus into deficit for pork, he did not even come close to doing this.

    • …. and all the while sending out ten percenters telling me When it comes to being straight with Canadians on important issues, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff just won't come clean

      Even the most partisan hack has to admit that this sort of pantload politics should have no place in Canada

    • …. and all the while sending out ten percenters telling me When it comes to being straight with Canadians on important issues, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff just won't come clean (Compliments of Gary Goodyear, MP)

      Even the most partisan hack has to admit that this sort of pantload politics should have no place in Canada

  12. It seems that LPC followers are still learning what it`s like to be in opposition. CPC followers have had much more time to perfect the art of being a patient and policy-driven opposition—-they lived under Bob Rae and now Mcguinty for years in Ontario and sat back in Ottawa as Chretien bragged about helping his Lib friends out.

    So rather then acting like a fool like Kinsella on CTV earlier, why not spend a little time trying to understand what your party stands for and if your leaders can communicate that maybe your time will come again.

    In the meantime, the public think it`s just silly looking for tories on Olympic hats and CPC logos on cardboard signs. By the way, If the CPC ever did get involved in criminal activities like Adscam, I would be the first one jumping the Tory ship and joining Lizzy May`s Greens. That`s how confident I am that there`s no story here.

    • Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

    • So, William, are you saying that until the Conservatives do something every bit as outrageous as Adscam (and we pretty much all think it was outrageous) they get a free ride? Because if so I'd like you to consider upping your standards a bit.

      Something off the charts outrageous shouldn't be the benchmark by which we judge political parties' actions now and into the future. I, at least, expect better than that.

      • Jenn—maybe I`m more cynical then you but I`ve come to expect that there will always be inefficiency, favoritism and waste in most any gov`t spending. It`s the nature of the beast—budgets are molded around perceived needs—no limits. In party politics, the party in power will always make sure they look better then the opp.

        But neither would I trade our country or system of gov`t for any other—-it may not be perfect but it is still the best.

        Also, I don`t think there will ever be another instance like Adscam here—-the blogsphere would never allow it and your man Wherry would be like a hound dog if he suspected corruption and believe me this clumsy placing of CPC logos on novelty cheques is a long, long way from the previous outrageous behavior you refer to.

      • Well said.
        You are not alone

  13. Sponsorship was a petty little low rent deal compared to this stimulus big time pork boondoggle.
    But I will be fair. A first. This e health scandal in Ontario is as big as either one. Regardless of actual money amounts, when you have people in the Health Ministry setting up a consulting firm they own, and then funneling untendered Ministry of Health million dollar consulting contrast to this firm, you've got a scandal.
    So for those of us in Ontario it's a case of throw ALL the rascals out.

    • I don't think sponsorship was a petty little low rent deal, but otherwise I think you're bang on.

      This isn't about partisanship.

    • I don't think sponsorship was a petty little low rent deal, but otherwise I think you're bang on.____This isn't about partisanship.

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