You've got a friend in government

The Star obtains new emails related to the goings on in Huntsville.

An email dated Dec. 29, 2008, has Freedlander detailing a conversation with Environment Minister Peter Kent, his former broadcast colleague, who at that time was minister of state for the Americas. His written recollection of the conversation suggests that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and John Baird, who was then minister of transport, were approving infrastructure funding applications submitted to them by their Conservative caucus colleagues.

“(Kent) told me he will whole-heartedly (sic) support the Huntsville IMC at cabinet and wanted to make sure we pass along our pitch to Tony Clement ASAP,” says the email addressed to Doughty and copied to two other senior municipal officials. “Peter tells me that right now MPs are being asked to provide infrastructure projects to cabinet for direct approvals by Baird and Flaherty. They earlier shovels get in the ground the better.”

Mr. Kent’s office denies any such conversation ever took place.

Vern Freedlander was previously referenced in an email between Tony Clement and Huntsville mayor Claude Doughty, in which Mr. Clement put Mr. Freedlander in touch with Mr. Doughty about a job. (Mr. Doughty told the CBC that Mr. Freedlander began working for the town of Huntsville on that job in early 2009. The email obtained by the Star predates that, but only slightly.)

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