Stephen’s stimulus slush fund

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Stephen Harper promised to end the pork-barrel politics of his opponents. He promised transparency and accountability over the use of taxpayer money.

His first bill after taking office in 2006 –the Accountability Act –pledged a war on patronage.

The message sounded good to many Canadians weary of the partisan style of government practised for many years when the Liberals held power.

However, it is becoming painfully evident that Mr. Harper’s promises were nothing more than a facade. The prime minister is treating Canadians with the same lack of respect and contempt he promised would change.

The slide began not long after the Conservatives won minority power in 2006. Mr. Harper promised an ambitious plan to curb patronage appointments through the creation of the Public Appointments Commission. Under this initiative, public appointments to federal boards, agencies and commissions would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. This was later scrapped and the prime minister blamed the opposition. The Conservatives continue to make Tory-friendly appointments.

Mr. Harper also promised more open, transparent government, but in fact, has done exactly the opposite. Canadians would be hard-pressed to find an era where the government was more closed and secretive than the Harper years.

The prime minister promised to reform the Access to Information Act. He certainly did, making it easier for the government to withhold information from public scrutiny.

And now we have the Harper stimulus scandal, with MPs presenting cheques carrying the party logo, as if somehow the money came directly from the Conservative Party of Canada. There is also mounting evidence that a higher proportion of stimulus spending projects have been announced in ridings currently held by Conservatives.

This sinister tactic has an underlying strategy.

It has created an inconvenient situation for Liberals to attack the government, based on recent history. Political slush-fund

Stephen Harper has turned the government's stimulus infrastructure spending into a political slush-fund, and is daring his opponents to take him down for it.

Cleverly, he’s found a way to revive the sponsorship scandal that ended the Liberal reign of power.

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has agreed to look into complaints filed by the Liberals and New Democrats into the way infrastructure spending has been represented by Conservative MPs.

The presentation of cheques that carry a party logo or are signed by an MP or cabinet minister other than the minister of finance on behalf of the government give the impression that if you vote Conservative, you’ll get access to your own tax dollars. How nice.

Canadian voters are intelligent enough to decide who to credit for government stimulus spending initiatives. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper has little faith in voters rewarding good, sound decision making over how federal tax revenue is being allocated.

The Conservatives have spread stimulus money across all ridings, but mounting evidence suggests areas with a sitting Conservative MP have received the healthiest slice of the stimulus pie.

Prior to taking power in 2006, Mr. Harper promised Canadians a different brand of politics.

“The Conservative Party wants to give this country direction. We want, and we believe you want, to end corruption and restore honest financial management,” he said in response to a televised address from former Prime Minister Paul Martin regarding the Gomery Inquiry into the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

Instead, we get more of the same.

Stephen’s stimulus slush fund

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Stephen Harper promised to end the pork-barrel politics of his opponents. He promised transparency and accountability over the use of taxpayer money.

His first bill after taking office in 2006 –the Accountability Act –pledged a war on patronage.

The message sounded good to many Canadians weary of the partisan style of government practised for many years when the Liberals held power.

However, it is becoming painfully evident that Mr. Harper’s promises were nothing more than a facade. The prime minister is treating Canadians with the same lack of respect and contempt he promised would change.

The slide began not long after the Conservatives won minority power in 2006. Mr. Harper promised an ambitious plan to curb patronage appointments through the creation of the Public Appointments Commission. Under this initiative, public appointments to federal boards, agencies and commissions would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. This was later scrapped and the prime minister blamed the opposition. The Conservatives continue to make Tory-friendly appointments.

Mr. Harper also promised more open, transparent government, but in fact, has done exactly the opposite. Canadians would be hard-pressed to find an era where the government was more closed and secretive than the Harper years.

The prime minister promised to reform the Access to Information Act. He certainly did, making it easier for the government to withhold information from public scrutiny.

And now we have the Harper stimulus scandal, with MPs presenting cheques carrying the party logo, as if somehow the money came directly from the Conservative Party of Canada. There is also mounting evidence that a higher proportion of stimulus spending projects have been announced in ridings currently held by Conservatives.

This sinister tactic has an underlying strategy.

It has created an inconvenient situation for Liberals to attack the government, based on recent history. Political slush-fund

Stephen Harper has turned the government's stimulus infrastructure spending into a political slush-fund, and is daring his opponents to take him down for it.

Cleverly, he’s found a way to revive the sponsorship scandal that ended the Liberal reign of power.

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has agreed to look into complaints filed by the Liberals and New Democrats into the way infrastructure spending has been represented by Conservative MPs.

The presentation of cheques that carry a party logo or are signed by an MP or cabinet minister other than the minister of finance on behalf of the government give the impression that if you vote Conservative, you’ll get access to your own tax dollars. How nice.

Canadian voters are intelligent enough to decide who to credit for government stimulus spending initiatives. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper has little faith in voters rewarding good, sound decision making over how federal tax revenue is being allocated.

The Conservatives have spread stimulus money across all ridings, but mounting evidence suggests areas with a sitting Conservative MP have received the healthiest slice of the stimulus pie.

Prior to taking power in 2006, Mr. Harper promised Canadians a different brand of politics.

“The Conservative Party wants to give this country direction. We want, and we believe you want, to end corruption and restore honest financial management,” he said in response to a televised address from former Prime Minister Paul Martin regarding the Gomery Inquiry into the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

Instead, we get more of the same.

Stephen’s stimulus slush fund

News Oct 23, 2009 Ancaster News

Stephen Harper promised to end the pork-barrel politics of his opponents. He promised transparency and accountability over the use of taxpayer money.

His first bill after taking office in 2006 –the Accountability Act –pledged a war on patronage.

The message sounded good to many Canadians weary of the partisan style of government practised for many years when the Liberals held power.

However, it is becoming painfully evident that Mr. Harper’s promises were nothing more than a facade. The prime minister is treating Canadians with the same lack of respect and contempt he promised would change.

The slide began not long after the Conservatives won minority power in 2006. Mr. Harper promised an ambitious plan to curb patronage appointments through the creation of the Public Appointments Commission. Under this initiative, public appointments to federal boards, agencies and commissions would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. This was later scrapped and the prime minister blamed the opposition. The Conservatives continue to make Tory-friendly appointments.

Mr. Harper also promised more open, transparent government, but in fact, has done exactly the opposite. Canadians would be hard-pressed to find an era where the government was more closed and secretive than the Harper years.

The prime minister promised to reform the Access to Information Act. He certainly did, making it easier for the government to withhold information from public scrutiny.

And now we have the Harper stimulus scandal, with MPs presenting cheques carrying the party logo, as if somehow the money came directly from the Conservative Party of Canada. There is also mounting evidence that a higher proportion of stimulus spending projects have been announced in ridings currently held by Conservatives.

This sinister tactic has an underlying strategy.

It has created an inconvenient situation for Liberals to attack the government, based on recent history. Political slush-fund

Stephen Harper has turned the government's stimulus infrastructure spending into a political slush-fund, and is daring his opponents to take him down for it.

Cleverly, he’s found a way to revive the sponsorship scandal that ended the Liberal reign of power.

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has agreed to look into complaints filed by the Liberals and New Democrats into the way infrastructure spending has been represented by Conservative MPs.

The presentation of cheques that carry a party logo or are signed by an MP or cabinet minister other than the minister of finance on behalf of the government give the impression that if you vote Conservative, you’ll get access to your own tax dollars. How nice.

Canadian voters are intelligent enough to decide who to credit for government stimulus spending initiatives. Unfortunately, Mr. Harper has little faith in voters rewarding good, sound decision making over how federal tax revenue is being allocated.

The Conservatives have spread stimulus money across all ridings, but mounting evidence suggests areas with a sitting Conservative MP have received the healthiest slice of the stimulus pie.

Prior to taking power in 2006, Mr. Harper promised Canadians a different brand of politics.

“The Conservative Party wants to give this country direction. We want, and we believe you want, to end corruption and restore honest financial management,” he said in response to a televised address from former Prime Minister Paul Martin regarding the Gomery Inquiry into the Liberal sponsorship scandal.

Instead, we get more of the same.