enquiry. Day after day month after month they demanded to know where and how and with what authority the money had been used. I remember the promise to the people of Canada that this leader and this political party made about being an open government, a transparent government and an honest government. They did not promise to be as open as possible, as transparent as possible, or as open as possible while conducting their Canada make over. They were going to put an end to government gifts, patronage spending and appointments to friends and political allies, but this did not happen. The size of their government is one of the largest if not the largest in Canada’s history. They are a government full of scandals and the only way they get away with it is by being the most closed-door government in the history of Canada. Their idea of being transparent is to label everything on paper that the opposition asks for vital to be kept secret under the reason of national security, or simply to have no paper trail at all and that brings me to Minister Tony Clement and his G8 patronage slush fund. This was clearly a political boondoggle and without question a vote-buying scheme the likes never before seen in Canadian history. No money for First Nations People, No money for seniors, no money for tuition aid, no money for the arts, no money for research and no money for just about all social programming, but yes to 50 million dollar Legacy Fund in Tony Clement’s riding.
This is a story of a guy who barely was able to win his riding, before he gave the people in his riding close to 50 million dollars in tax payer monies.
The Conservative government did not come out and say we would like to give Tony Clement’s riding 50 million dollars as a legacy fund for hosting the G8 summit, that would have been open, transparent and honest. Instead this government led by Steven Harper asked for the 50 million dollars for something that the opposition parties were unable to say no to and that was to improve and make more secure our borders and then take the monies without doing any improvements to the border and transfer it into a 50 million dollar fund to one riding, Tony Clement’s riding; this was not very open, not very transparent and a bold face lie making these actions not very honest either. What is really funny is that the Safety Minister Vic Toews said nothing and did nothing about it, like stop it, or object to it publicly. Did Vic Toews think that it was more important to have this money diverted to the Legacy Program then to have it used to secure and strengthen our borders?
I wished that this was the end to it but it is not, because this government who already had the distinction of being the only government in the history of Canada to be found guilty of contempt of Parliament refuses to come clean when asked questions about the Legacy Fund in the House of Commons. This government lies to the Auditor General Sheila Fraser and says it has failed to do its paper work properly, but assures her that the money was spent correctly and that they will do better next time hoping that the digging for the truth will stop. The delay works Sheila Fraser retires, scolds the Conservative party for not doing very good with the paper work, but in an election fight that is not as bad as saying that they misappropriated tax payer dollars to boost ony Clement’s popularity in his riding. In fact where the G8 was held to everything that happened during and after resulting in the misuse of 50 million dollars of tax payer money had to do with Tony Clement’s popularity. the sad fact is that Canadians knew that this government did not feel any shame for being found in contempt of parliament because they ran their campaign based on the fact that scandals were just a part of the way government works and misappropriation of funds is business as usual on the hill and Canadians swallowed it hook,. line and sinker.
Auditor General Sheila Fraser says the Harper government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on dubious projects in a Conservative riding. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Tony Clement was the chairperson and presided over the committee and the meetings that set up the criteria for getting monies for the legacy fund and he ran it out of his riding office, but he did not stop there. Tony had his riding staff handle all of the communications between the mayors in his riding and their staff so that not a scrap of paper or a phone call would or could be trace back to the 50 million dollars, or to where the auditor general might get a hint of what was really going on or where the monies were being taken from and it almost worked. I say almost because the Conservative party did get elected in spite of it, because they played like it was nothing new and political parties did this kind of legacy all the time, but they were of course lying to Canadians, Sheila Fraser and parliament.
Never before has the a government allowed a Minister to take 50 million dollars of tax payer money diverted from its purpose of securing our borders and put into something as trivial as a legacy fund. Tony Clement goes one step further though in trying to hide his actions. Tony decides to make his own applications for requesting monies from the fund. He uses his own made up document instead of the official documentation for this purpose. Why does Tony Clement do this? I think that Tony Clement does this so that Sheila Fraser does not find out and that it can be hidden and slip under the radar of the opposition parties, because of the simple fact that it is non official paper work and as such will never be asked for.
Well I think that the truth of the matter is finally coming out and to the surface about Tony Clement and this Harper led strong, stable, majority Conservative government and their ideas on what open transparent and honest government is. No political party is free of corruption, but this is the party that came to power with the mission of stamping it out. I can not say if they have broken any laws, but I can say that they have broken a trust, a promise and the mandate given to them by Canadians to reform the non open, non transparent and dishonest ways that other governments had been using to run this country.
I think that their actions and refusal to abide by well established Canadian laws, instead of opting to create all sorts of new laws to help them achieve their purposes, or just ignoring the ones they can not alter, prove that they do not respect the law, the people they serve, or the country they are sworn to serve and put before all things, even their personal desires for greatness and power. The way Tony Clement handled the Legacy Fund and continues not to come clean just exemplifies and brings into the light how little this government thinks of the law and what we think of them. Tony Clement needs to be made to account for his actions in this matter and if there is indeed wrong doing on his part and others they need to be punished by Prime Minister Harper, the courts, or parliament in accordance with the law of whatever this act of his treachery, and helping to keep our borders weaker than they should be, falls under.
- Kelly McParland: The quiet conniving of Tony Clement (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- NDP targets Clement over G8 legacy funding (cbc.ca)
- Clement controlled G8 cash through riding office: NDP critic (canada.com)
- Clement presided over G8 legacy funding in local riding (macleans.ca)
- NDP accuse Clement of using G8 cash as ‘slush fund’ (cbc.ca)