As a Conservative Government supporter, I am very disappointed that PM Stephen Harper is seemingly doing nothing about Minister Tony Clement’s Muskoka pork barrelling.
Yes, I know all the improvements were for the G8, that the money was allegedly for “infrastructure” and that the Conservative government claims it will do a better job next time of providing a paper trail. Well, that is not good enough! No governing political party should be able to just shrug things off as their “right” and be able to spend public money like there is no tomorrow and without consequence.
Frankly, the whole matter smells to high heaven. No, it is not like the Sponsorship Scandal. No money was spent on bogus projects or passed on to the Conservative Party. And, yes, it was apparently part of the stimulus package. But, frankly, it is similar to when former PM Jean Chretien flooded his own riding with taxpayer largesse.
The problem is that Conservatives didn’t like it when the federal Liberals did it and we don’t like it now. As many regular readers know, I worked for an Ontario PC MPP during the first Mike Harris mandate and I know what should go on in a Constituency Office, whether it is federal or provincial. The member does NOT normally, for example, have direct access to spending millions and millions of dollars of taxpayers money beyond his own MP budget! (H/T National Newswatch.)
Remember also, prior to and during the 2004 and 2006 election campaigns, Mr. Harper said they were going to do things differently!! Well, just shrugging things off and saying they will manage the “process” better “next time” is not good enough.
Remember, the Conservatives now have a majority government. So, more than ever they must be seen to do things differently. And, one way to do that is to hold Ministers accountable. As such, Minister Clement should be immediately removed as the head of the Treasury Board to spend some time on the backbenches.
I was telephoned this week and asked to donate to the CPC. I said no and this is why. And, I’ll bet you can multiple my reaction by the thousands. As I have written before, the Liberal Party of Canada has not yet really accepted why they are no longer the natural governing party, nor why they fell so fast and so far. I would hope the Conservative Party of Canada learned a lesson from that.