Tuesday, October 27, 2009

G8 Summit Boondoggle

Imagine using government money for the Vancouver Olympics to build a botanical garden in Chilliwack. That would seem weird, wouldn't it? Imagine money allocated to clean up the Hamilton Harbour being used to repave roads in Barrie? That wouldn't seem "right" would it? Imagine using money to help host the G8 summit in Huntsville for granite signage in distant Parry Sound ???:

A $50-million fund to build infrastructure for next June's G-8 summit is being spent partly on projects that are far from the summit site and have tenuous links to the high-powered meeting, according to a Canadian Press analysis.

Industry Minister Tony Clement announced the low-profile fund last February, saying it was for G-8 infrastructure, including a new building in Huntsville, Ont.

Huntsville, where the G-8 meeting is being held, is in Clement's riding about 200 kilometres north of Toronto. A partial list of fund projects shows that many of the towns in Clement's riding are receiving money to build bandshells, plant gardens and put up signs and lights.

One news release announced $1.1 million to upgrade a street and replace trees in Parry Sound, about 80 kilometres away from the summit site.

Clement has also announced $194,000 for a large "welcome granite stone" and new lighting for a concert stage, also in Parry Sound.

Sometimes, visual aids are handy. Note the geographical locations:

I'm not sure what is more offensive, that this money was wasted on projects with NO co-relation to the G8 summit, or that Clement has become so ARROGANT and OUT OF CONTROL that he thinks he can pull it off without anybody noticing. Blows my mind.


Steve V said...

A bit more:

"The area just south of Parry Sound is receiving $745,000 for signs, fencing and landscaping in the towns of Rosseau, Humphrey and Orrville.

The towns of Port Severn and South River, many kilometres from the summit, are each getting $65,000 for signs and landscaping, too.

"They're somewhat disconnected (from the summit), for sure, Parry Sound and Port Severn," said Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty.

Bala Falls Road, a small road about 50 kilometres from the summit via another back road, is getting $400,000 for improvements."

Marpman said...

Maybe they have the G8 leaders taking the scenic route....they would need a welcome sign then.

Jesse said...

Better bar room question: Are you more surprised at the irresponsible spending, or at the arrogance?

More seriously, I think the real issue here is about respect for Parliament's oversight of spending. The money was already appropriated for Clement's riding, so this isn't the same slush fund-y scene we're seeing with the stimulus. It's about approving money to go one place, and then just spending it somewhere else, which is a violation of how our country is constituted.

Sadly, though, I don't think you can get people fired up about that.

BlastFurnace said...

I could understand the money going towards the twinning of Hwy 69 into the 400. But some of these items are just -- batty.

rockfish said...

That Jim Prentice seems to be buried under real file work (tho a perfect CON dud) and Clement is scooping up the manna from heaven, complete with the PMs sly approval, leads one to believe the successionary order is being laid down.
That Clement is going completely along with it shows that he is without ethics, too.

RuralSandi said...

Another point - all this money going there - when most are just summer folks. Cottagers.

Also, I find it ironic that this area is Algonquin Park area - you know the region that the Cons make fun of Iggy liking.