06.21.2011 01:28 PM

Their friends, your money

OTTAWA – The RCMP is looking into allegations that the Harper government misappropriated funds in order to lavish $50 million on a cabinet minister’s riding prior to last year’s G8 summit.

The probe comes on the heels of an auditor general’s report earlier this month, which concluded the government “did not clearly or transparently” explain how the money was going to be spent when it sought Parliament’s approval for a G8 legacy fund for Tony Clement’s riding.

The Mounties’ involvement was prompted by a complaint from former Liberal MP Marlene Jennings. She was interviewed for an hour last week by three RCMP officers.

“My sense is that they’re taking it very seriously,” Jennings said in an interview Tuesday.

“My sense is that they’re looking at this to see if there are any elements of proof that there may have been wilful intention to mislead Parliament.”

 

15 Comments

  1. Cath says:

    Interesting that it’s taken a full month for Jennings to get media interested in this old news.

    The article also says:

    “John Wiersema, the acting auditor general, said the word “misinformed” was deleted from the final report because auditors found no evidence the government was trying to deliberately mislead Parliament. Rather, he said it appeared the government had been motivated by “expediency.”

    “Having said all that, going to Parliament requesting money for one thing and using it for something else is a serious matter which we think deserves parliamentary attention,” Wiersema told a news conference after releasing the final report.

    As for dropping any reference to possible illegality, Wiersema initially said he’s “not aware of any specific law that was broken.” He later conceded, however, that the matter is not clear and suggested it’s up to politicians, not the auditor general’s office, to determine whether “anything illegal took place.”

    “I think the legal profession could have an interesting, long debate about the wording of the Appropriations Act and whether or not this was inside or outside of the Appropriations Act. We chose not to go there.”

    Hey but check this out – the CPC and the Libs. are UP in the polls. So, how is it when the LPOC stays quiet that the poll nos. are going up? Could it be that that downward slide is already starting for the NDP?

    http://www.torontosun.com/news

    • Warren says:

      Nice try, kiddo. The Auditor doesn’t determine police investigations, the police do. They’d read the AG report, but not be bound by it.

      • Cath says:

        Yep, I know:-) Interesting polls stuff though, huh?

        • Philip says:

          So the RCMP deciding to investigate the $50,000,000 spent in Mr. Clement’s riding is no big thing? Harper’s 14 point lead in a Nanos poll makes everything OK? Wow.

          • wilson says:

            The RCMP are following up on a “referral”,
            and have not (yet) decided on an investigation.

            http://www.canada.com/news/RCMP+receives+referral+over+spending+allegations/4982292/story.html

            This reminds me of Jennings and Hollands stunt with boxes of files left behind at a CPC MPs office.
            Note, neither were re-elected.

          • Philip says:

            Pull the other one Sunshine. I see you are following instructions right to the letter.
            Step One: misappropriate $50,000,000 from Canadian taxpayers to spend in Tony Clement’s riding on gazebos and parks.
            Step Two: reap the rewards of your investment.
            Step Three: when caught flop around in a panic blaming everyone but yourselves.
            FYI Wilson, that $50,000,000 is Canadian’s money, not the Conservative’s private slush fund.

  2. JH says:

    Marlene Jennings? Puhleeze! This is what caused the LIbs downfall in the first place. Scandal a day bullspit led by an individual with very little public profile, trust or any degree of competency.
    This is not going to help Rae or the rebuilding process. There’s work to be done and this only distracts from it.

    • Jan says:

      The AG’s report should have at leasted invited a look see by the RCMP.

    • Ted says:

      How big does the scandal and the lies have to get before they breach the “scandal a day bullspit” dike threshold? Seeing as lying to Parliament and passing $50M around to your buddies doesn’t qualify for you.

      Oh, but it looks like the RCMP may have a lower threshold than you do.

      If this happened two months ago, the Tories would not be in government today.

  3. ben burd says:

    Listen to John Baird’s arrogant response and you will pride going before a fall
    on this one

  4. nic coivert says:

    This will come to nought, shows how deep the influence peddling is in this party. Harper now more feared than ever.

  5. JH says:

    Some say if this had happened 2 months ago the Tories would not be in government. With the way the opposition has innoculated the voters I’m not so sure, yet it seems intent on going down the same road this session. But at any rate, even if the Tories would not have been there – neither would the Liberals. As Shakespeare said ‘ay, there’s the rub’.

  6. Outsider says:

    Sadly, coming at the start of the term is going to mean it all comes to naught … simply because such a significant percentage of voters today have the attention span of a mayfly, don’t give a shit about issues of complexity because that would involve some self-education, and just can’t be bothered going to the trouble of truly understanding what this government has been up to the past several years.

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