Conservatives claim Liberals broke rules with summer spending tour handing out billions
Liberal MPs and ministers finished their summer with a flourish of spending announcements that, in many cases, focused on regions of the country where the governing party will be most active seeking votes in the coming election.
The spending tour — there were more than a hundred events last week alone in which Liberal MPs made 2,970 new spending commitments — brought an official complaint to Canada’s Elections Commission from the Conservatives that the Liberals were inappropriately campaigning on the public purse.
“The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, and Parliamentary Secretaries have been criss-crossing the country making partisan announcements where they have been weaving campaign narratives into official government speeches and news releases,” Conservative MP Peter Kent wrote in his complaint to the commissioner. “Of equal, if not greater concern, is the fact that they have invited non-elected Liberal Party of Canada candidates to attend these official, taxpayer-funded government announcements.”
Kent claims this behaviour violates election finance laws.
The Conservatives, though, engaged their own flurry of spending announcements just before the 2015 election, though the Liberals have easily eclipsed what the Conservatives did.
For example, two Liberal MPs in Alberta — Randy Boissonnault and Kent Hehr — made 69 and 59 new spending commitments, respectively, just in the last month worth just under $100 million.
Boissonnault was given the task of handing out grants to women-led businesses and to arts and culture groups in northern Alberta. Eleven of those grant recipients were in his riding of Edmonton Centre. Hehr also provided grants to arts and culture groups in Calgary and southern Alberta as well as for some programs to promote Indigenous language use, for a housing project, to a clean-tech business, and for a major Calgary infrastructure project. Of the spending commitments Hehr made in August, 17 of the funding recipients are in his riding of Calgary Centre.
For August, Boissonnault and Hehr made the most spending commitments of any MP who is not a cabinet minister.
Overall, for the month of August, the Liberals made 4,545 new spending commitments worth a combined $12.8 billion. That compares to the Conservative record of 604 new spending commitments worth a combined $1.4 billion in the month prior to the August 2, 2015 election call. – Global News
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…Overall, for the month of August, the Liberals made 4,545 new spending commitments worth a combined $12.8 billion….
That’s just for August…
Buying your votes using money. Its enough to make you sick. I think our government should formed using the same method that juries are formed. Names are drawn at random. You serve for one year. Then you are done. Process repeats.