Friday, June 19, 2009

Peter MacKay Paves the Way For Chosen Few

Since few people in the media are concerned with the way in which the stimulus money is being doled out, it's difficult sometimes to find information.

However, just start with those you know will be corrupt, and it will probably lead you in the right direction.

I started with Peter MacKay, if for no other reason than that he's Peter MacKay, who if not king of backroom deals, is certainly a member of that royal family.


It would seem that if you live in Nova Scotia and did not elect a Tory MP, you've been sentenced to an enduring lifetime of potholes and wagon trails, because you ain't gettin' no money, honey. And who said votes can't be bought?

Paving the Way for Tories

Contarian provides an excellent map of Nova Scotia, with of course blue being the Conservative ridings and red Liberal. The orange NDP represents a small margin and since they only requested one grant, it was given.

The brown on the map is important because that was Bill Casey's old riding and he resigned in April, so it's up for grabs. Mr. Casey sat as an independent after being thrown out of the Tory caucus for not supporting the budget. It's always been a Conservative riding so it's probably in the bag. However, to be sure, Baird approved 7 out of 8, or 88% of their requests.

In contrast, Liberal ridings were only approved for 22% of theirs while Tory ridings got a whopping 83%. Thank heavens for transparency in government. Accountability - now that's a different story.

I'm still waiting to see who gets the contracts. I'll let you know what Tory friends and family will be movin' on up.

Federal patronage paving rural N.S. roads, blogger finds
Ottawa Bureau
June 18, 2009

OTTAWA — The federal Tories appear to be using infrastructure stimulus spending to reward Conservative ridings in Nova Scotia with hot tar, according to research by blogger Parker Donham.

The province submitted a list of rural paving projects to the federal government to get a piece of a $4-billion fund designed to stimulate the economy during the global recession.

On April 30, the two levels of government announced $55.8 million in projects. Mr. Donham, a former journalist, used the province’s freedom of information law to get the list of projects that the province submitted for federal approval.

He found that the province had proposed 39 paving projects, but only 20 were approved. Of those, 10 were in Tory ridings and seven others were in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, which was represented by Independent Bill Casey until recently. A byelection in the traditionally Tory riding must be scheduled for the months ahead.

"Projects in ridings held by Conservative MPs were almost four times as likely to receive federal approval as those in Liberal-held ridings," wrote Mr. Donham on his

Nova Scotia has a long tradition of winning rural votes with the judicious application of pavement.

Mr. Donham’s research shows that six of seven projects proposed for Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s Central Nova riding were approved, while only one of seven was approved for Kings-Hants, the riding of Mr. MacKay’s longtime rival, Liberal Scott Brison.

Only three of 10 projects proposed for the two Liberal Cape Breton ridings were approved, while four of five projects in the Conservative ridings of South Shore-St. Margarets and West Nova got federal funding.

Halifax-area ridings, without extensive highway systems, were mostly ineligible.

"It sure smacks of old-time patronage,"
said NDP MP Peter Stoffer. "You’ve got a Conservative government. You had a provincial Conservative government. And where does most of the pork go but those Conservative ridings? And with Mr. Casey gone, they’re obviously trying to pave to the hearts of those constituents."

Spokesmen for Mr. MacKay and federal Transport Minister John Baird did not refute the allegation of patronage pavement.

"Peter’s a very hard-working member of Parliament," said Dan Dugas, spokesman for Mr. MacKay. "I don’t know about . . . this website. I can tell you the minister is very proud of the work being delivered to Nova Scotia to put shovels in the ground, for all Nova Scotia and for the region. And as political minister, he is delivering worthwhile projects that meet Treasury Board criteria."

Chris Day, a spokesman for Mr. Baird, also declined to address the patronage accusation.

"Projects are selected jointly by both the federal and provincial governments," he said. "All of the approved projects met the required criteria under the plan. We look forward to working with Nova Scotia’s newly elected government to identify even more federal-provincial projects."

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