Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Taxpayers Foot Bill for Tory Fundraisers

Since the Conservatives first took power in 2006, their governing has been one long political campaign, while constantly finding ways to make Canadians pay for it. From the abuse of mail outs to using the House of Commons for partisan and often personal attacks on their opponents; they stop at nothing.

However, an investigative report by the Toronto Star has revealed another scheme, that helps keep the Conservative Party coffers filled, at taxpayer's expense.

They creatively schedule fundraisers around government trips on our dime. So much for accountability.

When Defence Minister Peter MacKay flew to British Columbia in January, he split his time between government business and two Tory fundraising gigs. tAxpayers footed the bill. When then-Indian affairs minister Jim Prentice flew to Nova Scotia to meet with provincial chiefs, he headlined a conservative fundraising dinner in Prince Edward Island. Taxpayers paid for the trip.

And when Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn jetted off from a Quebec fisheries forum to attend a government meeting in Manitoba, he also guest-starred at a local Tory fundraising banquet. The federal Conservatives – elected on Promises to be squeaky clean – are using government resources to help fill their election war chest ....

Tories' expense records changed on website
The Conservative government has twice altered expense records for international trips after the Star questioned their high cost. The Records in a publicly available website were changed – thousands of dollars removed in one case and a lengthy journey shortened in Another – for trips by then-foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier and Brian Jean, parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport.

The government refused to provide the Star with printed records – tickets, hotel records – that would verify the changes. The travel records are kept on the Federal government's website under the heading "Proactive Disclosure." It's an attempt, begun by the previous government, to make government expense reports and contracts immediately available to the public for scrutiny ....


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