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More Tony Clement hilarity.

A hat tip to Steve V on his excellent blogpost on this new bit of partisan pork barrel hilarity and hi-jinks from Industry Minister Tony Clement. After reading this and finding out that Clement has engaged in more pork barrel partisan shenanigans for his riding, I really want to know – did Clement secretly get named by Stephen Harper to a new portfolio called The Minister for Conservative Pork Barrelling? I mean, Clement barely tried hiding this as legitimate spending efforts:

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. 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.

Okay, so in this first paragraph on the story, eyebrows can get raised at Clement and the Conservatives for trying to claim that planting gardens and putting up signs is somehow “G-8 Infrastructure”, but then this next part is the kicker:

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.

I’m going to import Steve’s helpful “visual aid” to show where exactly Parry Sound is in relation to the G8 summit in Huntsville:

Only 80 km away...

Here’s some more stuff Steve found, which even the Mayor of Huntsville is admitting seems to be a bit odd in trying to show its spending for the G-8 Summit:

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.

Apparently, Tony decided that anything spent on his riding could be justified by saying it was for the G-8 Summit. Unless the G-8 leaders decided to take a cross-country road trip over to Parry Sound, I’m having trouble figuring out how this spending was well-spent, except in Tony’s view a way to help him get re-elected to the riding the next time around.

8 comments to More Tony Clement hilarity.

  • I’m a Parry Sound resident, and although my local area is reaping the benefits of federal government spending, see the absurdity in the amount of spending the Conservative Party…err…I mean fed. govt. (hard to make the distinction) is spending in my immediate area. It is like they’re blurring the lines between infrastructure spending/home improvement tax credit/G8 spending.

  • Dan

    What will Port Severn do with $65000? Pave the parking lot at the general store? Trim the long grass around the LCBO?

  • Mark Watson

    Even Andy Mitchell, and the retired general Lewis MacKenzie that ran in this riding against him in ’97, would know that Parry Sound, Rosseau and these other communities are well away from the conference site.

    Unless Clement can show he is planning a whirlwind tour for the delegates or their spouses, these monies should NOT be tagged as related to the conference.

    Why not simply acknowledge that these areas are deserving of the monies and leave it at that? Unless Tony has ‘something’ to hide…

    Old (Mike Harris) habits die hard, eh Tony?

  • Big Winnie

    Oink! Oink!

  • As a former Muskokan transplanted to QC, I know the territory well.

    The “only” places that should be getting G8 monies are the entire length of highway from Pearson, along the 401 to the 400, the 400 to the 11/400 split in Barrie, the 11 to Huntsville, passing through Gravenhurst and Bracebridge, the Hwy 60 turnoff from the 11 through to Deerhurst along the 60. Yes, lots of hwy, but none anywhere near Parry Sound, or any other town, in Muskoka. And there ain’t much you can do to beautify the 11 – unless you want to paint the Weber’s bridge, the facade of the Muskoka Store (or get rid of the XXX shop across the way), rebuild the Shell that burnt down at the Kashe Lake exit, or get rid of the crappy box stores at the corner of the 11 and running to Centre along the 60 going through Huntsville…

    This all assumes that Obama et al won’t land at Pearson and take a heli up and land on the Deerhurst golf course…so stimulus money this is not…

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