Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bacon butties in poutine country

Via Vijay Sappani this CanWest article detailing the amount of development money being handed out. This will come as a total shocker, but Conservative-held ridings in Quebec, coincidentally, receive more than ridings held by other parties. A lot more.
The Harper government has been channelling a disproportionate amount of economic development money in Quebec into Conservative-held ridings, a Canwest News Service analysis has found.

Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions has a mandate to promote "long-term economic development" in Quebec by issuing grants and loans to businesses, non-profit organizations and communities. According to the agency's governing legislation, it is supposed to give special attention to regions where "slow economic growth is prevalent or where opportunities for productive employment are inadequate."


On average, each Conservative seat received $10.8 million in economic development money. That is more than one and a half times the average of $6.6 million that Bloc Quebecois ridings have received, and more than three times the $3.2-million average for Liberal ridings.

This is hardly "new". It seems to me all governments do this. They did the same thing in the UK. Living in Nova Scotia it was particularly noticeable. So, why is this such an issue?

The Harper government rode to power roughly two years ago in the wake of the sponsorship scandal, which revealed that a program designed to promote federalism in Quebec funnelled cash to advertising and communications firms connected with the Liberal party. In their campaign platform, Harper's Conservatives vowed to end "old-style politics" and "replace a culture of entitlement and corruption with a culture of accountability."
That's the issue. Harper said he wouldn't do it.

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