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More on Tony Clement’s pork-barrel politicking.

The Ottawa Citizen and Halifax Chronicle-Herald and their 2 investigative reporters, Glen Mcgregor and Stephen Maher, do some more bang-up reporting on Minister Tony Clement’s riding getting major stimulus projects while other hard-off ridings held by opposition politicians get short-changed:

Minister’s riding landed 15 times more than Nova Scotia riding from fund to help communities

The Ontario riding of Industry Minister Tony Clement received 15 times as much money as a struggling Nova Scotia riding through a $1-billion program intended to help small towns hit by the failure of pulp mills, auto plants and other industries creamed by the global economic downturn. Clement’s Parry Sound-Muskoka riding, which includes both affluent cottage country north of Toronto and poorer areas, got $7.4 million in projects under the Community Adjustment Fund, including $5.1 million for a new university residence, a Citizen-Halifax Chronicle Herald investigation shows.

In contrast, the hard-luck, high-unemployment riding of Sydney Victoria on Cape Breton Island, which is held by a Liberal MP, received three projects worth a total of $480,000, as it struggles to cope with the recent shutdown of three auto parts plants. The unemployment rate in Cape Breton is 13.5 per cent. In Muskoka it is 6.8 per cent. Statistics Canada data shows Parry Sound-Muskoka residents have an average income of $32,518, while Sydney-Victoria is near the bottom, at $25,545.

Clement and the Conservatives can deny deny deny all they want that money like this wasn’t distributed with partisan considerations, but when you see figures like these, the optics are extremely bad. On a related  note, I’ll be very interested to see if someone – be it folks in the media or Gerard Kennedy -  decide to examine how the other ridings that are held by Conservative cabinet Ministers have done with regards to getting stimulus funding, in comparison to surrounding ridings not held by the Conservative Party or in general. That might be very enlightening.


4 comments to More on Tony Clement’s pork-barrel politicking.

  • Roll Tide

    I think the Smitherton statement has taken the Liberal wind out of this issue,–toronto-mp-claims-harper-government-favours-tory-ridings-smitherman-disagrees

    The “at issue panel” last night on Mansbridge touched on this..
    If you micro manage a stimulus program such as the arena program to give equitable results per riding you can make the similar stupid mistake Obama made. Republican Congressman Dreier points out how a Buy American Stimulus policy is actually costing American jobs, (not to mention Canadian jobs)

    Not all ridings have the same needs. There are far more arenas per capita in rural areas then in urban areas, this is due to demand. Scarborough has a declining minor Hockey enrollment while in the GTA and beyond you have waiting lists. Watch the Smitherton interview,he makes a lot of sense.

    • @Roll Tide, Smitherman is not going to say anything to get this partisan bunch upset at him or the Ontario government to dry up the funding. He can say what he wants to.. but the facts (and more importantly the numbers) speak for themselves. This economic stimulus plan is being used to try and fund the Conservatives re-election bid and play favorites with their supporters.. not to do with the overall recovery for all Canadians.

  • Erik

    While I agree with you that Tory ridings are getting unfair amounts of money compared to other, more needy ridings, I feel I need to point of the common misconception about Parry Sound-Muskoka.

    It’s not all rich cottagers. They are part-time residents and leave when the trees turn orange. The permanent residents are largely in a stagnant service economy completely reliant on tourism. There is a lot of poverty here, and a lot of genuine need for good jobs and investment.

    That being said, the money spent here by the dump truck full by Tony Clement is going towards pet projects that will do nothing to improve the economy and create jobs. It’s mostly beautification projects that have little tangible value.

  • Big Winnie

    I agree Scott, I would lke to see additional stats…Let’s prove, once and for all, that the Reform/Cons are favouring their own ridings. Also, I remember back in the spring when Carol Hughes (NDP) mentioned in QP/Member statements that Espanola asked for money to fix sewers/water mains ($32,000) in Espanola and was denied but the Reform/Con member from Brantford stood up a few days later to announce his riding received funding to renovate an arena ($100,000+).

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