October Surprise

Outside of the NHL’s playoff schedule, we haven’t had many outside events impact this election. Until today:

Tories misled Parliament on G8 spending: Auditor-General

The Harper government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on dubious projects in a Conservative riding, the Auditor-General has concluded.

And she suggests the process by which the funding was approved may have been illegal.

The findings are contained in a confidential report Sheila Fraser was to have tabled in Parliament on April 5. The report analyzed the $1-billion cost of staging last June’s G8 summit in Ontario cottage country and a subsequent gathering of G20 leaders in downtown Toronto.

Even though all four parties have called for the final report to be made public, as per procedure, it cannot be released until Parliament resumes post-election.

John Baird assures us that the second draft he’s seen is glowing in its praise of the Harper government. That must have been one heck of a re-write – my guess is Baird is either full of it, or he read the draft after Bev Oda had been through with it. After all, if there’s a draft out there that praises the government, I can’t for the life of me imagine it not getting leaked.

As for what it means to the campaign, it’s hard to say. It certainly gives Ignatieff ammo heading into the debates, and gives him an entry-point to revive the G20 waste issues. Whenever Harper talks about being a prudent fiscal manager, all Ignatieff has to do is point to million dollar fake lakes and gazebos.

Beyond that, I’m skeptical this is a game-changer. After all, we already knew the G20 was a boondoggle and this hole election was triggered because the Tories misled Parliament. This isn’t new. Still, a scandal about wasting taxpayer dollars is a lot more relevant to voters than who or what Bruce Carson may have been doing after leaving Harper’s inner circle.

Stay tuned.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in 2011 Federal Election, Federal Politics, Scandals

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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