During the election campaign, the government explained that the lack of a paper trail for the G8 funding in Tony Clement's riding was the consequence of necessary speed. Things needed to be done quickly, so the necessary checks in the system had to be discarded.
But The Toronto Star reports this morning that plans to funnel G8 funds to Clement's stomping ground began as early as 2008:
Municipal records from Gravenhurst and Bracebridge show that as far back as 2008 Clement and his local Conservative political team in Huntsville began drumming up projects in the Muskoka area that would qualify for G8 legacy funds. Those who had a hand in shepherding the proposals through the approval process were Clement’s constituency team, staff in his ministerial office and government officials under Clement’s authority.
When the Auditor General asked to see documents which tracked the funding, she was told that, “Senior officials were not able to provide us with any information and said their input had not been sought as part of that process.” But documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that:
federal bureaucrats were actively involved in the file at various points, suggesting that senior government officials were either consciously involved in a cover-up or had been kept in the dark about the activities of employees in Industry Canada, including FedNor, Infrastructure Canada and Foreign Affairs, which housed the Federal Summit Management Office.
There is a reason the government sits on information. When such information sees the light of day, it reveals the Harper Government's utter hypocrisy. Let's not forget how Mr. Harper worked himself into a lather over the Sponsorship Scandal and how he rode that scandal to power.
So much for Conservative virtue.