The Bravery of Being Out of Range

So, the Auditor General has finally released the report on the government’s G8 spending. This is, of course, the report that first came to light as leaked information during the recent election, but did not come out in its entirety because the AG would not release the document without parliamentary approval. Since the government was in flux during the election, there wasn’t a parliament to give that approval. As a result, the contentious claim that the report highlights government mismanagement of funds and unapproved expenditures could not be verified. And, what cannot be verified is apt to be denied by the party in default.

At the time, the Harper government patently denied any wrongdoing and, knowing full well that it could not happen, called for the immediate release of the final report. After all, they claimed, they were certain that the final report would vindicate them and prove all of the opposition accusations false. Big, brave claims that anybody can feel comfortable making, knowing full well that they can’t be challenged on them.

Now the report is out and, surprise surprise, it shows that the accusations were entirely accurate after all.

And, nobody will care, nor can there be any real backlash.

All of those voters who put Harper in government in the first election because of the indignity of the many and various lies, cheating and stealing of the Liberal predecessors showed themselves to be phoney moralists when they gave him his majority this year, despite the ample evidence of the same scandals and messes during his rule. The fact that this official report outlines the ways in which the Conservatives misappropriated funds, hid and denied the way money was being spent and spent money on items for which they had not gotten approval will not change the thinking of people who voted in a Harper majority despite a plethora of other proven lies and deception.

Even if it did, the guy has four trouble-free years to spend screwing up the country and lying some more before he could possibly be held accountable for it.

Specifically, the Harper government took $50million out of an $83million fund that was approved to improve border security decrease border congestion, and spent it on frivolous infrastructure improvements hundreds of kilometers from any border. There is no indication as to how the projects were approved or decided on, other than the fact that they all were conducted in Conservative MP Tony Clement’s riding. There’s no paper trail. There’s no transparency.

Of course, Harper’s people and his supporters will most likely crow about how they didn’t do anything wrong, or didn’t do anything that hasn’t been done by previous Liberal governments. I don’t know if they will be right or wrong on that last point, and I don’t much care. The point is that these are supposed to be the guys that were going to be ethical and clean up government! You don’t get to be those guys and pull the stunts that you claim your “enemy” pulls.

Not only did the money not get spent on border projects, which it had been intended for, but it wasn’t even spent in places where the G8 members visited, which is what the government claimed it would be used for. Instead, park benches, granite signs and gazebos were constructed on the tax-payer dime out of a fund set up for border infrastructure in places completely unrelated to the G8, but completely relevant to Tony Clement’s reelection efforts.

Just imagine how much more fun the Conservatives will have with money, particularly Tony Clement, now that Clement is in charge of the Treasury Board. Isn’t that kind of like putting the guy that broke into your house in charge of your bank accounts?

What a depressing mess our democracy is when the government lies to the citizens and the citizens defend the lies. Welcome to Harperia. Long live the King.

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