The Harper government approved 148 appointments to federal boards and agencies, long used as rewards for supporters of the party in power, as the election neared, The Canadian Press has learned.
Cabinet handed out the pots in three rounds, the first only two days before Parliament recessed for the summer, the second on July 30, at peak holiday time for politicians and political journalists, and the third less than a week before Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the election for Oct. 14.
Mr. Harper, who railed against Liberal patronage in the 2006 election, later failed to deliver on a campaign pledge to put an independent commission in charge of vetting cabinet appointments. He angrily shelved the idea after opposition MPs refused to ratify his nomination of Gwyn Morgan, a Calgary oil baron who is also a friend of the prime minister, as the commission chair.
...the Canadian Taxpayers Federation criticized Mr. Harper for not carrying through with his promise to change the patronage system.It's OK if you're a Conservative! See what Mr. Harper gets away with!
“It's business as usual, rewarding party faithful,” said Adam Taylor, acting national director of the federation.
Recall as well the ten percenters that the Conservatives flooded ridings across the country with this summer, at the taxpayers expense, of course. Spending twice as much money as any of the other parties.
And recall the taxpayer refunds the Conservatives sought for their candidates who participated in the in-and-out election advertising scheme in the last federal election. Elections Canada disallowed 67 Conservative candidates' local expenditures because they were in fact national. The Conservatives are still fighting Elections Canada to maintain these taxpayer rebates for their candidates.
Linin' up at the public trough...I don't think ordinary Canadians appreciate this kind of stuff when economic times are tight for everyone...
See also BCer, with an excellent blog post title on this...