Why special $3 billion fund must be accounted for up front

  Niagara Falls, Ontario,
Thursday, March 5, 2009
by: Joe Hueglin

The Harper Government is threatening an election (1) unless the special central fund in the 2009-10 Main Estimates which will provide Treasury Board with authority to allocate $3 billion (2) is approved.

The Liberals have tabled a motion to bring accountability to the government?s request. Included in what the motion would have the government do is table in the House, "within one sitting day of each use" of any allocation of monies, a report disclosing among other things "its location (including the federal electoral district in which it is located)." (3)

Having supported passage of the Budget Bill C-10, why have the Liberals "balked at supporting the $3 billion fund"? (4)


Harper's government spokesman Kory Teneycke is inaccurate in saying "'I think this is really a PR stunt, more than anything else".

With the constant threat of an election it's a matter of having accountability for future spending based on the Conservative track record prior to the last election

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation in its "Conservative pre-election spending, June 2 to September 6 2008" report on the distribution of $19,233,543,503 (5) in funding unequivocally shows Conservative held electoral districts received an inordinate amount of funding.

That allocation of the $3 billion be transparent with another election possible at any time is a necessary political reaction, one shared by the Bloc and the NDP who are as aware as the Liberals of the 2008 experience.

The Conservatives will in all probability be facing a most difficult choice, one that cannot this time be avoided by proroguing Parliament a second time to avoid a vote of non-confidence by a coalition of their opponents.


Joe Hueglin

Photo credit: Photograph by : THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tom Hanson

1. Chase, Steven, Harper demands MPs put rush on $3-billion in stimulus spending, February 26, 2009, Toronto Globe and Mail

2. Government of Canada, Frequently asked questions - tabling of the 2009-10 Main Estimates

3. Liberal Party of Canada, Liberals table motion to bring accountability to the government's request for $3 billion in unmarked funding, March 4, 2009, Liberal party of canada

4. Bryden, Joan, Tories, Liberals escalate standoff over stimulus, March 4, 2009, Toronto Star, Canadian Press

5. Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Conservative pre-election spending, June 2 to September 6, 2008


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