Tony Clement skirted protocols during G8 and G20 summit

We’ll have to watch how this G8 story evolves, if it has any impact on the campaign, but I suspect it will. Reading the updated piece, at the very least Clement skirted protocols, didn’t get approval from Foreign Affairs as required, Parliament was misinformed, transparency the casualty. In addition, the laundry list of expenditures is an eye sore. No matter the government tries to spin it, a complete and utter misuse of taxpayer money, can’t see how anyone can credibly reconcile.

Again, we will have to see where this story goes, but I’m struck by one thing- really, most of this "evidence" was already in the public domain:

Among the projects deemed questionable were: 

» $274,000 on public toilets 20 kilometres from the summit site.

» $100,000 on a gazebo an hour’s drive away. 

» $1.1-million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 kilometres away. 

» $194,000 for a park 100 kilometres away. 

» $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 kilometres away. 

I blogged about the above repeatedly at that time, same with others, the media did give the crazy expenditures full coverage. However, like most issues, without continued oxygen they lose forward momentum and the story moves to the back burners, ultimately forgotten. What proof? Last week Ignatieff demanded this AG report be release, it barely made a dent, a side issue, sort of yesterday’s news. TODAY is important, maybe not so much in what is new, as in we have another layer of condemnation, a more formal verdict, that demands an entire rehash and re-digestion. For anyone that was amazed at some of the expenditures, the blatant misuse, this is a welcome day, because otherwise the government would have ran out the clock, an afterthought release, voter unaware of the abuse.

I could actually care less what this "final" report says, I don’t need the AG to confirm the obvious or massage the tint of blue. You’ll never convince me in a million years that Clement and company used public money appropriately, simple geography his repeated undoing, defies basic common sense.

The AG findings are serious, but from my perspective it was incredibly serious prior to today’s "revelations, the only benefit at least now this G8/G20 disgrace is coming back into focus. The electorate is better for it…

Click HERE to read more from Steve Val.

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