I enjoyed John Harding’s recent editorial (MP Santa Claus) about the flurry of pre-election funding announcements by Conservative MP John Duncan, who is running for election in our local riding on behalf of Stephen Harper’s Conservative party.
Harding suggested that Duncan had little choice but to schedule multiple announcements while being photographed handing over government cheques during a short period right before the election writ was dropped. After all, as Harding explained, he is too busy as the Conservative party whip to leave Ottawa.
The fact is that Duncan was fourth highest among all Members of Parliament on the travel expense list in 2014-15. His dependent’s travel was the highest of all 308 MP’s in 2013-14. He certainly seems to have been travelling an awful lot given that, as Harding wrote, he is so darn busy back in Ottawa looking after the nation’s business.
Most Canadians regard the delay of government funding until local Conservative MPs like Duncan can benefit in the same way they view the expenditure of millions of tax dollars on TV and radio commercials that are really thinly veiled political advertisements.
Federal support is much needed by local groups and governments, as Harding pointed out in his editorial. But, these funds are allocated by Parliament and surely they should be made available in a timely manner rather than waiting until Duncan can position himself for a pre-election photo op.
The recent announcement of child care benefits payments by Minister Pollievre while wearing a Conservative Party golf shirt was particularly inappropriate and contrary to Parliamentary rules. His statement that it was Christmas in July was just ignorant.
We should expect more of our elected officials, Duncan included.
Paul KybaQualicum Beach