He is crap - If Harper keeps him his ability to state we have an honest Govt is in tatters. Write or email you MP and the PM. It is easy to add in a number of MP's for CC on an email. Do it on a regular basis. This Clement is crap
Little known fact - Harpers campaign provided a 10 K donation when Clement was running for the Leadership - It split the Ontario vote and as well affected Belinda.
Paperwork for G8 spending 'not perfect,' Clement says - Politics - CBC News
Treasury Board president Tony Clement says the way the G8 legacy fund was handled "was not perfect" and he's learned his lessons, but that he's qualified to be in charge of the public purse.
Clement was forced to defend his reputation and current role in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet while he testified at the House of Commons public accounts committee Wednesday about the controversial $50-million fund that was used for infrastructure projects in his Parry Sound-Muskoka riding north of Toronto.
"The paperwork for this was not perfect. It should have been better and I take my share of the responsibility for that and certainly I have learned that there are different ways and better ways to provide for these kinds of intake processes and I will commit myself to using those," Clement said.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, the former infrastructure minister whose department was responsible for the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund, also appeared at the committee with Clement and they each explained their roles in the fund, and how it unfolded.
Clement announced the fund, on behalf of Baird, in February 2009 and he said mayors in his riding began drafting proposals to access the cash and came up with 242 ideas. Clement said he suggested to them that they decide amongst themselves what their priority projects would be and to weed out some of the proposals.
Throughout the preparations for the summit that was held in June 2010 at a resort in Huntsville, Ont., Clement said he acted as an intermediary between the local communities and the federal government and that he viewed that as part of his job as the MP for the area.
He said he offered his constituency office in Huntsville as a "depository" for the applications and then they were forwarded to officials in Baird's department in Ottawa. Thirty-three projects were presented for approval, one was withdrawn, Baird signed off on them and officials managed the administration of the projects once they were approved.
Clement denied that he had a hand in choosing the 32 projects and said the municipalities did it themselves, something Liberal MP Gerry Byrne on the committee found incredulous.
"In hindsight, it may have been better for infrastructure officials to review all 242 initial proposals and not simply encourage the local mayors to collaborate and focus their requests in the interests of efficiency and time," Clement said.
He also said he hoped his appearance at the committee would put an end to the opposition's attempts to keep the controversy alive.
"Today I am hopeful that ... we can finally put an end to the assertions contending that the review process undertaken was in any way unethical and that members can then move on to their reviews of other government operations pertaining to the rest of a large $280-billion federal budget," he said.
Border fund 'topped up' to pay for G8 projects
A report on the fund by retired auditor general Sheila Fraser determined that no bureaucrats in Ottawa were involved in the selection process, there was no paper trail to show how they were selected and that MPs unknowingly approved the $50-million fund. When they approved $83 million for the border fund they were not told that $50 million would go towards the projects in Clement's riding.
"The Border Infrastructure Fund was topped up," Baird said. "Money that was designed for border infrastructure was not diverted from improvements to border security or mobility, it was merely a delivery mechanism."
He said he allowed the border fund to be used based on advice from department officials and that he stands by his decision. Creating a whole new program just for the G8 legacy fund would have taken too long and there was an urgency to get the money out the door so that projects could be completed by the summit date, he said.
"My mission was to get things moving and with this fund time was of the essence," said Baird.
The foreign affairs minister said in hindsight, the spending approval documents presented to MPs could have included a line about money from the border fund going to the G8 fund and one of his officials at the meeting agreed that would have been "much wiser."
"The auditor general has said we should've been clearer to Parliament ... she's right. It should have been and next time it will," said Baird.
The money was used for a variety of projects, some nowhere near the summit site, including a community centre expansion worth $16.7 million, new sidewalks, gazebos, signage, flower baskets, landscaping and new public washrooms in towns throughout the riding. When other Canadian cities have hosted G8 meetings they also received money as thanks from the federal government and to help them upgrade and beautify infrastructure. Those funds were in the neighbourhood of $4 million and $5 million.
'I believe that my record is a good record, it's an untainted record, it's a record of probity and honesty.'
—Tony Clement, Treasury Board presidentOpposition MPs have accused Clement of creating a slush fund designed to boost his popularity and other wrongdoing and have been hammering away at him in the House of Commons for weeks.
Every time the NDP has asked a question of him, however, Baird has risen to answer. Clement said following his testimony Wednesday that Baird was the minister responsible for the fund and had he taken any of the questions himself, it would have broken down the wall of ministerial accountability. He said he was happy to appear at the committee to answer questions.
During the committee meeting, NDP MP Charlie Angus questioned Clement's capability as a minister and suggested that given what happened with the G8 fund, he should not be the man in charge of the Treasury Board.
"I believe that my record is a good record, it's an untainted record, it's a record of probity and honesty. I try and do my job the best I can for the people who have not only elected me but for the people of Canada and I will continue to do so in my new role as president of the Treasury Board," Clement shot back.
Later he told reporters that he would take the lessons he's learned from the auditor general's report with him to Treasury Board and implement her recommendations.
Angus, after the meeting, said MPs on the committee "got a complete run-around" and their questions weren't answered. He's still concerned about the lack of a paper trail to demonstrate how the projects were picked, and he said the bigger issue is why Harper promoted Clement to Treasury Board.