Well, not directly. But I can’t help noticing that the $1 million which the Diefenbaker-era National Council of Welfare would have used next year to publish its regular reports on child poverty and welfare levels in our country, if it hadn’t been shut down, instead got spent on this very important and highly worthy cause:
Rabbi Mendelsohn submitted a proposal on behalf of his Ottawa-based national organization to expand the Chabad in Markham. The project promises a new fully accessible social hall, kitchen, classrooms and gym, and programs for the disabled.
A briefing note to Ms. Finley from Human Resources officials said the internal federal assessment found “a number of weaknesses” with the proposal and gave it 53 out of 100.
“Given that the cut-off score was 82/100, this project was not one of the 25 sent for external evaluation,” states the Aug. 26, 2011, memo obtained by The Globe and Mail under Access to Information.
The rabbi in question is a declared “good friend” of foreign minister John Baird, whose office freely admits that he intervened on Mendelsohn’s behalf. After that happened, Finley ordered a new evaluation of the project, and it got an even lower score. As a result, she approved it.
The good rabbi, who is either a wily old cynic or a complete twit, opines that his “gut” feeling on the whole matter is that organizations like his aren’t well-known enough to get a “fair shot” and that they’re entirely “deserving” of such ministerial favours. My gut feeling is that the money should have gone to a project which actually met the criteria for funding, or, barring that, to a decades-old government institution like the National Welfare Council. I draw this comparison in order to demonstrate that, far from this government being a “responsible financial manager” or whatever the rhetoric of the day is, what they are actually in the business of is transferring money from the public sector to their friends, allies, and supporters.
Both the Enabling Accessibility Fund and the late National Council of Welfare are administered by Minister Diane Finley, the wife of Senator Doug Finley of election money laundering infamy. The fact that she would intervene in this manner shows both why my own Pork Barrel project is so important, and also why it is so unable to track the true extent of this government’s corruption. Not without the government posting full and frank details of every granting program on the Internet, which, come to think of it, is exactly the sort of easily afforable transparency and accountability measure which the old Reform Party, and the old Harper, said was a grand idea.
On a somewhat unrelated subject, I am deeply disturbed at the possibility that this government’s penchant for deleting websites will mean rich troves of reports on vital subjects to Canadians will shortly vanish from the Internet once the Welfare Council and the National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy are shut down in the coming months. Precautions are being taken to ensure that this will not happen.Tweet