My colleague Andrew Mayeda reports that Conservative Jason Kenney, his party's point man in Canada's immigrant communities, accuses the Liberals of playing dirty pool when it comes to ethnic politics:
Kenney slams Liberal ethnic outreach
Tory accuses Grits of funneling grants to 'community godfathers'
Published: Thursday, July 31, 2008
LEVIS, Que. – The man charged with spearheading the Harper government's “ethnic-outreach” efforts has accused former Liberal governments of running “Tammany Hall”-style operations that funneled grants to local immigrant “godfathers.”
“Typically, I think, the Liberals pursued what some people have called an ethnic-brokerage model of outreach, where they would identify leaders of certain groups who somehow magically would become the recipients of substantial grants and subsidies for their community organizations,” Jason Kenney, secretary of state for multiculturalism, said when asked how his government's approach differs from that of the Liberals.
Sifting through the press releases issued by Kenney's government in the 41 days since Parliament recessed we find some similar “grants and subsidies” for community organizations. No doubt, many Canadians, of all political stripes, might find some of this perfectly worthy of taxpayer support:
- Canada Helps New Canadians Get Jobs (July 28) Senator Hugh Segal makes $800,000 announcement in Toronto
- Canada Supports Mississauga Chinese Arts Festival (July 9). MP Wajid Khan announces $20,000 in support.
- Canada Supports 2008 Taste of Asia Festival (June 28) MP Colin Carrie announces $25,000 for Markham, Ont. event.
- Minister MacKay Announces Support for Newcomers to Settle and Integrate in Halifax (June 27) MP Peter MacKay announces $10.3 million in funding.
- Canada Provides Funding to Ethiopian Association to Help Newcomers in Toronto (June 23) MP Mike Wallace announces $2.2 million in funding.
- Canada helps immigrants and members of visible minorities get job (June 23) MP Betty Hinton announces $244,599
- Air India memorial re-dedicated in Ottawa on National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism (June 23) MP Jason Kenney announces $70,000 for program.
- Canada Supports the Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival (June 21) MP Royal Galipeau announces $12,500 in funding
As an aside, to update a story I did a couple of weeks ago in which I noted that number of spending announcements the government is making this summer, there have now been more than 213 spending announcements since June 21 which carry a combined price tag of $11.3-billion.
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