Let the summer of spending begin!

Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe MP Robert Goguen (centre) in a picture from his MP Web site at recycling facility in Tracadie-Sheila, NB where Goguen presented the facility’s owners with a cheque from the feds for $792,500. Among backbench Conservatives, Goguen was the 2013 Parliamentary Summer #OttawaSpends champ with 11 spending announcements, like this one, totalling $5.2 million.

The House of Commons shuts down today for the summer recess and so begins a summer of government MPs handing out cheques at various festivals and events around the country.

For your information, the Parliamentary Summer last year ran from June 20 to Oct 15 and, over that period, Conservative MPs put their names on 510 spending announcements. The combined value of all those spending announcements was $2.4 billion.

My database that tracks all these spending announcements, by the way, is now at about 4,800 separate spending announcements since 2011 federal election. They range from, say, the awarding of a $500 million contract to a firm in Esquimalt, BC to retro-fit our submarines to $2,000 to organize some studio tours on Saltspring Island, B.C..

Heritage Minister Shelly Glover was the overall spending champ last summer with 87 announcements totalling $209 million over those 16 weeks. Ministers are the ones who get to make spending announcements in ridings held by the opposition.

Backbench MPs, on the other hand, usually only get to make the spending announcement when the spending will be done in their riding or in an adjacent opposition riding.

On that score, Moncton Conservative MP Robert Goguen was last summer’s Parliamentary Summer spending champ with $5.2 million doled out over 11 different spending announcements.

Among his handouts: A hockey arena in Riverview (his riding) got $13,913 for a new condensor, a festival in Bouctouche (Liberal Dominic Leblanc’s riding) got $66,000, Moncton (his riding) got $137,000 to fix up its stadium so it could host a CFL game, Dieppe got $201,000 to fix up some tennis courts. Premier Tech, a peat moss manufacturer in Rexton NB got a $1.5 million cheque to buy some new equipment. That was his single biggest handout.

Notably, Goguen will be in a very tough fight in 2015 to hold his seat.

Today, Nova Scotia Conservative MP Greg Kerr (who is not running in 2015 but whose riding is definitely in play next year) became the first contestant in this year’s Parliamentary Summer spending contest. He handed out a $15,000 cheque in Greenwood, Nova Scotia to help a local Acadian community association with some French-language preschool programs.

One thought on “Let the summer of spending begin!”

  1. I guess the Conservatives have tons of money to give to their political pet projects and business buddies but when it comes to helping military veterans the cupboard is suddenly bare? Funny how if the Liberals/NDP do it Sun News/SNN has a fit, nary a word of criticism when the CPC does it.

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