As I posted at the beginning of the week, there seemed to be a concerted effort by the government to get their MPs out and about in their ridings last Monday, it being the day MPs would have returned to the House of Commons after their Christmas break. Parliament was prorogued, of course, and MPs don't need to be in Ottawa now until March 3.
Still, on Monday alone, government MPs had their names on 44 spending announcements, committing to spend $48 million in federal funding.
I've just finished crunching the numbers for the last seven days (Jan. 24 through to Jan. 30) and it appears government MPs kept up that hectic pace.
For the week, the government rolled out 108 spending announcements outlining the expenditure of more than $215 million.
Now what about those charges of pork-barreling? Are the Tories directing that spending more to their own ridings than ridings held by opponents? I compile these numbers sometimes on a daily basis and the last time I did that, on Monday, it looked the Conservative ridings were doing extraordinarily well, an analysis which might support the pork-barreling charged. But for this period — the first week Parliament was to have resumed — it's not so clear-cut.
The Conservatives hold about 46 per cent of seats in the House of Commons and this week, the government directed $101 million worth of spending to Conservative ridings. That would represent 47 per cent of the $215 million the government allocated this week.
Now, mind you, that spending for Conservative ridings involves 61 different projects or about 56 per cent of of the 108 projects announced this week.
But even if it looks like the Conservatives are getting their fair share, no other party appears to be doing so well.
The Liberal party holds 25 per cent of the seats but with just 20 announcements worth $36.8 million going to Liberal ridings, that represents just 18.5 per cent of all the week's announcements and 17 per cent of the week's funding.
NDP ridings also seem a little neglected. The 11 announcements worth a combined $18.2 million to benefit NDP ridings account for 10 per cent and 8 per cent respectively of the week's totals for a party that has 12 per cent of the seats.
The BQ, though, is really getting the short end of the stick — at least for the last week. Just 7 federal projects worth a combined $4.2 million were announced this week that will directly benefit a riding represented by a separatist. That's 6.5 per cent of all projects announced and less than two per cent of all the money. The BQ has nearly 16 per cent of all the seats in the House.
A total of 9 other projects were announced this week worth a combined $54.9 million. Those projects and that spending will benefit multiple ridings and, as a result, could not be allocted to one specific riding.