Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ACOA under the knife, but Conservative patronage well and good



 I posed the following questions today (Oct. 16th) in the House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker,

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has felt the cut of the Conservative knife.

Over 100 jobs, eliminated; millions in grants, slashed; regional development agencies, starved.

But Conservative patronage appointee Kevin MacAdam still has his job, even while he spent years doing French, collecting a salary and living expenses from Canadian taxpayers.

The Public Service Commission ruled that this pork patronage broke the rules, so why is the former aid to the minister of National Defence still drawing a salary and living expenses from Canadian taxpayers?

Gerald Keddy (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and for the Atlantic Gateway):

Mr. Speaker, I answered this question yesterday.

The answer is the same today.

This is not a political issue, but if the member wants to check the public court records, they state that the commissioner found problems with the way the public service ran its hiring process, but did not find any political interference by ministers or political staff.

In the meantime, this matter is before the courts.

Cleary:

Mr. Speaker, the government's priority is to flood our TVs with government propaganda, spending tens of millions of dollars on ads, but cutting funding for Atlantic economic development.

Mr. Speaker, 

No one believes there was no political interference.

No one believes Kevin MacAdam would have got this patronage post if he had not been a buddy of the minister of National Defence.

This Conservative government's defence comes from MacAdam's court filing, hardly an objective source.

If the Conservatives claim to have nothing to hide, will they now release the full report of the Public Service Commission?

Keddy:

Mr. Speaker, this is within the purview of the Public Service Commission, and if the honourable member would listen to what the Public Service Commissioner had to say, he said very clearly the commission found problems with the way the public service ran the hiring process.

He also very clearly said that it did not find any political interference by ministers or political staff.

I want to know where the honourable member is getting his information, because it is incorrect. 

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