Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cons use ACOA as personal patronage trough


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2013
  
MINISTER MACKAY’S VERY OWN PATRONAGE AND COVER-UP SCANDAL

OTTAWA – As Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to be embroiled in the Senate expense scandal, which has already forced his Chief of Staff and two senior Senators to resign, the Conservative Defence Minister has some explaining of his own to do, said Ryan Cleary (St. John’s South—Mount Pearl), NDP critic for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“It's like the Defence Minister is trying to keep up with his boss with his very own patronage scandal and cover-up,” said Cleary. 

“ACOA’s rules were rigged to hire the Minister’s political aide – when caught, his Chief of Staff stepped in to whitewash a report to cover up this interference.”

The Chronicle-Herald has revealed that Minister MacKay’s Chief of Staff ordered a report by the Public Service Commission be amended to delete any reference to “outside influence” in the hiring of this Minister’s staffers. 

This same report has been cited by both MacKay and ACOA Minister Gail Shea as clearing Ministers and political staff of any interference.

“Atlantic Canadians deserve an explanation for why their economic development agency was misused for partisan rewards,” said Cleary. “And the Minister must be accountable for the attempt to cover it up.”

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