We've heard a bit about the inequity of the distribution of funds in general by this government, but today, Liberal MP Savage party, made an official claim and has asked the auditor General to investigate the Enabling Accessibility Fund.
Liberal MP Mike Savage has requested Auditor General Sheila Fraser examine what he called a Tory "slush fund."
He made the request after calculating that 94 per cent of the funding approved so far from the $45-million Enabling Accessibility Fund has gone to Conservative-held ridings.
In particular, only two of 89 applications for major project funding have been approved, both for $15 million and both in Conservative ridings - Calgary Northeast and Flaherty's Whitby-Oshawa in Ontario.
Now, accusations are often made in the House. Some with bearing, others a little more cavalier. To ask the Auditor General for a probe though, that is no frivolous little game.
If what Savage suspects is true, well it's tough to come up with anything lower than funding of this nature being handled in a partisan way.
Savage said disabled organizations have complained that the application criteria for large projects appeared "custom-made" for the centre in Flaherty's riding.
Moreover, he said many non-profit organizations were shut out of the application process for smaller projects because of the strict criteria and one-month time frame they were given for preparing applications
"As a consequence of these concerns, I am asking you to consider conducting a full and complete audit into the EAF to determine whether all applicants received due consideration for approvals and whether all standards of government ethics, regional fairness and transparency were met in the administration of the fund," Savage wrote Fraser.
Savage brought this up in the House and if Diane Finely's answer is any indication of how seriously they consider such matters, she may be pretty busy this summer working on EI and answering to the Auditor General's office.
Mr. Speaker, we're helping the disabled get access to facilities to which they never had access before. That's a noble thing, Mr. Speaker. Something we're very proud of. Mr. Speaker, there are a number of groups that weren't able to get funding because the program was so popular, it was oversubscribed. I would note that one program that was funded was that liberal member's riding. The Ioanna presbyterian church in Dartmouth. Is he saying that's a conservative riding? It should be!
Savage's riding did get some funding.
Savage later acknowledged a church in his riding did get funding - though nowhere near as much as Tory ridings.
"My riding got one project funded ... for $50,000. Jim Flaherty got one project in his riding worth $15 million."
Can you see the difference?
Update - Impolitical has a view too.