Is Harper Canada's worst prime minister? - 2015-06-07
In the summer of 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and other world leaders arrived at a swanky resort located two hours north of Toronto to take part in the annual G8 Summit. As it turned out, the resort lies in the riding of then federal Industry Minister Tony Clement.
At that time, no one knew that Clement had lifted $50-million from the public purse – money originally allotted by parliament for alleviating congestion at Canada's borders – and spent it beautifying his Parry Sound-Muskoka riding on things like parks, walkways, toilets and gazebos. He would later claim the money was dispersed for the G8 Summit.
But when Auditor General Sheila Fraser investigated what happened to the $50-million, she could find little paperwork showing how it was decided the money be spent. Documents later unearthed through the Access to Information Act showed Clement was encouraging mayors in his riding to apply for this cash prior to the 2008 election – and used federal civil servants to help dole it out. The NDP later accused Clement of using the money as a "slush fund" to better his chances of getting re-elected.