Tories refining patronage, opposition says - 2013-10-10
Conservative government patronage is being taken to new levels since Prime Minister Stephen Harper won re-election with a majority, opposition critics say.
Immediately after the 2011 election, Harper appointed three defeated Conservative candidates to the Senate, raising opposition ire. Now the government is being accused of helping other candidates get a jump-start on the next campaign.
One of them, Cecil Clarke, ran for the Conservatives in Nova Scotia's Sydney-Victoria riding, losing to Liberal Mark Eyking by fewer than 1,000 votes. Now he's a federally paid consultant, travelling the province meeting with businesses and individuals. He'll get $135,000 a year for three years.