Jason Kenney accusing Liberal Party of “Tammany Hall operation of patronage”

Consider this quote from Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity Jason Kenney that he gave to reporters last week after caucus in Lévis, Quebec:

“Typically, I think, the Liberals pursued what some people have called an ethnic-brokerage model of outreach, where they would identify leaders of certain groups who somehow magically would become the recipients of substantial grants and subsidies for their community organizations”

What is Kenney talking about? A quick Google search found this:

TORONTO, February 9, 2005 — Member of Parliament (Scarborough–Agincourt) Jim Karygiannis, on behalf of Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla, today announced $46,275 in funding for the Canadian Arab Federation. The funds will allow the organization to develop its own Web site.

“Until now, there really has been no Web site highlighting all the many contributions made by Canadians of Arab origin to our society,” said Mr. Karygiannis. “This project will help Web users from Canada and abroad to better understand this vast community.”

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Minister responsible for Ontario Joseph Volpe added his support. “This Web site will be a valuable networking tool for members of the Arab-Canadian community,” said Minister Volpe.

“The Internet enables us to engage in dialogue with people of all backgrounds and all cultures,” said Minister Frulla. “If we wish to build a truly diverse society in which all communities are represented, we must invest in Web sites like this one.”

Let’s check out what $46,275 buys in web development.


Click here to visit the website

This website features a nice splash page that goes to a website that doesn’t appear to be maintained as it features broken links and an event calendar long forgotten. The website’s content doesn’t seem have taken much time to produce as some of the text has been lifted from other sources online.

I emailed Jason Kenney’s office for a reaction, and received comment from Alykhan Velshi, Kenney’s Director of Communications.

“It really is outrageous the way that Liberal-friendly ethnic community leaders would find their loyalty rewarded with government handouts. To say the problem was systematic understates, I think palpably, the extent of the Tammany Hall operation the Liberals tried to build when in government.”

“[The Canadian Arab Federation] current National President Khaled Mouammar is a former Liberal political appointee who gained some notoriety for his role in the last Liberal leadership campaign. CAF’s previous National President is Omar Alghabra, a Liberal MP elected in 2006.

“Between 2003 and 2005, when Alghabra was CAF’s president, CAF received more than $400,000 in hand-outs from the Department of Canadian Heritage alone.

“They were awarded a $330,565 grant to ‘build organisational capacity’, another $46,399 to ‘communicate effectively with governments at all levels’, and a further $46,275 to design a website.”

Yet this problem doesn’t only reside with Liberals. Canwest’s David Akin points out the (for lack of a better term) pork that the Conservatives have been delivering too. Is this spending necessary?

UPDATE: Interesting question. If the CAF website was produced in partnership with Canadian Heritage, why isn’t it in both official languages?

Comments

comments

  • csipcba

    Open letter to the Prime Minister to Stop his cabinet minister of Hate against Canadians
    Re: The Conservative Party’s unfulfilled commitments to provide the proper mandate to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act).
    We are writing to you as the largest non government organization (NGO) – not for profit corporation Lobbying, Journalism, Advocacy and Immigration Practitioners organization who share the Conservative Party’s stated belief in the ideals of transparent government, an informed electorate, and enhanced government accountability for all Canadians.
    As we are concerned that your government’s cabinet minister the Hon. Minister Jason Kenney’s latest actions since he assumed power on October 30, 2008 for the position was appointed Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism have not matched the commitments you made as leader of the Conservative Party during the 2006 election campaign – specifically, your commitment to open up the inner workings of government to scrutiny by reforming Canada’s Accountability Act.
    Due to many speeches, Statements, and visits he made or attended on behalf of the Government, Now there could be no better time to ask why the Accountability Act does not apply to your Cabinet Minister’s actions and certainly so far this Act was not fulfilled during your first term of office, and whether or not your party intends to fulfill by having full and open transparency to allow all kind of investigations to all types of actions made by any Minister of your Cabinet.
    The Conservative Party’s original intent was to include many reforms in the Accountability Act, and one of them was in particular given the mandate is to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act) .
    Your government was elected on a platform of accountability and transparency.
    We, along with many other Canadians concerned about openness and accountability in government, have been disappointed that to date your Cabinet Minister, the Hon. Jason Kenney have not followed through on his campaign promise to speak on behalf of all cultures, all Canadians, and respect all Canadians without Conflict of interest between his private interest and his public duties
    Can you let us know before the end of this month what you intend to do in this regard, and specifically whether or not you will agree to fulfill your 2006 campaign promises on implementing the Accountability Act to all Canadians without exemptions to your Cabinet Ministers.
    We believe this is an important issue, and we plan to share your response with the Canadian public to bring the Accountability Act to all.

  • http://www.csip.ca csipcba

    Open letter to the Prime Minister to Stop his cabinet minister of Hate against Canadians
    Re: The Conservative Party’s unfulfilled commitments to provide the proper mandate to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act).
    We are writing to you as the largest non government organization (NGO) – not for profit corporation Lobbying, Journalism, Advocacy and Immigration Practitioners organization who share the Conservative Party’s stated belief in the ideals of transparent government, an informed electorate, and enhanced government accountability for all Canadians.
    As we are concerned that your government’s cabinet minister the Hon. Minister Jason Kenney’s latest actions since he assumed power on October 30, 2008 for the position was appointed Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism have not matched the commitments you made as leader of the Conservative Party during the 2006 election campaign – specifically, your commitment to open up the inner workings of government to scrutiny by reforming Canada’s Accountability Act.
    Due to many speeches, Statements, and visits he made or attended on behalf of the Government, Now there could be no better time to ask why the Accountability Act does not apply to your Cabinet Minister’s actions and certainly so far this Act was not fulfilled during your first term of office, and whether or not your party intends to fulfill by having full and open transparency to allow all kind of investigations to all types of actions made by any Minister of your Cabinet.
    The Conservative Party’s original intent was to include many reforms in the Accountability Act, and one of them was in particular given the mandate is to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act) .
    Your government was elected on a platform of accountability and transparency.
    We, along with many other Canadians concerned about openness and accountability in government, have been disappointed that to date your Cabinet Minister, the Hon. Jason Kenney have not followed through on his campaign promise to speak on behalf of all cultures, all Canadians, and respect all Canadians without Conflict of interest between his private interest and his public duties
    Can you let us know before the end of this month what you intend to do in this regard, and specifically whether or not you will agree to fulfill your 2006 campaign promises on implementing the Accountability Act to all Canadians without exemptions to your Cabinet Ministers.
    We believe this is an important issue, and we plan to share your response with the Canadian public to bring the Accountability Act to all.

  • csipcba

    Open letter to the Prime Minister to Stop his cabinet minister of Hate against Canadians
    Re: The Conservative Party’s unfulfilled commitments to provide the proper mandate to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act).
    We are writing to you as the largest non government organization (NGO) – not for profit corporation Lobbying, Journalism, Advocacy and Immigration Practitioners organization who share the Conservative Party’s stated belief in the ideals of transparent government, an informed electorate, and enhanced government accountability for all Canadians.
    As we are concerned that your government’s cabinet minister the Hon. Minister Jason Kenney’s latest actions since he assumed power on October 30, 2008 for the position was appointed Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism have not matched the commitments you made as leader of the Conservative Party during the 2006 election campaign – specifically, your commitment to open up the inner workings of government to scrutiny by reforming Canada’s Accountability Act.
    Due to many speeches, Statements, and visits he made or attended on behalf of the Government, Now there could be no better time to ask why the Accountability Act does not apply to your Cabinet Minister’s actions and certainly so far this Act was not fulfilled during your first term of office, and whether or not your party intends to fulfill by having full and open transparency to allow all kind of investigations to all types of actions made by any Minister of your Cabinet.
    The Conservative Party’s original intent was to include many reforms in the Accountability Act, and one of them was in particular given the mandate is to administer the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons ( The Code) and the Conflict of Interest Act ( The Act) .
    Your government was elected on a platform of accountability and transparency.
    We, along with many other Canadians concerned about openness and accountability in government, have been disappointed that to date your Cabinet Minister, the Hon. Jason Kenney have not followed through on his campaign promise to speak on behalf of all cultures, all Canadians, and respect all Canadians without Conflict of interest between his private interest and his public duties
    Can you let us know before the end of this month what you intend to do in this regard, and specifically whether or not you will agree to fulfill your 2006 campaign promises on implementing the Accountability Act to all Canadians without exemptions to your Cabinet Ministers.
    We believe this is an important issue, and we plan to share your response with the Canadian public to bring the Accountability Act to all.