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Activist Communique: Another reason why the G8/G20 should be an election issue

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Dear whoever leaked the Auditor General draft of G8 spending report: Thank you! I raise my mug of coffee to you, sir or madam.

I've always wanted the G8/G20 to be an election issue: Activist Communique: The G20 as an election issue?

Now we have even more reason why the G8/G20 should be brought up during tonight's leadership debate.

According to an Auditor General (AG) draft report on G8/G20 summit spending, regarding G8 spending -- which included $50 million of infrastructure upgrades in Tory MP Tony Clement's  (Parry Sound-Muskoka) riding but were unseen and unappreciated by the G8 summit participants themselves -- the report states that the decision-making process for this funding "lacked transparency" and hinted to the Conservative government's "misleading Parliament."

Among the questionable projects funded through the G8 legacy fund were:

-- $274,000 on public toilets 20 km from the summit site.

-- $100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.

-- $1.1 million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 km away.

-- $194,000 for a park 100 km away.

-- $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 km away.

Remarking on the leaked AG report which notes possible wasteful spending, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said, "These are shocking revelations."

"We knew they'd been spraying money around like drunken sailors in Tony Clement's riding. What we didn't know was that they lied to Parliament ... and may have broken the law," Ignatieff said.

The full AG document will not be released until sometime after the federal election, but it notes that Parliament was misled regarding the re-allocation of millions of dollars in November 2009 from a border infrastructure fund (aimed at reducing congestion at border crossings) with $50 million diverted to the G8 legacy fund.

If you're not from Ontario, let me point out that Huntsville, Ontario is nowhere near the Canada-U.S. border. Just as the above listed infrastructure improvements were nowhere near the actual G8 summit location held at the Deerhurst Resort.

Also, the draft reveals that the ""G8 summit liaison and implementation" dream-team which included Clement, the mayor of Huntsville and the general manager of Deerhurst Resort personally chose the 32 projects that received the G8 funding.

Something is rotten in the state of Huntsville and it smells like vote buying.

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