Friday, January 19, 2007

Fortier wants more pork for Quebec

The Conservatives have said they need to fast track defence contracts because our military needs the equipment tout de suite. But apparently that won’t stop them from delaying delivery of that equipment to funnel more pork to Quebec.

It has to do with the $3.4 billion government purchase of four C-17 cargo aircraft from Boeing. The deal requires the company to invest an equivalent amount in supplies and services within Canada.


Here’s the sticking point though: while Boeing plans to invest 30 per cent of the total in Quebec, unelected Public Works Minister is insisting Quebec get a much lar
ger share. Boeing is balking and negotiations are stalled, potentially delaying delivery of the first aircraft.

He hasn't publicly set out a target for Quebec's share of these economic benefits, but he is staunchly defending the industry that is mainly located in the Montre
al area. Mr. Fortier, an unelected senator, will be running in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, just west of Montreal, in the next election. As Public Works Minister, he has the final responsibility for signing the contract.

It would seem that Mr. Fortier is letting his concerns about finally getting elected at some point interfere with his duties as a Minister of the Crown, particularly the one with responsibility for government procurement. Hey, we should ask him about this when question period starts again…oh, yeah. Crap.


At least Industry Minister Maxime Bernier appears to be
doing his job, apparently putting his ministerial responsibility ahead of politics in the negotiations.

"Mr. Fortier is acting as the minister for Quebec, while Mr. Bernier is acting as the minister for Canada," an industry official said, who added that Mr. Fortier's goals are "unrealistic."


Anyway, if Fortier gets a bigger share for Quebec than Boeing was intending to spend, remember that it is a finite pie of investment dollars. Where do you think Quebec’s bigger share will be coming from?


Yep, and the West gets screwed by the Conservatives again. Gee, this all sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it? Quebec as a nation, screwing the West on equalizati
on...a Mulroney in sheep’s clothing indeed. How long before Reform II?

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21 comments:

WestmountLiberal said...

Jeff
This is a great article - I missed this one.
It reminds me of another Conservative PM (MULRONEY) who re-directed an airplane contract away from Winnipeg in favour of Quebec.
The result - in the 1993 election the Liberals took 12 of 14 seats in Manitoba.

Bud said...

Quebec Liberals like Trudeau, Cretien and Martin made Quebec into their own private money-dumping ground. They're the reason Quebec has always received a larger share of money proportionate to the rest of Canada. And do you really think that if Dion is elected he will suddenly care about the west? His mouth is already watering about the Alberta oil fields. Things will never change as long as Liberals elect leaders from Quebec. And talking about Mulroney, where was he from?

Anonymous said...

Bud,

The topic is 'Fortier wants more pork for Quebec".

But...but.. the Liberals.

Lept said...

An interesting aside is that the latest edition of « L'ActualitĂ© » characterizes Bernier as « L'Albertain du QuĂ©bec »: riding a horse backwards...

A BCer in Toronto said...

Exactly westmount, the parallels are quite eiry. Wonder how all those old reformers feel about this. Preston?

Quebec Liberals like Trudeau, Cretien and Martin made Quebec into their own private money-dumping ground.

You may want to read the story again Bud, and consider these salient facts:

1. We have a Conservative government
2. The Conservatives elected a leader from Alberta, and he's now PM
3. The PM's(unelected) Conservative Public Works Minister is trying to divert money from the West to Quebec

(Dion's)mouth is already watering about the Alberta oil fields.

Actually that was John Baird, a conservative, musing about killing royalty incentives the other day.

Things will never change as long as Liberals elect leaders from Quebec.

Oh, I get it, it's Dion's fault Fortier is tried to divert funds to Quebec. Darn you Liberals!!!

Anonymous said...

What a bastard.Next thing you know he'll be putting a canoe museum and water fountain in his riding.

Anonymous said...

http://www.canada.com/national/features/decisioncanada/story_05.html?id=eee3f76e-48d5-4d1c-9e03-f0ea85887cfe

A BCer in Toronto said...

Anon troll,

I deleted that comment because to post an entire newspaper article is a copyright violation. I gather that's the url there you also posted for those interested in reading it.

Or, for those that don't want to follow the link, let me summarize the deleted post:

"We're just doing the same stuff we piously ragged on the Liberals for doing and promised we wouldn't do, but we're allowed to do it because we're special and have no sense of irony, so thbbbtttt!!!!"

Anonymous said...

""We're just doing the same stuff we piously ragged on the Liberals for doing and promised we wouldn't do, but we're allowed to do it because we're special and have no sense of irony, so thbbbtttt!!!!"

Actually,it's a common practice for politicians to try and get as much as they can for their home province.Always has been,always will be.

"I deleted that comment because to post an entire newspaper article is a copyright violation. I gather that's the url there you also posted for those interested in reading it"

Actually that article is free in the public domain,sorry to burst your bubble.

For those wondering,the article showed how Chretiens riding got more in government grants than the entire province of Alberta,Manitoba or Saskatchewan.

In fact i gave you two examples where Liberals used the majority of funds from programs for all of Canada in Quebec.

When Chretien was finally caught and admitted interfering in the Grand-Mere loan,he refused to apologize saying its my job to do what i can for my riding and my province.

Soooo,are you saying Chretien was wrong,because Fortier is doing just that.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Soooo,are you saying Chretien was wrong,because Fortier is doing just that.

I'll make you a deal. If you answer my question first, I'll answer yours.

Did you think Chretien was right?

Penny said...

Next thing you know Stephen Harper will be putting a Portrait Gallery in HIS riding....

Yep, it's the same old , same old... Doesn't seem to matter who gets elected.

Personally, I was outraged at what Chretien did - or appears to have done, at any rate, and I have no interest in defending any of the NC accusations about his regime. If he needs to go to jail, someone make sure he goes there!

However, that was a couple of years ago. And the fact that Chretien (Martin was never accused of sending pork to Quebec, was he?) may or may not have been a criminal of the lowest sort has nothing to do with today and what the holier-than-thou Harper government does.

Regardless of which party any of us supports, it's our duty as voters to hold our governments accountable for the way they toss our money around. They are political parties not religious cults.

BTW, when I was a churchgoer and member of one of the church committees - before I got totally disillusioned - I discovered a similarly callous attitude toward the Tithes and offerings among other committtee members... "Oh? We went 35% over budget? Never mind, we'll just get the dummies in the pews to cough up the difference." (I'm not really exaggerating the quote above, either! I don't recall the exact word the chairperson used, but it was close enough in meaning to "dummies"....)

I guess when they don't actually have to work for it, and nobody wants an accounting, the recipients feel they have carte blanche to piss it away any way they want.

And yes, I resigned from that committee....

Anonymous said...

"Did you think Chretien was right? "

Nope,not at all.Don't like Fortier doing it either.Happens at the provincial level too.Next campaign all sitting MP's will be riminding the voters how much pork they secured for the riding.


But here's the problem i have with your post:

"Yep, and the West gets screwed by the Conservatives again. Gee, this all sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it? Quebec as a nation, screwing the West on equalization...a Mulroney in sheep’s clothing indeed. How long before Reform II?"

See,if you had of said something along the lines of Conservatives keep rolling much like the Liberals before them,well,thats fine.But you infer its a Conservative problem,not a political problem.

So,your turn:

Soooo,are you saying Chretien was wrong,because Fortier is doing just that?

And a quick update on your post on Khan.Elections Canada has now announced 17 ridings have been de-listed,almost all Liberal,a few Green,and none Conservative.

As fot Khan's report.It now turns out the reason Liberal's don't think it exists is because of Liberal advisor trips in the past.You can find this on CP website:

Onetime Liberal MP Sarkis Assadourian says he never did a day’s work after being appointed a special adviser to former prime minister Paul Martin.

Shortly before the 2004 election, Assadourian agreed to step aside in his Brampton riding so that a star recruit, Ruby Dhalla, could run for the Liberals in his stead. In return, Martin gave him a job as a special foreign policy adviser.

“They put out a press release and he said to the media and the nation with a straight face I was working with him as (his) adviser on the south Caucasus and Middle East,” Assadourian said in an interview.

“The whole thing was a lie . . . I never a single day worked in his office. I was never paid a single penny.” (CP)

A BCer in Toronto said...

Soooo,are you saying Chretien was wrong,because Fortier is doing just that?

I think Chretien was wrong. The fountain thing, for example, was ridiculous. Ensuring your riding gets its fair share is one thing, but that's just silly.

But you infer its a Conservative problem,not a political problem.

It's a political problem for the Conservatives, they're in government. But here's what I found particularly noteworthy about this particular story, and made the "west gets screwed again" comment.

You seem like a learned sort, so I'm sure you'll agree the parallels between this Fortier affair and the time the Mulroney government awarded a CF-18 maintenance contract to a Quebec instead of the Winnipeg firm that submitted the cheaper tender are quite striking.

I find this rather ironic because it was this incident that so enraged Western Canada, and turned them off the Mulroney Conservatives, that it led a group of folks, including a young Stephen Harper, to form the Reform Party. The west wants in and all that. Some 20 years it all seems to have come full circle.

So that's what's particularly noteworthy. Add on top of that that this porkbarelling is delaying delivery of equipment to our military.

And, lastly, it's the hypocrisy that always gets me with so many of this government's actions. You said politicians will always act to benefit their ridings/regions, that they always have, that's very true.

So I wouldn't be so surprised, or beyond the usual partisan annoyance, were it not for the fact Harper et al feigned such moral outrage and piety over this kind of thing whilst in opposition. We'll never do that, we promise you a new way of governing, they said. Since that seems to have been proven a lie, I feel it perfectly valid to call them on it.

Elections Canada has now announced 17 ridings have been de-listed,almost all Liberal,a few Green,and none Conservative.

Which would seem to show delistings are far from an extraordinary occurrence, nor necesarily cause for great concern. As I've explained previously, in the Khan case it was not the late filing that concerned me but the practice of funneling loans from businesses through riding associations to campaigns.

Sarkis Assadourian ...

Actually read the article more closely, there was no trips. And, as the section you've quoted said, not a penny was paid to him.

I'll be the first to admit the Assadourian thing was a joke, a stupid farce, everyone knew that. But the comparison to Khan doesn't fly. Not one penny of taxpayer dollars was paid to or spent by Assadourian. Khan, on the other hand, spent $13,000 of taxpayer dollars on trip one and he's about to take trip two.

Sinestra said...

Sorry, but I disagree. You guys have let the comments to degenerate to a 'riding' level. This is not what this is about. Fellow Liberals, please explain to me what is so wrong about a Quebec minister trying to get more money for Quebec? As much as the CPC is nauseating, at least Fortier is trying to bolster the aerospace industry. The dispute is about where the money will be invested. Given that 60% of the industry is based here, it's not unusual that the reciprocal investment should be made here. Boeing's 'logic' that Bombardier and others are too much competition is flawed. Bombardier is laying people off in Quebec. The industry needs a boost. I don't like Fortier; I don't like Conservatives, but I do think Fortier was acting in the interest of Quebec and the all-important Quebec aerospace industry. Call it pork if you must, I choose to see it as 'job creation'.

A BCer in Toronto said...

what is so wrong about a Quebec minister trying to get more money for Quebec?

A couple things. One, as the Minister of Public Works he is responsible for procurement, and is responsible for ensuring the process proceeds fairly.

Also, as a Minster of the Crown he has a responsibility to the people of Canada, ALL of Canada, not just Quebec. Delaying the delivery of needed equipment to get more investment for his region is an abuse of that responsibility and authority.

It's not like he's trying to get additional investment for Quebec. As I wrote, it is a set amount that Boeing is going to invest. So, if he's going to use his position as the minister responsible for procurement to get Boeing to invest more of that set amount in Quebec then they'd planned, that means they're going to have to invest less in other areas of Canada, ie. the West.

It's not his job to use his authority at this level. And he's a Minister of the Government of CANADA, not Quebec.

Anonymous said...

"So that's what's particularly noteworthy. Add on top of that that this porkbarelling is delaying delivery of equipment to our military"

You mean like the Liberal's cancelling the replacement helicopter contract at a cost of $500 million,and then stalling and playing with bids so only their preferred source won the tender.

Or the whole Royal Lepage home relocation fiasco.That ones a beauty.The Libs were found to unlawfully rig the tender proces,had to retender,and then did the same thing again.

I agree that the extra treatment Quebec gets is bull,but both Liberals and Conservatives have allowed this to exist.

I do agree with another poster on here though,Quebec's aerospace industry has taken a hit,and if Fortier is trying to replace some lost jobs i guess i'd cut him a little slack.

A BCer in Toronto said...

You mean like the Liberal's...

And I could go back and talk about Mulroney ministers in German strip clubs. Or go back even further and reference the CPR scandal.

Nonetheless, Fortier is wrong, and Harper will have to answer for it. Conservatives that answer every example of hypocrisy and flip flops with examples of Liberal malfeasance as attempted justification/excuse would do well to remember Liberals were punished by the voters by being sent to opposition. Carry on the same way and that may be their destiny.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Conservative's need to stop with the "Liberal's did it too routine"

Then again the Liberal's need to give the "we did it but were Liberal's" thing a rest too.

I should point out that while Fortier is pushing for a bigger piece for Quebec on this,the Conservative's have been doing some spending in other provinces regarding aerospace industries.Dowty here in Ajax,Ontario,who is heavily involved,including the Canadarm,recently received millions in grants to further enhance productivity.

As for your statement about Liberal's being punished by voters,sorry,i don't buy it.Any political party found to have been involved in a kick back scheme involving millions of taxpayers moner deserve more than being the royal opposition.Somewhere along the lines of 2 seats seems fair.

Budd Campbell said...

Jeff, did you ever consider that Fortier might be planning to raise Quebec's share of the contract by lowering Ontario's share? Just thought I'd ask.

A BCer in Toronto said...

did you ever consider that Fortier might be planning to raise Quebec's share of the contract by lowering Ontario's share?

I have. Could be. Frankly, I don't think Fortier much cares where it comes from, as long as it goes to Quebec.

NorthBayTrapper said...

I think Bombardier is leery about training and absorbing people in Quebec, who, when their contract runs out will in all likelihood work for Bombardier again and bring with them the knowledge they learned at Boeing.
As a Conservative, it pains me to see this regional BS. It only causes problems. Let all companies who wish to bid on the contract do so and then pick the best one. Value for dollar is what should be expected. But as we all know, you have to buy Quebec to win an election.