OTTAWA — It was a blizzard of cheque handouts from MPs the likes of which has never been seen in the nearly decade-old National Post database that tracks each and every federal government spending announcement.
Last week, with the House of Commons in recess, Liberal MPs announced 188 loans, grants, contributions and government contract awards worth a combined $1.25 billion.
And while the cash was disbursed relatively evenly among ridings held by all parties, some Liberal MPs did manage to leverage some partisan politics into the mix as they handed out government money.
The Ontario riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka, for example, is held by Conservative MP Tony Clement, yet it was Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre who represents the riding of Sudbury, just to the north, who showed up in Huntsville last week to hand out $2.7 million to four organizations in Clement’s riding.
Attending Lefebvre’s Huntsville news conference was Parry Sound-Muskoka Liberal candidate Tricia Cowie.
“Certainly, she treated it as a campaign event,” said Clement, who noted he was not told about the event.
Some of the politicking was a little less obvious.