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Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks with Industry Minister Tony Clement before making an announcement in Huntsville, Ont., on June 19, 2008. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks with Industry Minister Tony Clement before making an announcement in Huntsville, Ont., on June 19, 2008. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Tories misled Parliament on G8 spending: Auditor-General Add to ...

Ms. Clement's local liaison team was responsible for identifying and proposing projects worthy of funding. To win approval, the team was supposed to work with Foreign Affairs' summit management office to ensure the proposed projects supported the needs of the summit.

"We asked the Summit Management Office to provide us with any documentation showing how they were involved in the review of projects but were informed that they were not involved," the Auditor-General says.

Ms. Fraser's auditors also asked Infrastructure Canada, which provided the funds, for documentation demonstrating how the projects were chosen and how they fit with the purpose of the fund.

"The department was not able to provide us with any documentation as they were not part of the selection process and informed us they were not provided with supporting documentation when given the recommended list of projects to be funded."

Indeed, the report notes that Mr. Clement announced several projects would receive funding before the government actually spelled out the conditions for funding.

"We are concerned by the lack of documentation around the selection of projects for funding," Ms. Fraser says, adding that documentation is vital to "demonstrate transparency, accountability and value for money" in the expenditure of public money.

Ms. Fraser's team also examined the list of 32 projects that received funding but "[we]were not able to determine how they supported the needs of the summit or met the conditions set out by government."

For instance, the report notes the government devoted $26-million to create a Huntsville G8 Centre, which was supposed to be the command centre for co-ordinating logistics for the summit.

"We were informed that at the time of the announcement for this project, [Foreign Affairs]had already determined the centre would not be suitable as it was not expected to be completed on time," Ms. Fraser says.

In the end, other facilities were rented for the command centre.

The report is likely to turn up the heat on Mr. Clement, who's already been accused of funnelling disproportionate amounts of federal cash into his riding.

The Liberal Party has calculated that Mr. Clement's riding has received about $92-million in federal infrastructure funding, including the legacy fund and other economic stimulus programs - more than four times the average $15-million to $20-million most ridings in the country received.

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