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Spin-out

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I have no problem with anyone – pundits, political adversaries, whoever – criticizing a government for giving a little too much attention to the ridings that voted for their party.

It’s a dirty little tactic that every government employs – sometimes inadvertently, mind you – and sees an unequal share of government spending on programs funneled to government-held ridings.

Today the Liberals accused the Conservatives of focusing their Building Canada Fund announcements in Conservative ridings.

OTTAWA - A review of the first billion dollars of project-specific announcements made under the Building Canada Fund since 2007 shows that more than three-quarters of projects were in Conservative-held ridings, Liberal Infrastructure Critic Gerard Kennedy said today.

"Given this government's history of partisan tactics, this latest revelation can hardly be seen as mere coincidence," said Mr. Kennedy. "Mr. Harper continues to erode his credibility - particularly in his approach to infrastructure funding - with these kinds of practices."

Seventy-eight per cent of that first billion dollars was spent on projects in Conservative ridings, allege the Liberals.

I haven’t gone through their list with a fine-toothed comb yet, but in just glancing at the list I already noticed one project where the Liberals’ spin is questionable, if not flat-out wrong:

Safety Improvements on Highway 17,  2008/07/24                       
Including Thunder Bay Expressway
(Kenora; Greg Rickford)

It’s true that right now the Kenora riding is held by Conservative Greg Rickford. But as the Liberals' own list points out, that announcement was made in July. Rickford was elected in October for the first time. Before that the riding was held by Roger Valley ... who was a Liberal. In fact, the Conservatives had never won the riding before October.

Now, I know the Liberals lost a lot of ridings on Oct. 14 – but it wasn’t so many that someone in the party shouldn’t have remembered that until October that riding was their own.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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