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This article was published 26/9/2011 (3558 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- Tony Clement's fitness to hold the federal government's purse strings is under fire after emails revealed his micromanagement of a controversial $50-million G8 legacy fund in his Ontario riding.
Emails obtained by the NDP show Clement personally intervened to ensure a bureaucratic review of spending wouldn't delay federal cheques for what were called legacy infrastructure projects.
They also show Clement was determined police concerns would not impede funding for a recreation centre that was to have been a media centre for last year's G8 summit but was never used by journalists covering the event.
"The emails paint a disturbing picture of a minister who seems willing to bend the rules and ignore basic standards of accountability," New Democrat MP Charlie Angus said Monday.
The emails also suggest Clement had a strong ally in Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to whom he repeatedly referred.
Clement was health minister at the time, but Harper has since promoted him to president of the Treasury Board, where he's in charge of reining in government spending.
With Clement now in charge of the treasury, Angus said what happened in the Parry Sound-Muskoka riding could happen in any federal department.
Clement's promotion "raises the question of whether or not there's a black hole of accountability at the centre of the Harper government."
Clement has been on the hot seat since April, when a leaked draft of an auditor general's report slammed the government for misinforming Parliament when it created a $50-million G8 legacy fund for the minister's Ontario cottage-country riding.
The government diverted the money from a fund meant to relieve congestion at border crossings, a fact not mention when parliamentary approval for the border fund was sought.
Former Liberal MP Marlene Jennings asked the RCMP last spring to investigate whether the government broke the law by misleading Parliament. The force notified Jennings last month that it was continuing to review the matter and she said Monday she hasn't heard anything further.
Angus said he'll forward to the RCMP the emails and other municipal documents the NDP has uncovered through provincial freedom of information legislation. It will also attempt to have the matter probed by the Commons ethics committee.
-- The Canadian Press