Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/5/2012 (3399 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Manitoba government has not been very convincing in explaining why it is paying former MLA Bonnie Korzeniowski $85,000 a year, plus expenses of $105,000, to do a job she was doing for free as part of her legislative responsibilities.
According to Entrepreneurship and Training Minister Peter Bjornson, a full-time person is needed because Veterans Affairs has cut positions in the province and former service personnel need help finding jobs, training and other services.
The province's normal response would be to demand Ottawa meet its responsibilities, but in this case the NDP says it decided to simply put up the money to do a job that should be done by the federal government. It doesn't wash.
The position of military envoy, created four years ago, is perfectly valid and necessary, but it is not an administrative position.
The job involves providing advice about military protocol, ensuring key members of the government are aware of military developments in the province and co-ordinating relationships between the government and the Canadian Forces.
The most important function, however, is keeping an ear to the ground for intelligence about the future of the Canadian Forces in Manitoba. The Department of National Defence employs 5,576 personnel in the province, including 3,154 regular force and 1,439 reserves.
The military is the province's largest employer and has a significant impact on the economy and social fabric.
A full-time government job to monitor the military, however, is an abuse of the public purse. It should either be a part-time position, or, more appropriately, one of the legislative responsibilities of a government MLA.