Stephen Harper’s Friends Get Benefits

Since he was elected Prime Minister for the first time in 2006, Stephen Harper has treated his friends very well. The day his minority government was sworn in, he immediately named Michael Fortier to his Cabinet as Minister of Public Works and the representative for the Montreal region.

Fortier had run for the Conservatives in 2000 and 2003, but was not a candidate in the 2006 election. Rather, he was the co-chair of the Tory campaign. Then the new Prime Minister named him to the Senate. As a senator, he could not answer questions about his portfolio in the House of Commons.

Harper said Fortier had been named to the Senate on the condition that he run in the next election — which he did, and promptly lost.

Since then, Harper has named many people who work closely with the Conservative Party to the Senate — a body he had previously declared he would reform. Those appointments include the man he trusts to run his campaigns and three Tories who had lost their seats in the election just two weeks before. He also recently named his former Foreign Affairs Minister the new ambassador to France. Senators earn upwards of $130,000 and have staff and budgets for travel and expenses.

Now an analysis by Postmedia News service has found that one-quarter of Conservative candidates who were defeated in the 2011 federal election have landed jobs on the government payroll, most of these in Quebec, where Harper is consistently trying to win favor. At least one of these appointees has been described as a ‘shadow MP‘ trying to undermine the work of the member actually elected to represent the riding — or at least to appear to have more influence and benefit for the riding than their non-government MP.

They say in Ottawa these days the best position you can have is that of failed Tory candidate.

Yet another example of Stephen Harper doing exactly the things he criticized while in opposition.

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Photo Credit: QUOI Media Group


John B.
John B5 years ago

A Liberal party is needed in Canada and not one run by an idiot. Or a PC party that does not attempt to model itself after the insane Republican party in the US

Dare t.

I resent the implication inherent in your comment Michael M. - In no way, shape or form was my comment about it not mattering who you vote for - or voter suppression. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of ALL our political parties thus far. Do you disagree then? Or were you okay with the concept of an unelected senate being used as a reward for party faithful as long as that party was Liberal? I think your comment to me was dismissive (of my opinion) and disingenious (linking same opinion to another issue) Since the NDP has yet to form a majority government in this country, it remains to be seen how they would handle the stacking of the senate. If i didn't think every vote counted, I wouldn't go to the extreme lengths which I do to make sure that my entire family gets out and votes. As far as I'm concerned, there has yet to be a government/party in power in this country who didn't flap their lips about what they would do if elected and then turn around and do the opposite. (thinking about the GST here) I'm not happy with the direction that this country is heading, but I am tired of those who attempt to stifle discussion by dismissing the opinions of others in such a manner.

Linda W.
Linda W5 years ago

Typical from this man.

Greg K.
Greg K5 years ago

Canada appears to have the same problem that the POTUS, SCOTUS and most Governors of the state have - too much unregulated power. Year after year 70% or more of the people want to do or not do some specific thing but the politicians go and do what garners the most $ for their campaigns, friends, and bribes. It is okay though, because politicians have redefined bribes so that the $ they receive are not illegal even though no sane person would willingly employ a plumber for example, that got massive kickbacks from plumbing suppliers or was getting payouts from your worst enemy.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad5 years ago

Typical case of the goof ole boys enjoying the game of a little backslapping!.

Michael O.
Michael O5 years ago

Not surprisng at all -- after all those years in opposition criticizing what the Liberals were doing in terms of patronage appointments, our Fearless Leader has taken the practice to a new low and keeps on digging.

Keeping Saulie Zajdel on the government payroll to act as a shadow in longtime M.P. Irwin Cotler's Mount-Royal riding in Montreal is particularly odious. So was spreading rumours about Cotler's imminent "retirement" (not true!!)

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago

ugh, Harper's horrible

Liz Edwards
Joan Edwards5 years ago

So what else is new??
The trouble is that there are not enough young people getting out there and voting. I truly believe we would have a minority government if the young got out and voted. Maybe even an NDP leadership. It was the moneyed conservatives that got Harperius in because of not enough voter turn-out. The young are dismayed and don't realize their potential. Why do you think he's attacking Quebec? Because the young there hate Harper even more. They see what he's all about, thanks to Layton (RIP).
So far All Harper has done is lie, lie, lie. I can't figure out why he's still holding the crown.
I would love to see NDP hook up with The Green Party and have them lead Canada back out of the morass that Harp is putting us in.

Luvenia V.
Luvenia V5 years ago

The world really is getting smaller, everything we own is going to fewer and fewer people. Borders don't mean SHI* anymore,the few want it ALL!!!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago

I think it might be quicker to list the politicians who aren't corrupt - a blank page, in other words!