Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hudak loved lobbyists in government

In light of opposition attacks on the Ontario government over lobbying, it is worth taking a look at Tim Hudak's record.

During the Harris-Hudak years over 150 lobbyists were hired on behalf of organizations that received Ontario Government funds. These include Hospitals, Universities, School Boards and other organizations - all were allowed to use taxpayer dollars to hire Conservative insiders.
When Tim Hudak was Minister of Northern Development & Mines, several organizations that his Ministry funded hired lobbyists to approach him and his staff including the Northern Tourism Marketing Corporation and Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters. College Boreal (funding from TCU) and Thunder Bay Regional Hospital (MOHLTC) also disclosed efforts to lobby then-Minister Hudak.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Culture, Tourism & Recreation his Ministry funded the Royal Botanical Gardens which in turn, hired a lobbyist to approach him.

When Tim Hudak was Minister of Consumer & Business Services, the TSSA [Technical Standards & Safety Authority] hired Conservative insider Bill King of Hill & Knowlton to lobby on their behalf. As Minister, Hudak made appointments to the Board and the TSSA reported to him as Minister. Important to note that the TSSA ended their relationship with King in 2004 and have not hired a lobbyist since. King ended up becoming Chief of Staff to federal Minister Tony Clement.

Tim Hudak will complain today about the use public funds to hire lobbyists, but the fact is, when he was in Cabinet he did nothing but encourage this practice.

From the Hudak's HST flip-flop, to calling for the scrapping of the Stewardship Ontario program he helped establish in government, Hudak hypocrisy surfaces once again as he "forgets" his own record in government.

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