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November 14, 2009

Partisan messages OK in Taxpayer-funded mailings: Milliken

Member of Parliament are allowed to publish whatever they want in their mailings to constituents -- at the expense of the taxpayer.

That's what Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken had to say during a visit to Peterborough this week. ("Partisan messages OK in pamphlets: Milliken" - Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA.)

"There used to be rules forbidding partisanship on these things but I believe it was before I got on the [board that oversees the House of Commons operating budget] they changed those rules and allowed members to publish whatever they wanted on them," Milliken said yesterday. "So the board has very little control of the content."

This contradicts a statement made just days earlier (Nov. 12) by Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro, who told the Peterborough Examiner that the House of Commons approves the content of every message he sends out: "Every piece that I send is approved by the House of Commons, not by a political party."

Federal Liberal Candidate Betsy McGregor and Federal NDP Candidate Dave Nickle have each been highly critical of Del Mastro's use of taxpayer-funded mailings.

Facts and Figures

The Peterborough Examiner notes that out of the top 100 MP spenders on printing, 82 were Conservatives. In the top 20, 19 were Conservatives with NDP MP Olivia Chow coming in 10th at $78,485.


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