Hey, it's a small town 
Technology Partnerships Canada was in the news a couple of days ago as questions were raised over the program's stated breakeven goal even though only 5% of loans have been repaid. The Auditor General is currently looking at the program.

Did you remember this deal a couple of years ago:
OTTAWA, December 11, 2002 — Industry Minister Allan Rock today announced a $60 million initiative in partnership with Mitel Networks Corporation and March Networks Corporation as part of a $240 million project to make Canada a powerhouse in Internet-enabled communications.
Through Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC), the Government of Canada is making a strategic investment of up to $60 million with Mitel Networks Corporation and March Networks Corporation to launch an aggressive research and development program.
Terry Matthews, Chairman of both Mitel Networks and March Networks, noted that “the opportunity presented by broadband is immense in terms of both how this core technology can enhance the way Canadians work and live, and in our ability as a nation to build communications tools that are highly exportable and widely adopted. Mitel Networks and March Networks have invested heavily during the last two years to be the first to market with high-value broadband applications. We are pleased that the Government of Canada is sharing in our vision.”
Technology Partnerships Canada, a key instrument of Canada's Innovation Strategy, makes conditionally repayable strategic investments in great Canadian ideas that are the currency for success in the 21st century.

On the weekend, Bourque's Heard at Hy's gossip site had this (Friday, Nov 12):
"Super Mario and the gang (Sir Terry Matthews and Glenn O'Farrell) are planning a PM Reception for December 1st over at the Chateau Laurier. Apparently, people are being told that they will have a chance to rub shoulders with government decision-makers...guessing that means the PM can't actually show up!"
"I know, I heard, but with the Liberal Caucus Christmas Party a couple of days later", she clues in, "who's going to fork over $250, as opposed to the $50 or so that the Caucus usually charges. Is this a wise time of year to have a high-priced fundraiser ?"
The main courses arrive, hers the roast rack of lamb, his the gorgonzola filet mignon, both on the government tab.
"And no doubt", he continues as he cuts his meat, forks a piece, and stabbed the air
with it, "some casual observers may wonder why Sir Terry and Glenn "The broadcaster" are the front men for a Liberal fund raising event. I mean, isn't it odd that two folks who's organizations slurp at the public financial and policy troughs are doing such overt pandering of favour ? Doesn't this fly in the face of the attempts of the former Liberal administration to get business out of the political fund raising business ?"

Questions? Anyone? Anyone?

Noticed tonight that this blog was linked from Bourque's Heard at Hy's site.

The reason for the title of the post - Hey, it's a small town - is that we really can't expect too much separation of the business community and political fundraising in this town - can we?.

Do I know anything fishy about Mitel's 60 million from TPC and Matthews political associations? No. The problem is that while every specific instance that raises eyebrows can usually be explained rather easily - Mitel is leading IP technology for enterprises - the sum of it all is a smelly pile of pork.

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