Ralph Goodale raises the matter of the Norman Bethune memorial to question cuts to the Motherwell Homestead in Abernathy, Saskatchewan.
It’s no wonder people around Abernethy feel strongly about this National Historic Site. It costs less than $400,000/year to operate as a vital community asset, tourist attraction, educational tool, job creator, and living monument to a prairie hero. But none of that matters to Stephen Harper. Like that tree nursery at nearby Indian Head, the Motherwell Homestead got chopped in this year’s budget. It’s being drastically downsized and left to languish as a pale shadow of what it used to be.
This is a dumb decision. But worse still, it’s biased and discriminatory. While the Motherwell Homestead is being gutted, the Harper Conservatives are putting $2.5-million into the home-riding of Treasury Board Minister Tony Clement for a National Historic Site near Muskoka, Ontario. Remember “pork-barrel” Tony? He’s the Harper Minister who mis-spent $50-million without lawful authority on sheer waste (e.g., ornamental gazebos and sidewalks to nowhere) to puff-up his riding before the G-8 fiasco there in 2010. Now he gets yet another spending boondoggle, while Abernethy gets cut. Why?