A now-infamously short-lived Conservative candidate may be facing a REAL shit-creek legal situation (sans paddle, of course).
Rosamund Luke, purportedly a member of R.E.A.L. women and until a week ago Conservative candidate for the Halifax riding, may be facing a criminal investigation regarding the disappearance of funds allocated to her [organization] by Status of Women Canada, under the New™ guidelines established by the Harper government.
Ms Luke was the executive director of an organization called All Women’s Empowerment and Development Association, the beneficiary of $142,700 federal grant last March from Status of Women Canada. The funding was meant to fund a 12-month pilot project to integrate low-income immigrant women into Nova Scotia’s small business community. About $130,000. is missing, according to the two remaining board members who fired Ms Luke. The association, whose goal was to bring economic independence to immigrant women, provided financial help to only seven women. Seven women.
That total does not include Ms Luke, who may have been quite well served by her turn as director of the organization. Transparency and accountability, it’s the Conservative way of doing business.
Related: NDP MP Peter Stoffer’s letter to Auditor General Shelia Fraser formally requesting an investigation into the circumstances of how the grant was awarded:
Tuesday 23 September 2008
Sheila Fraser, FCA
Auditor General of Canada
Office of the Auditor General of Canada
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G6
Dear Ms Fraser:
I am writing to you to formally request an investigation by your office into a $142,700 grant by Status of Women Canada to a group calling itself the All Women’s Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA).
I’m confident you are aware of recent media coverage concerning the Halifax-based organization as well as the controversy concerning its executive director Rosamond Luke and her political activities on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Most recently, today’s Halifax Chronicle Herald reports deeply worrying details about the decision by AWEDA’s board of directors to remove Ms. Luke from her position “citing accounting irregularities”.
The department’s Grant and Contribution disclosure record states that the $142,700 grant was awarded on March 2008. It also says that the project it is purposed to be in support of as follows: “This 12 month pilot project is designed to enable and integrate low-income immigrant women in Nova Scotia society through entrepreneurship, self-employment and micro enterprise projects.”
The very same Chronicle Herald article states that the doors of the program, opened near the Armdale Rotary, have now been closed – only six months into the 12 month pilot project.
I am personally supportive of the mission of the grant, and am now grievously worried that public funds approved by parliament for one purpose may have been used for a very different one. This is why I am hoping your office will take appropriate measures to ensure that this was not the case.
I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
Peter Stoffer, MP