January 25, 2000 06:14pm
Ottawa Helps Canadians Connect -- With The Dead
(OTTAWA) -- The Canadian government, already blasted for funding a dumb-blonde joke book and lesbian soft-core porn, has now paid for books on communicating with the dead and enjoying orgasms, an opposition politician charged Tuesday.
Reform Member of Parliament John Williams, who has access to precise government spending as chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, detailed the information as he delivered what he termed his "Waste Report".
Canadian Heritage Minister Sheila Copps was forced to admit a year ago that a C$98,000 ($68,000) grant to Montreal publisher Edimag for dumb-blonde jokes was, well, dumb.
But Williams said Edimag had won C$275,000 in federal funding in the last four years and churned out "How to Communicate with the Dead," "How to Stimulate the G-Spot" and "How to Understand and Enjoy an Orgasm."
"That is despicable. That is waste, that is incompetence and that is gross disregard for the taxpayer," he told a news conference.
Of course, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Liberal prime minister from 1921-30 and 1935-48, consulted his dead mother and other departed relatives and friends.
But Copps, also a Liberal, has generally dissociated herself from such grants, on the grounds that they are made at arm's length. She was criticized last May for a grant to the soft-core porn film Bubbles Galore.
In 1997, Williams revealed, her department granted C$7,500 to the Spirit Wrestlers Association for a book on healing songs, incantations and spiritual poems.
Neither her office nor Edimag were available for comment.
Williams also revealed that the Department of National Defense lost "bicycle trainer wheels" costing C$825, and some civil servant managed to get reimbursed C$263 for a canceled golf trip.
($1 equals $1.44 Canadian)