Conservative MP Brian Jean, who is on the list, said he’s not sure why he was flagged, but also said he isn’t troubled by it.The only problem is that so far, it's the public rather than the party picking up the tab for an effort aimed strictly at the Cons' partisan interests:
“They must be interested in what their colleagues are doing, right? I mean the government must be. It seems to make sense from a party position that you would be interested in what your members are saying,” he said.
The Harper government has spent more than $23 million over the last two years on media monitoring — including more than $2.4 million tracking some of its own backbench MPs in television interviews, radio and print, according to documents tabled in the House of Commons earlier this week.So the real question for the Harper regime is this: why is he forcing the public to pay for media monitoring which is obviously aimed at party management rather than any legitimate function of government? And when will the Cons reimburse Canada's public purse for the money they've taken already?
The names of 65 Conservative backbench MPs — or just about 64 per cent of all Tory MPs who have no ministerial or any parliamentary secretary duties — are included in a list of search terms the federal government paid third-party contractors to monitor in news media from April, 2011 to December, 2012, although some of the terms were also monitored in early 2013.
MPs and staff in every office The Huffington Post Canada contacted Wednesday were bewildered to learn who was named on a list of politicians the Privy Council Office (PCO) tracks. (The PCO is the prime minister’s department).
All Conservative MPs were meant to be included, Rivet added. “Things may have been missed. It was our intention to include everyone,” he said. (Most opposition MPs are not being tracked according to the documents tabled Monday).