Let’s hear it for Babel’s Impresario Brown.

You have to admit, Patrick Brown is far better at being an impresario and promoting fund-raising events for some of our local charities than at being a Member of Parliament.  It figures that the Conservatives had to find something for him to do.

The only question we have is whether this is a very expensive way to help these select charities?  Is the job he is doing worth the $157,000 per year we pay him as a Conservative Member of Parliament?  Over the past several years, he has set new records in taxpayer funded mailing costs to promote himself.  He even has the distinction of being censured by the House of Commons Speaker for spending federal taxpayers’ money to promote the re-election of a city Councillor.

Another of those grey mailers from Patrick arrived in the mailbox the other day.  It is for another fund raiser for our favourite hospital.  This time it is for an upcoming half marathon (first annual, it tells us) for more Royal Victoria Hospital expansion.  (If they keep expanding that hospital, we are going to have to move Highway 400 over to give the hospital more room.)

Brown wants us to run a marathon or at least half a marathon or maybe just five kilometres on August 14.  We will pass on that, thank you.

But what concerns us is that Brown keeps spending taxpayers’ money on these selected charities.  Is that fair?  What about our favourite charities?  Do they always have to be his favourites?  After all, it is our money he is spending to promote these events.  And there are lots of worthy charities.

That leads to another concern.  Impresario Brown has been promoting a hockey night event for a few years.  It makes money for the hospital.  We would like to know who else benefits.  Does Mr. Brown benefit or does he figure he gets all that publicity for free?  Are there tax receipts given to sponsors?  We would really like to see an audit on that event.  Mr. Brown does not seem to be above playing fast and loose with our tax money.

We hate to raise these questions but sometimes, we are not sure that Impresario Brown really knows what he is doing.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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