However, we note with some concern that Brandon-Souris Conservative MP Merv Tweed appears to have played politics with Friday’s funding announcement.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Friday, Tweed’s office sent out a press release announcing the $500,000 grant to the Dome Building. There was no splashy media event, no smiling handshake photo opportunity for Tweed with the Provincial Ex’s general manager — just a quiet notice with some curious wording.
“By supporting the Dome Building restoration, our government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture and heritage,” Tweed was quoted as saying. “The Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba has worked tirelessly on this project through fundraising and overwhelming volunteer support. I commend them for putting together an excellent plan and team.”
It’s rather innocuous at first glance, until you consider the fact that another local renovation project — the Strand — was recently denied funding. As Tweed previously noted, the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society’s fundraising and business plans were said to be overly optimistic and “didn’t demonstrate the organization has the capacity to manage the project.”
As a media organization, we can say with some authority that no government makes such a sizable announcement at 4 p.m. on a Friday unless it wants to bury the information, and thus prevent reporters who are at the end of their shifts from asking pesky questions.
The Strand’s business plan may well have deserved to be turned down, but the apparent dig from Tweed was unnecessary.
It’s really quite a shame that our local politicians can’t see past their own political blinders and act for the best interests of everyone in our community.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 7, 2012