The Conservative government overruled federal bureaucrats and gave $1-million to a social hall project submitted by an Ottawa rabbi with close ties to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.
After speaking to Mr. Baird, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley personally approved the project even though her officials determined it did not meet the criteria for a federal program aimed at making facilities wheelchair accessible.
The funding request for the expansion of a Jewish community centre known as a Chabad was submitted by Rabbi Chaim Mendelsohn of the Canadian Federation of Chabad Lubavitch, who serves as the Canadian face of the international Hasidic outreach movement.
Ministers can make such decisions because they are ultimately responsible for spending in their department.
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