Sunday, January 8, 2012
Fiscal Conservative, Huh?
I love this MacKay cartoon, created when Stephen Harper sold us out for a few crumbs in his "Buy American" scheme. With Obama once again promoting the insourcing of jobs and America first policies, we can no longer count on the United States to get us out of the hole. Not that we should have in the first place.
The U.S. is on its way to economic recovery, while the Canadian economy is losing ground. To help with so-called deficit reduction, the Harper government is laying off 10% of the public service, mainly in areas that challenge their ideology; like Statistics Canada, Environment Canada and Heritage.
Looking to cut corners they are paying a consulting firm $90,000 a day to do the job that was once handled by cabinet ministers. What cabinet ministers are doing now is anyone's guess.
MacLeans has recently published a list of 99 stupid things the government spent your money on, covering right from municipal to federal.
Telling are those "investments" made by our "fiscal conservative" feds. Without mentioning the $57,000 for a fake lake, $16 billion on 65 stealth fighter jets (without engines), and the $19.8 million spent so far on those consultants, the "stupid things" include:
- $6 million to Quebec snowmobile clubs.
- $9,000 to convert a curling rink into an archery centre
- $5 million toward marketing and celebrating the 2012 Grey Cup in Toronto
- $1.16 million to design a pedestrian bridge over a busy highway, even though no decision has been made on whether the bridge is actually needed.
- $180,000 to bring Snoop Dog to the East Coast.
- $26 million on advertising the Economic Action Plan in the lead up to the spring election
- $190,000 into Mrs. Dunster’s, a New Brunswick-based doughnut maker notable for making doughnuts out of pure lard (I thought Harper was a Timmy's man)
- $700,000 was invested in two start-up cheese companies
- $7.3-million to make 486 million new pennies, which means each penny cost 1.5 cents each. This despite the fact that they are talking about getting rid of the penny altogether.
- Revenue Canada spent $750,000 on an ad campaign warning the public about “under the table home renovations.” Another $113,000 was poured into hiring a polling firm to learn that the ads weren’t very effective.
- $249,000 in Newtopia, a company based in Vaughan (Julian Fantino's riding) that offers genetic testing for obesity and online weight-loss counselling. Founder Jeff Ruby was ecstatic: “Banks can give us money, but the government of Canada provides great credibility.”
- $1.05 million to Calona Wines of B.C. to double the output of its boxed wines, even though 80 per cent of the wine it sells is imported
- $87,000 to PurGenesis Technologies of Montreal to commercialize its “line of anti-aging products based on certiﬁed organically grown baby spinach leaves.” The money followed an earlier government “contribution” of $282,000 in 2009. Couldn't we just use baby spinach leaves?
- a company called Solarpro was awarded $54,000 to commercialize tanning beds.
- a $284-million program to get Ontario tobacco farmers out of the industry in 2008 actually funnelled half the money to people who didn’t farm tobacco in the first place
- $41,300 to find out the value of Canada’s polar bear population. Turns out each one is worth $400,000. Based on what, and who would actually pay that to own a polar bear?
- Ottawa’s National Capital Commission installed seven new ice shacks along the Rideau Canal for skaters. Each shack cost $750,000. By comparison, the average house price in Ottawa is $360,000
- $200,000 for two focus-group surveys that both concluded: “Generally speaking, participants were not looking for a quick fix to Canada’s budgetary deficit.”
And that's only a partial list with more to come. Will it include the $800,000 fiasco to celebrate our victory (?) in Libya? Or the hundreds of thousands for a re-enactment of the War of 1812? Carefully staged photo-ops?
When Harper was with the National Citizens Coalition, he hated this kind of government waste. Now he's like Sarah Palin on crack.