Wednesday, December 2, 2009

John Baird Says "Once Upon a Time"

Further to the Reform Party Stimulus Fairy Tale, John Baird is now telling all the good little boys and girls that everything will be just fine.

The lineups at the food banks are orderly. The homeless people who have no cars to live in, can camp out under the bridges that are in need of repair, and bankrupt Canadians will soon join them; so they won't feel lonely.

I think Canadians need to write the end of the story:

"And the Reformers were driven off Parliament Hill and we all lived happily ever after".

Stimulus report a 'fairy tale'
Liberal MP Kennedy says government misleading Canadians on number of projects
Les Whittington Ottawa Bureau
December 2, 2009

OTTAWA–A report on the Conservative government's economic stimulus plan will say that 8,000 government-funded urban renewal projects have been launched across the country this year.

The Conservatives previously reported that Ottawa's funding had helped get more than 4,000 road, bridge and other infrastructure projects under way by the end of September. The latest figures will double that estimate.

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper is on a visit to China, his government is to unveil the quarterly report Wednesday to Parliament on the economic program.

The Liberals on Tuesday accused the Harper government of misleading Canadians about Ottawa's pro-growth program.

"Canadians are going to get an expensive fairy tale," Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy said when asked about the report. "It's going to be all promotion and no reality," Kennedy (Parkdale-High Park) told reporters. "It's unfortunate for Canadians that they are going to be misled by their own government."

The 8,000 projects underway include more than 40 per cent of the projects announced under the flagship Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, The Canadian Press reported.

The $4 billion fund, which requires matching cash from provincial and municipal governments, has approved 3,226 projects, a spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird told the news agency. Of those projects, 1,390 – or 43 per cent – accounting for $1.4 billion in federal funding have moved beyond the announcement stage and work has started, Chris Day said.

Harper committed to compiling the quarterly reports on how quickly the government's stimulus spending is getting out the door as a condition for Liberal support of the Conservatives' 2009 budget. But the reports and the economic action plan have become a magnet for conflict between the Liberal opposition and the government.

For instance, the Liberals said their sampling of 1,000 projects showed that only 12 per cent of the infrastructure projects were creating any jobs by September.

They also say the government refuses to release information that would give the public a clear idea of how many jobs are being created by Ottawa's infrastructure spending, which is costing taxpayers $16 billion over two years.

Kennedy, the Liberal infrastructure critic, said cities are required, as a condition for receiving funding from Ottawa, to regularly report job-creation numbers for urban renewal projects. But the government has refused to make these reports public, he said. "There can only be one reason – the Conservatives made false claims of `90 per cent of projects implemented' and thousands of jobs created, while hiding the information that contradicts those claims."

Asked about this in the Commons, Baird said Kennedy was working with outdated information that is three or four weeks old. (Actually the new reports suggest a mere 7%)

Baird said the government's spending is accomplishing its goal of stimulating economic activity.

"The economic action plan is working and we are continuing to make announcements and see construction begin in every corner of the country," he told MPs.

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