No wonder Ottawa's "Economic Action Plan" signs cost so much—they're not footing the bill -

No wonder Ottawa’s “Economic Action Plan” signs cost so much—they’re not footing the bill


Two stories that I’m not quite sure add up to a scandal, but are nonetheless intriguing: First, Le Devoir reported yesterday that the Tories are spending a mind-boggling $800 to $7,000 to produce and install each one of those goofy “Economic Action Plan” signs that are popping up on just about any project that requires more than an x-acto knife to complete. Try as they might, Le Devoir‘s reporters couldn’t figure out just how the Tories are spending that much per sign—their half-assed call for bids found printers willing to make similar signs for about 200 bucks a pop. The second story, uncovered by, may explain why Ottawa doesn’t mind putting up so many of those godforsaken signs no matter how much they cost—they’re not the ones paying for them:

According to our sources, the infrastructure program established by Ottawa to stimulate Canada’s economy includes unusual, publicity-related requirements to guarantee funding. The Conservative government is telling cities and provinces they have to pay for the enormous signs put up at infrastructure building sites financed by Ottawa.

Alas, neither story is getting much play. As is their wont, the Liberals suddenly don’t seem all that interested in where Ottawa’s stimulus money has gone or is going. Onto the scrap heap the story goes, left to rot alongside Suaad Mohamud, those body bags, and a bunch of “sexy” isotopes. The hot story now, at least until the next “gaffe” is uncovered, is the fact no one you know has been vaccinated against H1N1. (This situation, according to Liberal party president Alf Apps, is nothing short of “the ‘Hurricane Katrina’ of our own laissez-faire, fend for yourself government.” If the Liberals play their cards right, Sarah Polley should be appearing on a telethon any minute now to warn us that “Stephen Harper doesn’t care about feverish people.”) Meanwhile, the stimulus spending chugs along.

Mick Jagger was right: Who wants yesterday’s papers? Nobody in the world.


No wonder Ottawa’s “Economic Action Plan” signs cost so much—they’re not footing the bill

  1. The Liberals sent out a release on this story two hrs ago.

  2. That clears that up – the government's stimulus plan is a success! Provinces and municipalities are creating employment by paying inflated prices for signs.

    So many boondoggles, so little time. . .

  3. No matter which government puts them up, it's the taxpayers who foot the bill. The Conservatives: misappropriating tax money to advertise themselves, but in a sneaky way.

  4. That the stories make no sense should be a clue that maybe they arent true….maybe I am not a firm believer in the myth of government competence, which is why I dont by conspiracy theories.

    Love the Sarah Polley line, is she the white Kanye?

  5. The opposition party always has to shape their message with the media. If the media is leading off with H1N1, what else would you expect them to do? Besides, I'm sure there's a lot more yet to come on the stimulus spending, especially since we've not yet started to read about contracting issues.

  6. So it's ok for a road paver, a carpenter, a painter to get stimulus funds,
    but not advertising/sign companies ????

    Are their any other businesses or industries that are on the phantom list of ' guys'.?

    • Er, I think the issue is that it seems these signs can get printed for about a 1/4 of what's being paid for them.

      On the low end.

      • Don't bother, most of the time Wilson is on auto con-bot. She automatically rejects info that clashes with her bias.

    • We just heard an item on our B.C. news this morning telling us that not only are our tax dollars going to this nonsense but the company that makes the signs is not even in CANADA but in Tacoma, Washington!!

  7. Wow. You're actually within the news media empire and you are lumping the body bag non-story with other legitimate stuff?

    Just goes to show how the lie makes it around the world before the truth gets to even lace up.

    • Thought you'd be pulling your hair out over this one MYL!

      • The hair's fine, thanks, kcm. It's just telling how the sexier the Scandal, the less it needs to be actually True for it to remain Accepted Wisdom. Even within the news media cabal itself. Must fit in with one or some of Wells's pieces of legislation…

    • Don't get me wrong: I actually thought the body bags story was the most ridiculous, embarrassing non-story to come around in ages. The point I was trying to make is that the Liberals treated it like the second coming of the Pentagon papers leak and ditched it just as quickly.

      • Thanks, Philippe, but the Liberals SHOULD have ditched this one. Local nurse blows it on an order, federal suppliers smell something strange, so they under-deliver on the over-order, and Bang! If the Liberals kept at this one, the actual exculpatory truth might have actually made it into public awareness (better than, say, page heart-of-darkness in the Winnipeg Free Press).

        When you lumped body-bags in with legitimate stuff, you left the impression this story was legitimate. Turns out it never was. And still almost no Canadian is even aware of that.

  8. Anyone else see a nightmare future? If the cons get their way and further weaken…er ensure the earlier version of the constitution is aderred to – ie., you do this we'll do that.[ or else!] Then we'll be seeing more and more of this sort of thing. Sluff off your responsibilities and duty to be accountable onto the backs of other levels of govt. Hardly surprising in a govt that accepts all the credit and none of the blame for anything. Ah yes. Use the power of the purse to bribe/strong arm other levels of govt into providing political cover for you – the beauty is you even get to blame them for not taking the lowest possible bid. Pure genius! Duplessis would have been proud!

  9. "If the Liberals play their cards right, Sarah Polley should be appearing on a telethon any minute now to warn us that “Stephen Harper doesn't care about feverish people.”"

    Possibly the best line I've ever read from Macleans.

  10. They should get Kanye West and Mike Meyers to do it again. All of the sudden Kanye will cut Mike off and say "the Austin Powers movies were good, but the James Bond movies are the best spy movies of all time".

  11. that's because the national government doesn't understand why it's running a government…

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  13. Iggy is to the Liberals what John Kerry was to the Democrats in 2004. I have never seen a better tag team of politicians than Iggy and Harper. What strange bedfellows politics make, indeed.

  14. From today's cbc
    'Canada's Economic Action Plan' signs painted in U.S.

    "The signs promote the $8 million federal-provincial economic stimulus plan, which is supposed to provide work for small and medium sized B.C. businesses, said Conroy. Instead the roads signs were made by Zumar Industries from Tacoma, Wash., which has received more than $1 million in work from the B.C. government in the last four years, she said."

    Boondoggle – now with even more doggle!

  15. Anyone who really wants to know whats going on watch ohcanadamovie