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At the lonely end of the rink (III)


 

The Stars gets Gerard Kennedy’s numbers on hockey rink stimulus in Toronto ridings.

Toronto 23 ridings — all but two held by Liberal MPs — got about 38 per cent less than the average Conservative riding in Ontario, prompting accusations that the government was again playing favourites as it doled out its massive stimulus fund.

The Toronto ridings got an average of $1.3 million, compared with an average of $2.1 million that was approved for Conservative ridings in Ontario — a difference of $777,787, according to Liberal MP Gerard Kennedy (Parkdale—High Park).

Kennedy’s office provides various figures and tables here.


 

At the lonely end of the rink (III)

  1. So, Toronto's in at last. The final bastion of liberal rectitude…or is it Consevative credibility… falls? I can't keep track. It's all so confusing

  2. If I remember correctly, the city of Toronto (thanks to Toronto's inept mayor and city council) failed to submit any proposals that met the stimulus criteria. So this is not surprising. Baird was quite frustrated about that at the time, and Baird was the target of media derision, for suggesting that Toronto should have proposed more projects. Yet now we see whining. You can't have your cake and eat it too – the Conservatives expected more proposals from Toronto.

    Lo and behold, Toronto ridings are absent from the list of top 20 ridings.

    Kennedy should be directing his report to the Toronto city council.

  3. How many skating rinks exist in downtown urban ridings ?

    Every small town in a Tory riding would want a rink. Some of these large rural ridings have dozens of municipalities versus these downtown liberal ridings representing neighbourhoods with single urban proffesionals and property values too high to justify small community rinks.

  4. This was all clearly explained ahead of time in the program criteria. You wrote about it yourself when the program was announced, rather than waiting for allegations of political impropriety. Right?

  5. The City of Toronto lists several hundred approved projects under the Canadian Economic Action Plan (http://www.toronto.ca/stimulus_fund/index.htm) if you're interested. However, the numbers in their reports are significantly different from those reported in the Star (off by a factor of about 8, me not bothering to grab a calculator). Maybe Toronto's projects are just approved, but not yet funded? If anyone has insights on that, I'd love to hear it.

    Anyway, despite Baird's temper tantrum at Toronto, it looks like the city has submitted many proposals meeting the criteria – they've even been approved.

  6. I was going to call this "Your Morning Smile" but I suspect many folks won't smile about it at all… So I'll call it "My Morning Smile".

    From a Toronto Star story this morning…

    Liberal MP Bonnie Crombie's riding, Mississauga-Streetsville, received zero dollars in stimulus – a fact she calls "distressing."

    "There are a number of pools and hockey rinks that would, of course, need it," she said. "(My constituents) feel like second-class citizens, like their recreational needs are worth less than those of Conservative ridings. Their votes don't count as much."

    It was unclear Wednesday whether applications had been made for stimulus money for recreational facilities in Crombie's riding.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/stimulus/artic

  7. Fascinating. Another high profile news article about a $0.00007 billion difference in a $0.19 billion component of $7.6 billion in federal funding for infrastructure. Surely, we can draw strong conclusions from this about political interference in the process. Or, we could check if the extra $2M that went to Kenora is the reason for this discrepancy. If it is, we could look at the projects approved in Northern Ontario and ask the Liberals which ones they'd cancel in order to fund ice rinks in Toronto. Would cancelling all the projects in First Nations communities be enough to satisfy Gerard Kennedy?

    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/708.nsf/eng/h_00019….

  8. Has anybody thought that maybe when the public hears these numbers they think "gee, if all the tory ridings are the ones cuttin' up the cash, maybe I want a government MP in my riding" instead of "wow, those buggers are not givin me my fair share".

    If every riding was supposed to get a fair share of budget money, then we should select a computer to run our country which would alocate all money through a formula equally to all ridings in Canada. Then we wouldn't need a government, just a calculator.

  9. Obviously Baird was blowing blooey when he said that.

    If all those proposals didn't meet stimulus criteria, then there would be NO funding.

    What Kennedy is reporting is that there was funding, it was just disproportionate, on average by almost $1M per riding.

    That can be explained by passing the buck and blame to the municipalities.

  10. Northern Ontario is NDP, not Liberal.

  11. That's what Martin thought. Didn't work out so well for him.

    But thanks for admitting that there is a scheme behind Harper's bias.

  12. It pulls the Conservative average up, Because Kenora is a Conservative riding federally – even though it was Howie's riding provincially.

  13. The Tories have been completely in disarray in response to these multiple accusations of politicizing stimulus money.

    At first they ignored it, said there was no story. Call that DefendConservatives6 (DefCon6) – "It's not a story".

    Then they tried to dismiss it as just Liberal mud-throwing. Call that DefCon5 – "Blame the Liberals".

    Then when the story doesn't disappear but in fact grows, they (see Miller) blame the media and ramp it up to DefCon4 – "Blame the media".

    They've even tried to bury the bias by claiming they only fund what the municipalities and provinces claim is needed, call that DefCon3 – "Blame another government or bureaucrat".

    When it came to ChequeMate, Keddy was pretty quick to blame his office workers which is a classic and worrying DefCon2 – "Blame a staffer" and, in a way, Harper did the same by blaming Keddy instead of the consistent program behind ChequeMate.

  14. But now that the real story is coming out and is not going away the way they ordered it to, they are floundering all over the place.

    On the one hand, you have Clement saying in Parliament that there is no bias, the money is being distributed fairly and evenly and equally, trying to bring it down to DefCon6.

    But on the other hand, you have John Baird quoting Jean Chretien saying that pork is a good thing. That's a brand new DefCon that needs a category and number all on its own.

    And on top of that you have the Prime MInister undermining the message of both his ministersin saying that the funding discrepancies are the result of Tory MPs working harder and Liberal MPs not working hard enough, not only basically admitting to systematic politicization of the funding, kind of a DefCon2.

    But at the same time you have the classic bait and switch panic when you've lost control of the story and need to go all the way to DefCon1 – "Refer to Adscam".

  15. It should be the opposite. They should be lavishing Liberal ridings with more money: "Gee, the Tories are building a new bridge in my Liberal riding. Maybe they're not so bad after all. Maybe I should stop voting Liberal and start voting Tory."

    Of course, I wouldn't advocate this. The money should be divided more or less equally per capita (or any other fair way to divide it), regardless of MP in any particular riding.

  16. Smaller populations have more of a need for expensive rinks than major populated areas do? Your logic makes no sense. Does anyone else love the irony that rural canadians look down on city canadians because they think city candians look down on them?

  17. Or they could think "gee my Liberal MP gets my riding money… why would I toss him/her?"

    Maybe I am way out of left field here, but I always thought the rule of thumb was that if you wanted things to get done in your riding, you voted for a government MP? So now we're all supposed to be shocked that ridings with government MP's may have gotten more than opposition ridings?

  18. Your right ted… the Liberals have got the Tories right where they want them…. 10-15 poinds ahead. Dang, it's all coming together now like a perfect storm. Ignatieff is a sheer communications genius and now that he has your def-con schematic, he can't lose.

  19. Gosh, then I guess I'll only pay my taxes when I'm represented by a gov't MP, since that's the only time I can expect any benefit from them.

    This is the dumbest line of reasoning I've seen on this topic yet.

  20. Apparently the Conservatives were supposed to have designed a stimulus program so that:

    Every riding in the country got precisely equal funding for hockey rinks
    Every riding in the country got precisely equal funding for soccer fields
    Every riding in the country got precisely equal funding for infrastructure

    And so on, and so on, and so on, all the way down the line for each individual stimulus initiative…and of course, the money had to start flowing immediately. All of this, mind you, regardless of what applications were made by local or provincial governments in each riding.

    I can't believe this is what passes for journalism in this country. This is a multi-billion dollar stimulus spending package which was put together within a few months and is still in progress. I've not seen a single analysis that shows a pattern of rejecting applications from non-Conservative ridings, which ANY responsible allegation of partisanship should include.

    Cherry picking the individual inequities of a much larger program that reinforce the narrative you wish were true is not journalism.

  21. The thing about communicating this whole scandal business is that the Liberals spent all of September saying the money wasn't flowing… nothing was getting out, and that projects hadn't started.

    Well a month later they're now screaming that all the money went to CPC ridings. Those messages conflict… so has all the money been spent? I thought you said it wasn't?

    Then Ignatieff talks about slaying the deficit, and the next day says he wants to launch a new daycare program?

    He says the government's time is up and they have no confidence, then says he'll "let" the government sit in the frying pan a little longer?

    Who is running his communications shop these days? Sybil?

  22. No i'm not saying you get no benefit from a non-government MP… I am saying that it doesn't take a genius to figure out that in terms of capital expenditures, the ridings with government mp's are going to have better access to the Minister of Finance.

    Government is all about priorities and lobbying for those priorities. If you have a government MP, you are likely going to benefit more financially.

    That is not to say your MP is not effective in a zillion other areas of policy or policy debate, nor does it exclude your MP from getting other great benefits for your riding. It is just to say that a government MP is better positioned to lobby on the inside for your riding in respects to local capital expenditures. That only makes sense.

  23. "How many skating rinks exist in downtown urban ridings?"

    A surprisingly large number, actually. And also, consider this. Toronto, while it has a downtown, has 75% of its' population spread out in the former cities of Scarborough, North York, etc, where residential areas are the majority of land. Lots and lots of rinks, pools and rec centres, and lots of kids. lots and lots of kids, playing basketball on that frickin driveway at 7 in the frickin morn…ahem. Sorry, on a tangent there.

    Also, if you've ever tried to book rink space, you'd understand that it doesn't matter where in the city the rink is, they're all full, all the time.

  24. Who said anything about polls.

    The Conservatives know they are extremely vulnerable here and their response has been all over the place like they are scrambling. Two weeks of this now and they still don't have any response and they still haven't released the data that Kevin Page and the rest of us Canadians want, and that Harper promised.

    As for polls, according to EKOS, after only a week of this, the polls are already narrowing.

  25. When did anyone say the money wasn't getting out?

    Obviously some of it was.

    The problem is that the little that is, has been going mostly to Tory ridings.

    And the message has been consistent. If you go back to Kennedy's report in the summer, he makes both those claims in the same report.

  26. There's an easy way to clear all of this right up: release the list of projects that were submitted and release the list of approved projects. But apparently, the government has decided not to go that route — despite promising to release the data. So you know what? When you give no information, you get speculation. And given the history of this particular government, it is no stretch of the imagination to think that the whole thing is politicized.

    You say that what the media is doing is not journalism? I say that what the government is doing is not governing.

  27. Also, has noone ever witnessed a candidate in a campaign saying that he/she could finally get that pet project you've always wanted because he/she will have the ear of the PM/Premier? This happens in Liberal, Conservative and yes, even NDP governments.

  28. Duplessis would be proud.

  29. Funny. I've been thinking that Harper is starting to ressemble Duplessis is many ways. Which would be bad news as i understand Duplessis was a masterful politician. Unfair of course, Duplessis was monstrous.

  30. How many blogs is it now on this subject Wherry? 30? 40?

  31. Since we are now talking Hockey arenas. Perhaps a proper look at Kennedy's numbers, would be to ask if he looked at the average age of the hockey infrastructure in each area…..Additionally, the GTA now has a number of privately run areas, since they have the density.

    So any reasonable study has to account for that as well.

    Of course the muncipalities and province have to also believe the hockey arena infrastructure in Toronto is a higher priority than other projects. In small town Ontario I suspect this is the case, since their hockey infrastructure is almost exclusively government run and was built in the lead up to the centennial over 40 years ago….so more maintenance or refit required…..

    Do you think Kennedy has analysed those aspects? But more importantly, why is McGuinty granting all this provincial money to conservative ridings….oh yeah, most of them are Liberal provincially…..scratch my back and I'll scratch yours…..

  32. On election night in 2006 I remember noticing that in the French part of his acceptance speech Harper used the word "desormais" an awful lot…which seemed like subtle reference to Paul Sauve's brief reign as leader of the Union Nationale. His position with regards to Quebec shared a lot with the UN (until he blowed himself up real good in that province last December ;)

  33. According to you, Canadian voters think like 12 year-olds.

  34. I love how Tories ask "reasonable questions" with absolutely no additional information to suggest that work that produced conclusions they don't like is shoddy. Except when it comes to the polls that show them in the lead….

  35. Clement's riding is also in Northern Ontario, which pulls the average way up.

  36. I do understand what you're saying from a realpolitik perspective. And I know it has occurred since the invention of politics.

    The trouble is, it's not supposed to happen. Taxpayer dollars should be spent where they'll do the most good, not where they'll benefit a politician or party the most. Especially in the case of stimulus spending, which has the specific purpose of driving employment.

    As usual, other politicians have done things like this in the past. And as usual, the Cons are taking it to a whole new level. This party has no respect for the ideals for democracy – they see Canada's government as a system to be gamed and abused for their benefit.

  37. That "Conservatives are ok because McGuinty made the decision" is nonsense. The province just gives a list of projects that they would like and the Feds pick from them. The top choice on Nova Scotia's list was rejected (in an opposition riding), while projects much lower down the list or not on their list at all got funding.

  38. This is the "Let's wait until all the facts are out" defense. It's not a bad one. But it runs into the problem that what's preventing the facts from coming out is the very party that has the most to lose if they're bad. This suggests that the reason the facts haven't come out yet is because that.. well.. they're bad.

  39. Interesting. Do you have a link for that?

  40. Oh come off it… the dark conservatives seeing the government as a system to be gamed and abused? They aren't sith lords for petes sake. They are just a gov't in power that is a different color than you'd prefer.

    Who is anyone to argue that the projects in Tory ridings aren't of value to the economy? I'm sure 90% are, and I am also sure that you could make an equally compelling argument for increased projects in Liberal ridings as well. My point is, Tories in power, are going to help Tory ridings the most… same as if Liberals were in power, Liberals would help liberal ridings the most.

    I'm not congratulating tories for doing things the same old way, but I'm also not accusing them of doing something TOTALLY out of left field and never encountered before. It's not a whole new level.

    In this case, the money being complained about is being spent on real projects. Not somebodys back pocket or a brown envelope. So how is this a whole new level? What is all the fuss about and outrage?

  41. Well I am glad you think the questions are reasonable, I do too. Got any answers?

  42. Hey the Liberals get to make poitical hay out of it…..good on them. This is the kind of stuff they should be doing, it doesnt make it right or wrong, its just good opposition stuff. Of course, if its effective they'll need an alternate solution. That they dont feel the need to propose is either because they dont have traction yet (havent proven the case) or they dont have one.

  43. I thought it was about projects that got people working not about how much a particular riding got.

    A phantom project would be a real issue…..or if there are projects that get refused or no other reason that it was in an opposition riding. Evrrything else is too hard to prove.

  44. It is baffling why the Harper government doesn't just put an end to this guessing game and the growing assumptions that they must be hiding something, and just release all of their data on stimulus spending. They can't possibly be so arrogantly stupid as to assume that Canadians just don't care that they and their children (and grandchildren?) will be paying for this unprecedented government spending.

  45. I would be curious as well, because the government in power at the time was Conservative, till June 2009 I believe.

    I would be surprised if the project was in a complete opposition riding. It might have been as silly as Miller asking for funding for subway cars.

  46. It's partly that defense. But my main points are:

    1) that it's ludicrous to suggest that a stimulus package like this one, which was multi-billion dollars, cobbled together in a couple of months, needed to be distributed quickly, and based on applications for funds from lower levels of government is ever going to be equitable across the board, and thus the cherry picking is unreasonable. As previously demonstrated, the numbers can be framed to say anything by anyone with a motive to do so. The highest recipients of stimulus funds per capita in the country? Newfoundland & Labradour, who didn't elect a single Conservative MP. Who uncovered that? The Liberals' own researchers. Why is no one reporting on that? One word answer. Motive.

    2) that before allegations of partisanship can be levelled responsibly by the media, I would expect to see a demonstrable pattern that opposition ridings had funding applications rejected with greater frequency than Conservative ridings, where there was no other overriding reason for the rejection (i.e. lower level of government couldn't provide the matching funding required, etc.). Just showing that Conservative ridings are getting more is not enough, as it doesn't consider the dozens of factors that could influence why.

  47. Kenora and Kitchener are indeed affecting the averages. If you take $5M out of Kenora to bring it down to the provincial average, and add that funding to opposition ridings, the gap narrows to $1.97M Conservative average versus $1.55 opposition (27% difference). Bringing Kitchener down ti the average, makes the gap $1.90M to $1.55M (22% difference). But which Kenora projects does Kennedy want to cancel to transfer the funds to Toronto?

  48. "They aren't sith lords for petes sake"

    Maybe not, but they are definitely past masters of an anagram of "sith" preceded by the surname of a Canadian engineer who was employed in constructing a super cannon for the Iraqis.

  49. Style – I'm sure you would agree the best remedy for all of this would be the full disclosure of all stimulus spending.

  50. Uh… Your "$0.00007 billion" figure has one too many zeros in it.

  51. Toronto did submit proposals – MONTHS LATE – and after large chunks of stimulus had been delivered already. First it was that silly streetcar dream, which would mean Toronto would have gotten ZERO stimulus for local projects if the government approved. Blame Miller for this, he's the one that had no interest in seeing these local projects funded.

  52. And there's no demand at all – is there?

  53. Not for funding. His riding isn't in the top 20 for funding announced.

  54. Why do you assume there are numbers available that haven't been released? Until Ignatieff demanded it, the federal government had never issued quarterly reports on programs before.

  55. Why do the federal Liberals keep getting into conflict with the Ontario Liberals? Ontario just announced an unexpectedly high, record deficit today – while Ignatieff has been wandering around saying "you can't count on a government that can't count" and otherwise bemoaning record deficits…

    Anyway, as Inkless pointed out earlier today, Smitherman didn't talk about the criteria for the RInC program when it was announced so he must be excluded from the conversation now.

  56. Thanks for the catch. Sorry I can't edit the original comment.

  57. That's an interesting point, scf.

    Let us say that Parliament approves a massive stimulus fund of 4 billion dollars, and let's say that the government decides to tie that to provincial and municipal funding also.

    Let's say that only two municipalities ask for any of the funding, and let's say that one (of two) provincial governments refuses the project.

    Would we then think it is okay to spend the entire 4 billion on whichever municipality got its province to step up to the plate?

    Or in other words, if Toronto didn't ask for Toronto's share, why isn't it safe and sound in the treasury–why is it being allocated elsewhere?

  58. And there's more! From the Ottawa Citizen:

    The government has not released a list of projects that were rejected, and it is possible that Opposition ridings received funding for fewer projects because their MPs were less likely to encourage groups in their communities to apply for the Conservative government program.

    Projects in Clement's riding of Parry Sound – Muskoka received a total of $2.7 million in federal funding for RinC projects, while Liberal infrastructure critic Gerard Kennedy's downtown Toronto riding took in $523,467.

    Clement explained that his riding includes 16 different communities that could apply for RinC projects, while Kennedy's covers only one – the City of Toronto.

    Of the 130 applications for RinC received from Toronto, 118 were awarded funding, Clement said.

    Wherry, will there be a "At the lonely end of the rink (IV)" post which corrects some of the misconceptions you've been linking to and helping to spread?

  59. Made a weird mistake about Kenora and Kitchener. If you take $5M out of Kenora to bring it down to the provincial average, and add that funding to opposition ridings, the gap narrows to $1.97M Conservative average versus $1.64 opposition (20% difference). Bringing Kitchener down to the average, makes the gap $1.90M to $1.71M (10% difference). Two ridings nearly eliminate the apparent difference. Finding two Liberal ridings funded well below average would probably explain the rest. The story turns on four ridings.

  60. john g, good call, the good stuff continues to elude rinkless. Good thing we have Kennedy charging to unmask the Federal Tory – Ontario Liberal conspiracy to screw Toronto:

    "The knowledge infrastructure program, which is for post-secondary education, you'll see that Toronto actually comes out with a higher degree of investment than its proportion of population…I'm pretty confident that there's going to be a very equitable regional distribution once we've completed the allocation of all those dollars.”

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper also dismissed Kennedy's allegations. He said that it was the Liberal Ontario government that chose which projects would receive funding.

  61. "it is possible that Opposition ridings received funding for fewer projects because their MPs were less likely to encourage groups in their communities to apply for the Conservative government program"

    That statement just doesn't make much sense at all. Why on earth would opposition MPs want to alienate their constituents by not encouraging them to get a share of the stimulus that they will be paying for for years to come?

  62. Clement – say no more..please.

  63. If Harper said it we know it's true…right?

  64. Wikipedia on Sith Lords: "Characterized by their single-minded pursuit of power and disdain for sentient life…"

    My god, they ARE Sith Lords!

    Look, if the Conservatives were Sith Lords, he would argue that, pragmatically, all politicians are Dark Lords of some sort, so what's the big deal if we're currently led by the master of the Dark Side?

    Isn't it funny how conservatives are all Preston Manning devotees until their guy is in power. Then it's all "this is just the way it is, stop complaining!"

    Honestly, it wouldn't bother me if 1) they weren't so bloody sanctimonious during the Preston Manning cycle, and 2) their guy didn't do it to a new, unprecedented and truly gross degree.

  65. That line was not a quote from Clement, it was from whoever wrote the story.

  66. Uh, isn't the alternate solution simply to dole out stimulus dollars on the basis of efficacy, not political expediency?

    In other words, the alternate solution is *what is supposed to be happening*

  67. You're wrong, Baird was correct, and it is easy to verify. Toronto tried to strong-arm the feds into funding streetcars, which did not fit the stimulus criteria. To pressure the feds, they submitted no other proposals. The rest of the country had no trouble cooperating, it's just Toronto city council that thinks they are the center of the universe. As Savant indicates, the only adequate proposals came months late. Blow smoke all you like, I prefer to deal with facts.

  68. You'd think she wouldn't advertise her own incompetence.

  69. Wherry does not work that way. He takes one side and never backs down.

  70. Because it's stimulus! The program is the "stimulus" program. I think the whole idea of stimulus is bunk, but if the idea is stimulus, then sticking the money in the treasury is worthless.

    I think the idea of stimulus is garbage, it's pork, and it's a waste. The concept is complete bunk. It's sacrificing future generations and peoples' savings for people working today. But the Cons were forced into it. The coalition was formed with the raison d'etre to spend a gazillion dollars when Harper refused to do so, so Harper listened and now instead of a gazillion dollars in spending we have a billion in spending. I can only shudder when thinking what Dion/Layton would have done.

    Toronto decides they would use this opportunity to try to strong-arm the Cons some more. What a dumb idea that was, they intentionally shot themselves in the foot.

    So Toronto did get some funding in the end. But it's pretty damn hard to ensure they get equal funding if they chose to play hardball for months on end. The Cons are not supposed to be doing the job of Toronto city council.

    Even the Ontario government sides with the feds on this one. If you take a look at john g's link, they are claiming that toronto did in fact get equal funding when you consider all the different proposals, and that it was the provincial liberals who chose the projects that received the money.

  71. Seriously, you think that all future Canadians should be expected to pay because, let's say it's Orangeville (and I say that because I haven't the faintest idea of unemployment there, Orangeville's political structure, how many ridings there are, the MPs holding the seats, etc.) has now got a subway system unto itself, the entire downtown core has been razed to the ground that new buildings might be erected in their place, every single subdivision has its own skating rink, pool, tennis courts, bowling alleys, etc. (and all city council and city employees have been taken away in straightjackets).

    In spite of your dislike of the concept of stimulus funding from the get-go, you wouldn't be mightily incensed at this? You don't live in Orangeville, by chance, do you?

  72. we probably all agree that a program that spent $4B paving over Orangeville because nobody else in the entire country wanted any part of it would be a bad program. If this is surprising to you, it might be best if you stayed away from designing government programs.

  73. Senator Palpatine seemed like a reasonable guy.

  74. No, I don't live in Orangeville. And I agree with Style, I sure hope that the money being spent will at least build something that people want, rather than raze everything existing and replacing it with something else.

    I'm not sure what you're getting at. I don't think federal tax dollars should be diverted into local projects, so that people in British Columbia and Newfoundland are paying for Orangeville to put blowing alleys on every street corner. If anything, people should be taxed locally for what happens locally.

    In fact, I'm a small c fiscal conservative, and somewhat of a libertarian, and so I believe that government should not be doing things that can be done outside government by citizens (example government activities include national defense, legislating, courts, and infrastructure such as roads). Almost every stimulus project across the country is probably something I'd prefer to see out of the hands of government – I don't think government should have any involvement in bowling alleys at all, nor skating rinks, nor arts, nor culture, nor energy, nor hospitals, and the list goes on.

    Since the money is being spent, yes, I'd prefer to see it produce something valuable. But on the other hand, I'm not surprised when I see government digging holes and then filling them up, paving over Orangeville, and whatnot. Money is better spent by private citizens because they truly care if it is wasted or not. When it comes out of a giant slush fund, then bridges to nowhere, cities paved over and bowling allies galore are not uncommon.

  75. That being said, my main points on this page are that people are throwing blame at the Cons for a) falsehoods and b) things that the Cons originally had no desire for. I've yet to see proof that the Cons favoured their own ridings, or that they are doing anything worse than previous governments, and in fact I can remember Harper refusing to create a giant simulus/pork program and getting pillaged by the opposition for the idea.

    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=101850

    The lack of a stimulus plan from the governing Conservatives in their most recent fiscal update is what the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Quebecois say brought them together to take down the Conservative government at the earliest possible moment and form a ruling coalition.

    "We have committed not to enter a long-term deficit, but we will act now to introduce a robust, fiscal stimulus policy designed to help Canadians and businesses weather the [financial storm," said Stéphane Dion, the Liberal Leader who, on an interim basis, would lead the coalition government and become Canada's 23rd Prime Minister.

    Based on a policy framework the coalition released, the stimulus package would focus on: accelerating existing spending, and introduce new cash…

  76. Talk of a coalition government was triggered when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered his controversial fiscal update last Thursday.

    Opposition parties blasted the Tories for failing to include a stimulus package for the slumping economy

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/12/02/questio

    Thank you, coalition.

  77. The "very equitable regional distribution" qoute was Smitherman. You could listen to Ont. Liberals or you could assume Harper said it it must be wrong. Your call.

  78. Hold up, scf. I'm very glad we all agree Orangeville should retain its historic architecture (or replace it on its own dime). But the Conservative message that they were "forced" by the coalition to enact the stimulus spending plan they did (by the coalition that they "forced" into existence in the first place) is flawed. The coalition realistically "forced" them to do *something*. As in ANYTHING, as in wake up and realize just denying a recession doesn't make it go away!

    Continued . . .

  79. For me, I would have been happy with a less robust stimulus plan. For example, I think the home renovation tax credit was a great idea (and I don't own a home to take personal advantage). I grudgingly accept (very grudgingly) that some money had to bail out the auto industry. I do wonder however if our negotiators got us every advantage they could (okay, any advantage whatsoever). I also wonder if we couldn't have played hardball back, as in "you forfeit all the tangible assets already, since you haven't lived up to deals Provincial governments have already given you." But I digress.

    Blaming the Liberals (or the coalition) because Conservative ridings get more skating rinks than anyone else is just a tad overstretching, don't you think?

  80. Well, I think I went off into a tangent. But one of my two points (a) above is that there is no evidence yet that Conservative ridings have received more money. I'm still waiting for real evidence, not this skating rink crap and this crap about one of the ten provinces (NS) and this crap about Toronto.

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