At the lonely end of the rink


The Chronicle-Herald’s Stephen Maher and the Citizen’s Glen McGregor continue to investigate the distribution of federal stimulus.

Funds from a federal stimulus program designed to put hockey rinks and other recreation projects in communities across the country appear to be have been awarded disproportionately to Conservative ridings, an investigation shows.

Tory ridings have landed 66 per cent of all projects so far announced under the Harper government’s Recreation Infrastructure Canada program, also known as RinC.


At the lonely end of the rink

  1. I love how it's always 51% get this and then 46 % get that – well doesn't that mean that oppostion MP's are getting 49 % this and 54 % that – or am I missing something something. Also maybe oppostion PM's are not staying on top of things with the locl mayormuniciplaity and the premier since 333

    • Ahh, that would be 66% for the Tories who hold only 46% of the seats and that would mean 34% for all three other opposition parties who hold 54% of the seats.

      • Harper's lucky his fans are innumerate.

    • I'd be inclined to think that locl mayormuniciplaity and the premier since 333 wouldn't let "oppostion PM's" not be on top of any applications from locl municiplaity.

      The real problem might be the orders that have come down from on high that no one in any department is to ever talk to any opposition "PM's" on any file or issue or project without the permission of the Minister's office. (And guess how often they grant that?)

      That and the Tories are engaged in pure old-fashioned pork-barreling.

  2. Here's a couple factors that probably weren't controlled for:

    1) Rural ridings have been underfunded by the liberals for years and need upgrades.

    2) They also are more likely to have small rinks and children compared to downtown urban ridings where a rink wouldn't be practical.

    • Except look at where the Tory rinks are going. Cities. So your argument is moot.

    • "Rural ridings have been underfunded by the liberals for years and need upgrades."

      Underfunded how? in normal times, local funding are municipal or provincial matters.

      You're just making stuff up.,

    • That is non-sense.

      The riding the got the most projects was Kenora, which was held by the Liberals until 2008. It sounds to me like the Tories are trying hard to hold that seat.

      All 5 of the top ridings are Conservative ridings, including Tony Clement's riding (who is the Minister in charge of the program).

  3. The media is starting to grasp at straws. Who cares how many hockey rinks were built in Conservative ridings? The important thing is that the overall amount of stimulus money evens out across all ridings, regardless of whether it's used for hockey rinks or water treatment plants. Different communities have different needs.

    Does anyone really believe that the Tories are intentionally trying to get more hockey rinks in their ridings?

    • You folk keep saying that.

      You said that about general infrastructure money when they reported lopsided funding. You said that after they reported the huge lopsided funding in Nova Scotia. Same thing when they reported lopsided funding in BC and NB. Now you are saying biased funding for rinks is OK because, trust us, overall at some point in the future it will all work out evenly. Trust us. Trust Harper, because he's shown himself to be such a post-partisan/non-partisan leader afterall.

      Please. There is a very clear, very distinct pattern. We should not wait until it gets even worse and the Tories have used billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars to get themselves re-elected.

      Again though, if the spending is balanced, it should be easy enough for the government to prove its case. Just release all the numbers. Remember 90% is committed so we can quibble about the 10% later. Just let us know where 90% of this money is going. Why is that so hard?

      • Don't put words in my mouth.

        I'm asking that you hold off crying foul when a large part of the money has yet to be announced. Nothing more, nothing less.

        It's very easy for the government to give us all the numbers now, but I presume they'd rather make an announcement a day to spread the news over several days, rather than make one big announcement.

        If you want fun with numbers, here's one to ponder: Newfoundland received the highest per-capita stimulus spending than any other province, at 364.20$ per citizen. This is courtesy of research done by the Liberal party. Outrage! This is all part of the very clear, distinct pattern!

      • What will be really funny is when, once the stimulus is all out and the examinations have been made, it is discovered that the Conservatives really did milk this stimulus spending for partisan gain. "But, but nobody could have predicted this," they'll say.

        On the other hand, maybe that's why the final 10% hasn't been shoveled. A backup plan, in case it looks like they'll get caught out in spending to benefit the party. What might be great is to look at where the funding that has been announced since early September went.

    • Tim Hortons – branding.

  4. And all those poor Leafs fans thought the government would buy them a hockey team! DAMN YOU BOB RAE!!! (I kid, I too suffer from the affliction of being a Leafs fan)

  5. Liberals are so desperate for power they will continue with these false accusations!

    • Yes, Steve Mahar is still steaming that no one voted for him in the last election.

  6. I like the Tragically Hip reference, nice.

  7. Hey, it says the article was written with files from Andrew Potter. Any chance he could put the numbers the newpaper is using up on the macleans site so everybody could take a look? It's silly that the paper is dribbling this out without putting their numbers out. From a political party, you can see the rationale. For a newspaper, less so.

    • It's not silly when you consider the media wants to make sensational headlines to sell newspapers.

      Tune in tomorrow, when the media reports that Tory ridings that start with the letter H get 266% more funding than Liberal ridings that start with the letter S!

      • It's always fun when people who have no idea what it takes to get a story make snarky but thoroughly ignorant judgments about the motivations behind the publication. Virtually none of the data that Glen and Steve are using are in a coherent state; it's taking a great deal of effort just to get apples to match apples and oranges to match oranges. The Citizen and the C-H aren't "dribbling this out" to get a succession of "sensational" headlines; Glen and Steve are working really hard just to get data we are confident enough to publish. The stories they've published so far are the relatively easy ones, but in many cases the proper information isn't there, and the government isn't exactly going out of its way to provide it.

        • Good on the media – i wonder how many members of the media are involved in similar efforts all over this country at this moment? The govt have been incompetent at the very least, and maybe much more.

        • Andrew, if there's data in a relatively coherent state, it would be really helpful for the newspapers to make it available online. The first article says the data was collected by a robot scrubbing the pages, which left me with the impression the journalists already had a batch of data they could share if they chose. It's not exactly ignorant to think that papers seek to get "sensational headlines", sometimes at the expense of accurate stories – The Pundit's Dilemma (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1824) and a recent Krugman post give some insight into this. Similarly, there are those among us who think that journalists make snarky and thoroughly ignorant judgments about the operations of the civil service and the motivations for presenting information in ways that don't perfectly match journalists" desires.

  8. For crying out loud – use the money to help develop internet access in Canada.
    Do not give anything to the incumbents, whose only interest is to squeeze as much $ as possible from Canadians, while offering mediocre and heavily restricted services. Canada needs the government to step in and force Open Access.

  9. Harper & Co. must be getting quite a kick out of journalists trying to sort out the stimulus spending as they gaze at their copies of the complete breakdown of stimulus spending by riding and project that's kept under lock and key.

  10. Will there EVER come a time that we can agree the federal guv throwing all this money around for local crap is a super-dumb idea?

    Cue the sweet naive it-would-be-fine-if-only-they'd-do-it fairly crowd…

  11. The Government can end all this sniping by simply releasing all the numbers. Because that would prove there's no bias in where the funding is going. Right?

    • But Harper & Co. are getting quite a kick out of journalists accusing them of partisan pork-barreling as they gaze at the complete breakdown of stimulus spending by riding and project that's kept under lock and key.

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