If only Ed McMahon were still alive to deliver them


Susan Delacourt investigates the government’s use of giant novelty cheques.

There’s an old saying about politicians using your own money to buy your vote. In Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government this summer, that adage comes with a visual aid: huge blue cheques emblazoned with the maple leaf logo of the Canadian government, the signature of a benevolent MP and, in some cases, Conservative sloganeering…

The political props were reportedly the brainchild of Transport Minister John Baird when he served as Treasury Board minister in the first year of the Harper government.

Gerard Kennedy suggests that, should you receive such a cheque, you go ahead and try to cash it.


If only Ed McMahon were still alive to deliver them

  1. Clever move, these giant checks, i git it, big, big! But to be fair to the Conservatives, PM Paul Martin attempted something similar

    • And it worked great for him, right?

      You know a government is finished when John Baird becomes its guiding light.

  2. How fortunate for the Libs that the Canadian flag and Lib colours just happen to be the same, coincidentally I am sure, and so this type of conversation never occurs when it comes to the natural governing party.

    • Red and white became Canada's official colours in 1921. Arthur Meighen, a Conservative, was Prime Minister at the time. Furthermore, the Maple Leaf flag replaced a flag that was….. RED!!! It even had the word "red" in its name!

      In the United States, both parties use the colours of the country's flag. The Conservative Party could do the same if they wanted. No one forces them to use blue. Parties can use any colour they choose. The government, on the other hand, should use the official colours of our country.

      • I'd also point out that when the flag was changed to it's present form, the flag that the Liberal PM of the day (Pearson) preferred had blue stripes to the left and right of three red maple leaves. He was pilloried for that flag, which was mocked, and he ultimately didn't get that flag (with its conservative blue) thanks in part to the (conservative) opposition.

        • To KOL and LKO
          Surely you know by now that none of that matters. It's all about the obvious liberal bias of the media.

          • jolyon… Google "research" and see what comes up. or "Canadian History". or "looking before you leap as to not make a jackass out of yourself."

  3. This seems excessive enough to backfire.

    • Seriously. If this stimulus thing turns into Sponsorship II: The Reckoning, you're already looking at some iconic images. What's next, John Baird jumping out of an airplane with a huge parachute made entirely out $100 bills?

      • More like John Baird posing under a banner saying "mission accomplished."

        • Tories: "They will welcome us as liberators."

        • Tories: "They'll welcome us as liberators."

  4. Big blue cheque for the big blue Conservative Innisfil ridings……

    We're in a recesssion, in case you were aware – tons of 10 percenters, silly show and tell from Conservatives.

    We were not in a recession when Paul Martin was PM.

  5. They ought to use a release of caged birds, thousands of balloons, marching bands and jet fly-overs, and wear big red noses and clown suits for a guaranteed photo opportunity.

  6. Go Big or go home! I love it .. what is with announcements whete no one has any fun we are spending all this money so what the heck make it a party –

    • All those entertainers, bird catchers, balloon blower-uppers, tuba players and party planners would get jobs! Oh, but wait, that would constitute Arts Funding!

      • I know a new conservative strategy and one that could be sold to all of canada = cultural infrastructure stimulus – there take that Quebecois!

  7. CONs are again using illusion to distract the voters and koolaiders like Waynke by wrapping themselves and our nation in blue. In fact, they are the true party of red, as in ink…

  8. Norman Spector, commenting on CKNW radio, Monday June 29th, around 10:19 am …

    "I'll bet you, when he [Harper] closes his eyes, just before he closes his eyes, at night, he gets down on his knees, and he thanks the good Lord, for the Opposition he's got, who were DEMANDING that he spend more money.

    I mean, how much more difficult would his job be, had he had an Opposition on the RIGHT, which was complaining about the defecit, demanding that he cut services, and all this sort of stuff. the kind of Opposition you would get from the Reform Party.

    Here's he's got an Opposition who's saying 'you're not spending enough money and you're not spending it as quickly'. Here he is, going around the country, he's making announcements at festivals, I mean the money is just pouring out the back of a truck. And for a politician, that's heaven."

    Listen here:

    We now return you to the regularly scheduled nitpicking about the PROCESSES that Harper uses to deliver his POLICIES.

    • Norm Spector – a "Conservative" – what do you think he'd say – duh! One of Mulroney's boys

    • It must drive the Liberals nuts. The Cons keep stealing from their playbook.

  9. Elected conservative politicans in South Simcoe ridings are famous for taking any non-partisan issue and politicizing it.
    In fact – they don't keep it in the Simcoes – Helena Geurgis has been known to ship partisan literature to Rahim Jaffar's old riding in Alberta to help out her spouse's chances of getting re-elected!
    Pity the CPC didn't want him back Helena!