Our cynicism runneth over


The experts react to the Chronicle-Herald’s analysis of stimulus spending in Tory ridings.

A pattern of heavy spending in Conservative ridings uncovered in a Chronicle Herald analysis of federal stimulus spending is just business as usual, part of a long bipartisan pattern of using tax dollars for political gain, say political observers…

“Old style politics is all about bringing home the bacon,” said Kevin Gaudet of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “All they’ve done is paint the pig a different colour.”

Nothing new here, said Charles Cirtwill, of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. “The Liberals did this for years and the Conservatives sat outside and pointed fingers and raged and pulled their hair,” he said. “And now the Liberals are doing the same thing. The only folks who are really consistent are the NDP, and that’s primarily because at the federal level they’ve never had a chance to pass out the dough.”


Our cynicism runneth over

  1. So, the Chroncile Herald offered up quantitative evidence. Surely these two "think tanks" can do the same.

    • I agree – also show me the facts on the Liberals – as a Torontonian, I do not recall the money rolling in from Ottawa.

      In fact, I remember it rolling one way only: out.

      • Yeah, but that's Toronto.

  2. Argh… I mean, " Chronicle"

  3. After years of neglect at the hands of the Liberals, why is it surprising that these ridings would need more spending now?

    • Some people had their vote stolen by Harper by his proposed response to the sponsorship mess .

      Don't worry your boy will continue to Reign as Iggy appears to merely want to replace Harper's appointees with Liberal supporting appointees .

      • The Truth and Reconciliatory Committee is toasting no raving on our Governor General . Does this mean a plate of blubber will be on the menu at 24 Sussex when Harper returns from his Calgary vacation ?

    • Wow – that's the lamest rationalization I've heard yet on this topic.

  4. You mean there is a media outlet that actually does investigative journalism? Who knew.

  5. I'm in full agreement that if the CPC is doing this then they should face the music (and by "face the music" I mean "get politically destroyed"), but I thought this whole uneven-political-stimulus-spending thing had been debunked. After Kennedy made his allegations didn't it turn out that the Liberal ridings, being generally in cities, had been slower in negotiating their funding so Kennedy's numbers (which only surveyed half the ridings receiving funding) were skewed?

    And if I'm right (someone please correct me if I'm not), shouldn't Wherry stop carrying water for Kennedy's slander?
    And (again, if I'm right) shouldn't Kennedy apologize and resign for bringing forth such damning allegations on false pretenses?

    • Except you are wrong. Most of the stimulus spending has been in cities and it is rolling out to Conservative city ridings more than anywhere else. John Baird's riding in Ottawa, for example, was the largest recipient in the entire province if I am not mistaken, by a large bit, even though his riding has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the province. Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, etc. are all cities last time I checked.

    • All of your "if I'm rights" would be proven one way or the other if an independent analysis was conducted and then presented. If only we had someone who could do that. If only a position was created. If only there was some sort of budget-like office responsible for analyzing parliamentary budgets. Hopefully someday a party will campaign on such high levels of accountability and then become accountable by delivering on their promise for transparency.

    • Let's look at this reasonably. Is the early money going to Conservative ridings? Yes, obviously.

      But why? Because when you have local MPs they can prioritize projects, speed along the application process, and then the government knows how to spend.

      When you have a Liberal, NDP, BQ riding represented by a member who refused to help craft the budget or voted against it without even reading it then its hard to know how to spend the money. Since opposition MPs aren't doing their job and co-operating with the government then beaurocrats have to negotiate with local stakeholders instead which takes much longer.

      So the fault here is actually with individual opposition MPs who aren't doing their job properly.

      • Allow me to add my own disdain for this notion that it's the job of opposition MPs to "cooperate with the government".

        It's the government's responsibility to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons; it is decidedly NOT the opposition's responsibility to maintain confidence in the government. That notion turns the entire system of parliamentary governance on it's head.

      • Those would be the same opposition MP's for whom directives have gone down, in every single department, that no official, high or low, is to speak to or communicate with in any way, unless first clearing it with the Minister's office, right?

      • No, the fault is with the members of that opposition MP's riding for voting for the wrong party.

        At least, that's the sense I get from members of our current ruling party…

  6. The Liberals did it? Well it's all okay then.

  7. I've not seen evidence of this except in Nova Scotia. Across Canada the funding has been balanced.

  8. I've not seen evidence of this except in Nova Scotia. Across Canada the funding has been balanced.

    And my other point has been, that if you look at each province individually, there may be one or two like NS where the funding is not totally balanced. Especially in provinces like NS which just a small number of ridings. A Canada-wide analysis is the only useful data, IMO.

    • "Across Canada the funding has been balanced."

      What evidence do you have to support this?

  9. "Since opposition MPs aren't doing their job and co-operating with the government …"

    Since when was that in their job description. They are *opposition* MPs.

  10. The Liberals have not increased CPP early retirement pension penalties in the same year as several Harris retreads become eligable for a fully indexed freedom 55 gold plated pension . How about that Flaherty ? Since when do you guys fuel cynicismm ?

  11. If only there was such a person now, and if only the parliamentarians serving on a certain committee (perhaps one concerning itself with ethics) would vote to ask this person to give an independent analysis, and if only the government would give this independent analysis the access to information needed.

  12. You're funny.

    Looking at this reasonably, it would be necessary to conclude that money first out of the door would be most likely to actually complete the project it went to. Money needlessly held up until the very end of the year's construction season might well be assigned to a project that misses the deadline for stimulus funding. At which point the money must go back to the government.

    • Then Canadians should fire their opposition MPs.

      Conservatives are busy running the country. Do you know how many phone calls Harper gets from the opposition? Do you know how many opposition members contact various ministers ? Its next to none.

      The opposition MPs should do their job. They should represent their communities, find out which projects will do the most good, and then contact Minister Baird with their suggestions.

      They haven't. They haven't helped at all. They've done nothing but criticize. The government aren't mind readers. its takes TIME to negotiate with mayors, regional districts, small towns, and the droves of stakeholders in various ridings. Having an MP willing to do the work and streamline the process helps a lot.

      But the opposition refuses. So their constituents suffer. So they should be fired.

  13. We can dream.


    This is not general spending! It is emergency spending on the back of taxpayers that put this country further into debt — all in the name of economic recovery. Petty political dispute are supposed to be irrelevant!


    When will a government be ACCOUNTABLE FOR GETTING IT DONE?

  15. "All they've done is paint the pig a different colour"

    Well then, to quote a literary classic, KILL THE PIG

  16. The Chronicle-Herald is to be congratulated for doing what very few Canadian journalists have bothered to do.

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