Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conservative ridings getting disproportionate share of "big" stimulus

The big read today: "Tory ridings receive bigger slice of big-money stimulus cash: Research." Research! A capital idea! These reporters have tracked the "big-money" stimulus, i.e., the projects receiving more than $1 million in federal stimulus moneys.
Conservative ridings across Canada received more than their fair share of big-money stimulus projects paid for by taxpayers, an investigation into the Harper government's Economic Action Plan shows.

The numbers — drawn from Ottawa's own website — bolster opposition allegations of pork barrelling in the multi-billion-dollar stimulus package, a charge the Tories deny.

An Ottawa Citizen-Halifax Chronicle-Herald investigation shows 57 per cent of the projects, with more than $1 million in federal funding nationwide, went to Conservative ridings.

The party holds only 46 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons. Conservative ridings therefore received 23 per cent more million-dollar-plus projects than if the projects were divided evenly among all ridings.
More independent evidence to support the narrative of partisan excess by this government. The infrastructure skewing has yet to be rebutted by the Harper crew.

Other items of interest here: notable figures on the Quebec ridings; unconvincing spin from a Baird spokesperson; and the picture being fleshed out that the stimulus is being used to bolster Conservative electoral chances by spending more in regions of the country where they can win seats (Ontario) versus others (Quebec). They looked at all 308 ridings so there must be more province by province reporting to come, one would think.

We didn't undertake this stimulus and its attendant enormous deficit for the benefit of the Conservative party. To state the obvious.

And a P.S....it doesn't seem to be helping the government to be sending Stephen Maher into a "black rage."