Thursday, October 22, 2009

Conservative spin on infrastructure missing the boat

Updated (Friday p.m.) below.

The Conservatives begin to defend their egregious self-skewing recreation infrastructure spending today. So what do we hear? It's all about the geography baby:
"Conservative-held ridings tend to cover a larger geography than urban opposition-held ridings. As a result, the demands for community recreational infrastructure improvements are expected to be greater among the former," Dimitri Soudas said in an email Thursday.
Um, what? I thought this "economic" action plan was meant to combat the effects of the global recession. Not focus on the parity between rural and urban infrastructure. Did I miss something? You'd think that unemployment rates and such would be more determinative factors.

Secondly, this argument from Soudas ignores some findings today. Gerard Kennedy is pointing out that the northern Ontario ridings, many quite geographically large ridings, still skew Conservative in infrastructure spending. Shouldn't we see more equality in funding in those ridings if Soudas' spin was indeed the case?

Note that Greg Rickford's riding of Kenora comes out way on top in the recreation funding. His riding is large, yes, but has the smallest riding population in the province. How does that work from a prudent spending perspective?

When all of Canada gets hit by a recession, Conservative ridings still come out on top, in recreational infrastructure spending, in the larger project stimulus spending, it's all being independently verified and the Conservatives just seem to agree.
The government's own analysis released today did show that Conservative ridings have fared better than opposition ridings.
Update (Friday p.m.): The Globe canonizes Greg Rickford.