Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Quebec PORK

This announcement should fuel the argument that Quebec gets special treatment from the federal government:
The federal government will provide $110 million to help celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City in 2008.

Ottawa will provide $40 million for festivities to mark the occasion and $70 million for various infrastructure projects, Heritage Minister Beverly Oda and Francophonie Minister Josee Verner announced Monday...

The Quebec government is also providing $40 million for the festivities, while Quebec City is contributing $10 million.

Don't get me wrong, there is some importance tied to this milestone. However, $110 million seems like a ridiculous expenditure and a disporportionate share for the federal government. Why is Ottawa picking up 69% of the tab? This announcement, particularly the "infastructure" portion, smacks of pork barrel politics meant to appease, rather than genuine reasoning. I don't think the federal government, with all the pressing needs of the country, can afford to waste this huge sum on a birthday bash. Apparently, political considerations take precedent over practical use of public money.


Lept said...

Falling polls,
bought votes...

Steve V said...


It really seems that simple doesn't it?

Canadian Tar Heel said...


Good catch.

C4SR said...

It seems like a bunch of money, but is likely a fraction of the money the Government of Canada will spend to entertain the world's rich elite, and some athletes, in Vancouver in 2010.

This has been a story that has been developping since the election. My understanding is that much of the infrastructure money will go to upgrading federally owned facilities in and around the old city.

Vieux Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Properly invested, I don't have a problem with federal money being used to support the city or the celebration.

The return on investment, through tourist dollars in the region, is likely worth it.

Properly invested, however, is a concern. Quebec Mayor Andree Boucher, has called on the federally money to be spent in a transparent way, in consultation with local authorities.

The federalist mayor is, of course, right.

The federal government has made no commitments...

Steve V said...


Good point, and I actually thought of the Olympic funding as another example. The only difference, the breakdown in funding- this one seems decidedly slanted, whereas in Vancouver the breakdown between federal, provincial and private is much more balanced.

As an aside, I don't want to fund the Olympics either, its nothing more than a vanity exercise that we can't afford.

Havril said...

But that's only $275,000 per year. Now drink your complimentary commemorative bottle of Veuve Clicquot and get over it.