Thursday, July 29, 2010

The root of their woes

January 2009: The Con government in Ottawa decrees that not a dime of federal stimulus funding will flow if provinces and municipalities don't put matching funding on the table:
Nearly $12-billion federal dollars will be made available for “shovel-ready” public works projects across Canada that can be commenced quickly, but there's a catch. Provinces and municipalities will have to contribute nearly $9-billion more in order to get the roads, bridges and sewer upgrade work started.
In other words, much of the supposedly budgeted money won't flow if municipalities and provinces don't put their own money on the table first.
July 2010: The Cons' media proxies start peddling the line that if provinces and municipalities are now facing budget crunches, it's their own fault for being foolish enough to take the Cons' orders:
(P)rovinces also experienced shrinking tax revenues during the recession, and felt the need to match federal infrastructure spending to help kick-start their economies. As a whole, provincial governments have estimated their collective deficits to be almost $34 billion in fiscal year 2009-10. Their collective deficits are expected to improve slightly in 2010-11.
You can see where this is going: straight to another round of the provinces’ favourite game, “Blame Ottawa”. Provincial premiers will bleat about the need to increase federal transfers, even if their own largesse is at the root of their woes. (“But we had to build all those hockey arenas in small towns – heck, the feds were doing it!”)

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