Tracking economic stimulus plan signs

An exercise in communication—or futility?

Stephen Harper’s government has mobilized eighteen departments and agencies to count, one by one, each and every Economic Action Plan sign posted around the country. You’ve seen them—they’re green and white with blue writing, and they designate certain sites as examples of the Tories’ work in stimulating Canada’s weary economy. The counting team—comprised of Canada’s food inspection agency, fisheries and oceans officials, health, public safety and environment workers and Parks Canada employees—has tracked more than 8,500 signs posted since last summer, and generated thousands of pages of documentation. What is it all for? A Privy Council spokeswoman explained that the government is “simply communicating with Canadians,” according to the Canadian Press. Opposition critics says that the Tories have used the 2009 budgetary stimulus package as an ongoing partisan platform to promote Harper’s government. Gerard Kennedy, the Liberal critic on infrastructure spending, also noted that the internal tracking effort seems futile, given that the government is not tracking how many jobs have been created by stimulus spending.

Winnipeg Free Press

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