Monday, June 1, 2009

By the numbers: Government waste under the 50 billion dollar man

But they can't afford to build schools for children who live on reserve.

By the numbers: Government waste under the 50 billion dollar man
Published on 29 May 2009

“There’s certainly nothing today that says we should go into deficit.”
- Stephen Harper, October 6, 2008

Consultants: The Harper government spent nearly $1 billion on consultants in its first two years in office – a 42 per cent increase compared to the Liberal government from 2004-06.

Polling: The Harper government commissioned, on average, two polls per business day – costing taxpayers $31 million during their first year in government alone.

Advertising: In 2006-07, the Harper government spent $86.9 million on advertising – more than double the $41.3 million spent by the Liberal government in 2005-06.

Expanded cabinet: By adding more ministers and secretaries of state to the cabinet last fall, Prime Minister Harper cost taxpayers an estimated $3.9 million more in salaries for the ministers and their staff.

American press secretaries: Stephen Harper hired former White House spokesmen Ari Fleischer and Mike McCurry for $25,000 each to help him get press coverage in the United States.

Phantom commission: The Harper government spent over $1 million over the last three years on a government public appointments commission that doesn’t exist, while breaking their 2006 election promise to monitor how cabinet makes appointments to public offices.

Waived helicopter late-fees: The Harper government waived $89 million in late fees owed by U.S. aerospace giant Sikorsky when they fell two years behind schedule in delivering new maritime military helicopters.

Canada Revenue Agency interest fees: According to Auditor General Sheila Fraser, the Harper government incurred at least $90 million in unnecessary interest costs on over $4 billion deposited with the CRA, when only a portion of these deposits relate to reassessments.

Nobody home: The Harper government spent more than $2.7 million last year to maintain empty, abandoned homes on four former military bases.

Chalk River: In the last year alone, the Harper government pumped $144 million into enhancing the safety and reliability of the Chalk River nuclear reactor, but got little return on investment as it was shut down for the third time in eighteen months, cutting off the supply of medical isotopes to 5000 Canadians a day who need them for heart and cancer tests.


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