Monday, April 6, 2009
Keeping the unemployed entertained
I am starting to feel like Number Six, trapped on island where my days are filled by government run festivals designed to prevent me from uncovering their hidden ideology.
For some reason or another the Harper government continues to believe that refurbishing hockey arenas and investing in festivals is the best use of our infrastructure dollars.
Today the government announced another $100 million for festivals across the country. They believe money invested in these events will help tourism, maintaining the current number of visits to Canada.
Although the various festivals are obviously happy for the additional funding, it is rather questionable how many tourists be they Americans or Canadians will travel to another city to attend these events. We are talking about close 10% unemployment in both countries, but hey who knows, maybe the conservatives believe that the unemployed will have a lot more free time on the hands and festivals will keep them busy.
If the conservatives really wanted to get a bang for the buck they could take the advice of the CCPA report today and increase cash transfers directly to Canadians that need it, through child benefit programs, or higher employment benefits. It would be a faster and more effective way of spurring economic activity than hoping that we have the extra cash on hand to go to a local festival.