From the moment this government took office they have denied, disputed and rejected facts. Oddly, this is rarely pointed out, so they of course carry on their merry way spewing nonsense, in ads and in person and that becomes the truth, or the mythical truth I suppose.
That ignorance and game playing is coming home to roost now and the Conservatives aren't dealing with it very well.
Before we look at the current situation, I think it's worthwhile to look back a bit and consider the amount of duping that has gone on.
Crime legislation from day one has been based on no data, nada. It's ideologically driven and does little more than tweak the system, in large measure to it's detriment. Fact: Crime rates are decreasing in this country without any of the Conservative legislation having been put in place. How about the gun registry? Fact: Every police force across the country is insisting that it is valuable, but the Conservatives will insist that it's never used. They inflate it's current cost and pander to their 'yahoo' base.
How about Science? I'll bite my tongue on much of this but will raise the InSite program in Vancouver and how the government has kept them hanging. I recall Tony Clement, bald face lying about stat's to committee and of course ignoring the real facts. Science of course leads to Climate Change and if anyone really believes that this government gives a whit about it, show me their plan, with costing, targeted industry caps and a road map for how Canada is going to achieve it's goals.
There is more, but suffice it to say that they have somehow gotten away with saying nothing and haven't been challenged nearly enough on their lack of facts.
Now though, not so much.
The spending of infrastructure money has finally caught the imagination of many and there is report after report, all saying precisely what the Liberals have been saying for months.
A) The money is slow to flow and B) what flows is going to Conservative ridings in higher numbers than it's going to opposition ridings.
Let's take politics out of it for a minute, because surely some of my Conservative readers have family or friends who live in an opposition riding, non?
This program was very special in that it was to be designed to address the needs of the country during an unprecedented time of need. It was meant to target areas of the country with high unemployment, in an effort to create job's, thereby stimulating the economy....a 'stimulus program'.
It's clear now, that is not what has happened. Read here, here and here. There are more accounts, but I'm sure you've read them all.
In addition to all of this, I listened to a committee meeting today that had Municipal Federations as witnesses. Some were more diplomatic than others, but to a person, it was clear that much of the money hasn't gotten out and a few weren't too shy to say, that it was being used in a political game. Furthermore, some even alluded to the fact that since the money hasn't flowed and this construction season has been missed, the likelihood of having projects completed by the program expiration date was slim in some cases.
What does that mean? Well, if the program has expired, as it will in March of 2011, the municipality is on the hook for the rest. Likely outcome? Municipalities won't have the money to complete them, so all those tax dollars will have gone in to a project half completed, then abandoned. Nice use of your money don't you think?
So here we are. The hard work that Gerard Kennedy and his team have done has been noticed and various media outlets have started doing their own digging and the facts, ultimately proving his point, are coming out.
As I said though, the Conservatives don't deal in fact. To that point, I saw an extraordinary comment from the PCO today, Dimitri Soudas to be precise, commenting on the G&M story. I'm paraphrasing, but the media notice went something like:
The Globe and Mail, using calculations either generated from or approved by the Liberal Party of Canada (Michael Ignatieff) have painted an unfair picture of the Infrastructure Program...
That is an astonishing statement and one that I hope gets a lot of attention. That the PMO would actually hold that idiotic view that the media is biased toward liberals is no surprise, but that they would come out and attack the Globe and Mail is unbelievable. This is the stuff of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck...in the PMO.
In the end, it tells me one thing. The facts are being revealed and they have no real defense against that, when confronted.
Stay tuned, because, oh...there will be more.