Thursday, July 06, 2006

Overruns, schmoverruns

Say it ain't so: Did senior Tory MP Vic Toews actually successfully pull the eyes over the Winnipeg Sun. (That must have been soooo very hard.)

Earlier today, the Ol' Vic and Premier Gary Doer announced $84 million "to continue floodway expansion work."

Now you'll recall, BB Addicts here was wondering whether the $42 million federal share was indeed for "cost overruns" -- as dramatically stated by the Sun last Saturday -- or whether it was merely an add-on the $240 million committed to date.

Well, one needs look no further than the Canada-Manitoba news release for the answer.

The release states: "With this announcement, the Government of Canada continues to deliver on its existing commitment to the expansion of the Red River Floodway and provide Manitobans with additional protection from flooding...

"Before today’s announcement, the governments of Canada and Manitoba had already contributed $240 million toward this project. Today’s announcement brings total project funding to $324 million."

Hmmmmm... the funding gets us closer to the expansion project's original $665 million budget, does it? So how come the release, which quotes Toews and was obviously approved by the him, doesn't assign the federal share to "cost overruns," as so gleefully reported by the Sun?

Could it be that the Sun was happy to be used by the Tories in order to set up a cheap shot at the Doer government? Or did the Sun simply misunderstand Toews (who apparently didn't say a word about cost overruns at the news conference)?

Either way, we won't be holding our breath waiting for the correction.


In politics, as in sports, it sometimes helps to have instant replay.

Case in point -- our recent raspberry to Shannon Martin of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Martin himself protested, pointing to the audio file of his CJOB interview as evidence he wasn't advocating for harmonization of the GST/PST.

Martin, who professes to be a regular reader, told Addicts the organization is doing a member survey on the question and is aware of the pros and cons of the idea. At this point, CFIB has not taken a position, but rather has thrown it open their members.

Fair enough. Addicts has looked at the "evidence" and agrees that CJOB's news stories quoting Martin do leave a different impression than his one-on-one interview with the station.

So we are revoking his raspberry. For now anyway, while we await further word from CFIB on whether they will indeed be advocating a tax grab.

As for the angry Rooney fans - uhhhh, we've seen the replay. No dice.


We have received a few email complaints from New Dems about appearing to pick on Diane McGifford. Not true. The issue here is party renewal as the NDP may well be in a tough spot after the next election with a looming mass retirement before the subsequent election.

More retirements now and newer blood coming in would build a much stronger base for the future. The emerging Fort Rouge/Lord Roberts issue is a microcosm of the problem, hence the reference to McGifford. Memo #2 to party brass -- do something, really.