There’s an old saying in accounting circles: figures don’t lie, but liars can figure. And that’s exactly what the Liberals are doing when they make claims that stimulus money has gone more to Tory ridings. This false claim is so egregious in its damage to democracy in Canada that Ontario Liberal deputy premier George Smitherman has tried to set the record straight.
Mr. Smitherman countered the false allegations on Thursday outside Queen’s Park:
“The [federal Liberals] draw conclusions based on the analysis that they’ve done.”
The Rinc program was open to not-for-profits and municipalities, Mr. Smitherman explained:
“So the fact that there are 450 municipalities, many of them small, meant that there were more requests in the mix for smaller communities.
“I think that’s why you see it’s a little more distributed towards rural Ontario and by coincidence, that happens to be where Conservatives represent the ridings.”
Toronto scored big when other initiatives were considered, Mr. Smitherman argued:
"The knowledge infrastructure program, which is for post-secondary education, you’ll see that Toronto actually comes out with a higher degree of investment than its proportion of population...I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be a very equitable regional distribution once we’ve completed the allocation of all those dollars.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper also dismissed allegations made by Toronto MP Gerard Kennedy that stimulus money was unfairly distributed. The PM said that it was the Liberal Ontario government that chose which projects would receive funding.