Monday, October 26, 2009

Access to Information

From today's news clippings:

PMO releases hundreds of PM's official photos: PMO's Dimitri Soudas says the Prime Minister wants to ensure media across the country receive as much information as possible.

The Canwest analysis of Knowledge Infrastructure Program grants, like analyses published last week by the Ottawa Citizen, Halifax Chronicle-Herald and Globe and Mail, is based on an incomplete data set. Despite promises by Harper to publish details of every infrastructure dollar spent, no such list is available.


  • "Stephen Harper is the first Prime Minister in Canadian political history to regularly send out official photographs of himself to the national media, sometimes four times a day"

    Yet Harper said his reason for not watching Canadian news is because he doesn't like to look at himself. Some might call this a self fulfilling prophecy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:12 a.m.  

  • Photos of Harper - now that's info for you.

    I don't want to look at him day in day out.

    You know, dictators have their photos everywhere - does Harper really want to be like them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:08 p.m.  

  • 'Despite promises by Harper to publish details of every infrastructure dollar spent,
    no such list is available.'

    Has every infrastructure dollar been spent?

    The lists of projects and their stage of completion/costs, according to Kevin Page,
    come in quarterly reports, from the municipalities, forwarded to the Provinces, and then compiled by the feds.

    The AG, Sheila Fraser, will be doing an audit to be released next fall,
    after every dollar has been spent.

    Trying to find the next Adscam,
    at this point in the process,
    is just a waste of time,
    the data is incomplete because the projects are incomplete.

    Canadians get that.

    By Blogger wilson, at 12:55 p.m.  

  • Well, I'm not an expert on what info has been put out there, but several of the news outlets who have looked at the programs have complained about the lack of information being presented about the program.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:03 p.m.  

  • CG, I think that's because it's not presented in a nice tidy little news release for them to regurgitate.

    By Blogger jad, at 4:10 p.m.  

  • I have looked at the data. The only place where data is especially lacking is in Quebec. Some of the problems are also a nature of the funding. For instance the provinces have been given money to fund particular projects themselves. Finally, another issue is that there are a lot of different funds.

    I looked at the biggest amount of money available - Building Canada funding and ran a regression by city. I found a weak negative correlation between the amount of funds received and whether a rep was a Tory. Though it is a low N (27) effort. I don't have unemployment data by riding.

    Personally I don't think we should be surprised if the money is spent unequally - it wasn't meant to be. Projects were picked based on criteria - can they spend money fast? Is there a national interest? High-need communities? etc.

    The Conservatives worked with provincial, and municipal - not to mention NGO's, so it would be awfully hard to pull a fast one. Moreover, my understanding is that political actors didn't have a direct hand in picking projects.

    The real question should be - is the stimulus working? Were the criteria fair? Are the funding criteria being applied arbitrarily? If so, which of the three levels of government involved is responsible?

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:45 a.m.  

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