Answers there, but not simple

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Sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for: the answer could be overwhelming.
In a response that invokes slapstick images, the Conservative government is reported to have dumped three boxloads of data regarding economic stimulus efforts on the table of Parliament's independent budget watchdog: a total of 4,476 pages.
The typical Canadian, even of the watchdog stripe, would not wade through all that. Fortunately, we pay others to perform such tasks for us.
But the methods of providing the paper trail have the opposition complaining. Supplying the information could have been done in a more user-friendly fashion.
That would be nice, but it's hard to see how a national plan involving $12 billion in federal stimulus spending on thousands of projects could be outlined in an easy method.
One opposition assertion is the bulk delivery of documents was done to confound and confuse the public. The response from Infrastructure Minister John Baird is that the priority of officials at Infrastructure Canada has been to get the projects up and running.
He added the data is public and posted on a government website, and also available on an interactive map.
At any rate, the money is spent - or at the very least is claimed to have been spent. It will apparently take a while to ascertain where and how.
Part of the overall topic will be trying to determine whether the effort really did play a role in stimulating the economy. That will largely be a matter of avid discussion too, since the economy has been showing sure signs of revival on its own.
What will be of more interest in combing through the data will be to determine whether, as opposition members have charged, a proportionately large volume of the cash went to Tory ridings. People will want to know that general pattern, and if it proves true they can choose to make their views known in the next election.

Organizations: Infrastructure Canada

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