Thursday, March 11, 2010

Plant Me, Baby

This is the way we spend your money, spend your money, spend your money...

Somewhere in federal offices, there are two potted plants that cost taxpayers $975 each, a $1,000 doorbell and three rolling blinds worth $1,400.

And that's not even mentioning the $1,000 charge to remove and reconnect a light switch.

QUESTION: How many Tories does it take to change a light switch?

ANSWER: We don't know, but the bill is a cool grand.

And all of this, which the Federal government has actually stood up in Parliament and defended with straight faces, goes to their favorite building managers SNC-Lavalin.

The group oversees some 320 federal properties across the land.

Whose cousin are they?

How did they get all this biz?

Does anybody monitor their performance?

Can you say, "Corruption?" Boys and Girls.

But soft...

It's just that we don't understand the issues.

You see...

Charlie Rate, executive vice-president at SNC-Lavalin, acknowledged that “$1,000 sounds ridiculous for a doorbell.” However, he explained the cost included a voltage transformer and 15 metres of wiring, as well as drywall and a paint job.

“You get up to that number quite quickly,” Mr. Rate said. “These are justifiable when you look at the details behind them.”

Regarding the two exotic plants, he explained the pots included irrigating systems, and that the total cost included delivery and fertilizing, among other things.

Now, aren't we feeling better?

Irrigating systems and fertilizing, right.

With real good manure, no doubt.

Berry Berry Berry Patch

It's instructive to listen to Malcolm Brodie, the Mayor of Richmond kvetching about a recent purchase by his government.

Richmond just paid 5 times the going price for a piece of land.

The government of Canada and the Musqueam band received almost $60 Million for a piece of real estate that was clocked at less than $10 Million.

Brodie voted against this purchase.

And here's what he had to say:

“We bought the land controlled by the agricultural land commission. But what we can do with it? Neither council nor the community has a common vision. To do this without public input has some real drawbacks."

"To do this without public input has some real drawbacks."

That's my favorite part.

Brodie and his City Manager built the skating oval with almost NO input from Richmond citizens.

Now, you can argue that all of that has turned out just fine and you may be right.

But either you work with your community or you don't.

For the good Mayor to complain at this late date is a little disingenuous.

Meanwhile, back at the berry patch...

Richmond City Council has no plans for their new acquisition.

It must be a marvelous luxury to be able to spend $60 Million worth of taxpayers money on something you'll just hang on to for a while until you can think of a fun thing to to with it.

American Heart