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Dumbest excuse put forth to defend Conservative 'fake lake'?

So far, that honour appears to go to cabinet minister Peter Kent:

Peter Kent, junior foreign affairs minister and former TV anchorman, blamed the media for the fake lake in Toronto, accusing television networks of using make believe backgrounds for their stand ups and interviews. “Every host country provides a media facility and . . . for a less cynical international media this will probably prove to be a benefit,” Kent said.

So it’s the media’s fault for the fake lake? Did they request the government build them a suitable background? Am I missing something here?

On a slightly related topic, a nice slam here from a couple of Toronto city councillors on the fake lake. First, Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan

“If it wasn’t so serious, it would be hysterically funny,” Vaughan told the Star’s Robyn Doolittle. “The federal government refuses to compensate the businesses in my ward for damages, yet they’ll build a $2 million fake lake — across from a real lake. As far as I’m concerned, they can jump in that lake.”

And Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone:

…every year during the Toronto International Boat Show, organizers create a similar fake lake at Ricoh Coliseum. “But there’s no way that would cost $2 million,” he said. “I can’t imagine how it could cost that much — unless they’re buying fancy boats and stocking the water with swordfish.”

Late update: we now have the Conservative government trying to hastily correct the costs: apparently, the fake lake part of the media centre costs ‘only’ 57 000$, the rest of the media centre they’re building makes it go up to 1.9 million$.

Even with this “revised” line by line cost of items, how do you justify spending 57 000$ on a 10 cm deep pool? Can’t you pick a similar thing up at Walmart for under 100$?

UPDATE @ 2:29pm: Via Sister Sage, Greg Weston finds some more spending idiocy:

Down the hall from Loonie Lake in the Toronto media centre, taxpayers are being hit up yet again, this time for something called “The Living Wall.” Summit organizers are contracting a massive wall of pre-cultivated plants that come with their own irrigation system. How much The Living Wall will end up costing Canadian taxpayers is anyone’s guess. With two weeks to go before the structure has to be in full bloom, the summit management office sent us a note saying it still had no cost estimates for the project. Likely translation: The bill for this thing is too outrageous for publication….

Up north in Muskoka, the summit green theme is also everywhere but on the agenda. For instance, taxpayers are shelling out $207,000 for 15 of what have to be the world’s most expensive solar lights to illuminate the pathways at Deerhurst Resort, where the eight leaders are staying for one night.

4 comments to Dumbest excuse put forth to defend Conservative ‘fake lake’?

  • ck

    Congratz Scott! I was wondering who the first Harpercon or which one of its’ cheerleaders would come up with the first justification. And then low and behold, over here, you found Peter Kent…

    The media’s fault…cute… I thought they would blame the hippies and the eco “freaks”
    Anybody read Greg Weston’s latest this morning? Regarding a “living” wall, made up of plants; comes complete w/ irrigation system. Get this, no price tag as of yet…

    Pretending to be green is looking like it could cost more and prove more wasteful than really being green.

  • “Hurray for New Math … only a child could do it!” — Tom Lehrer.

    I wrote about the supertank earlier today, but it wasn’t the money aspect of the project as the whole optics of it (from the environment side) that troubles me. The real shock is that they sent Peter Kent to “correct” the figure. That’s throwing out one’s objectivity as a journalist if ever there was a case.

  • Ah, don’t you see? This is perfectly in line with their, “The Liberals did it before!” talking point. I guess if Korea and Pittsburgh did it, the Conservatives should do it too. Except for an international bank tax. And environmental protection. And safe abortions.

    PS – I love the shot at Canadian media for being “cynical” as to the merits of the “Experience Canada Ally” and the pathetic “reflecting pool” outfitted with lawn chairs and a green screen. And hey, what’s the internatioanl media have to be cynical about? It’s pretty hard to focus on the real issues when you’re chowing down on free beer and popcorn whilst enjoying your favourite sport.

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