By Ryan McGreal
Published September 13, 2010
Well this is fun: the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling out Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his government's plan to spend $180 million on a new hockey arena in Quebec City.
The Taxpayers Federation, a conservative think tank and lobby group, has launched a campaign against the federal government's precedent-setting decision to embrace exactly the kind of pork-barreling he once decried from the opposition bench.
When the former Liberal government proposed professional hockey subsidies back in 2000, then President of the National Citizen's Coalition Stephen Harper had this to say: "Canadians are being forced to subsidize millionaire hockey team owners and that's a misconduct."
Harper now claims that there's a difference between subsidizing a team owner and paying for the arena in which a team plays: a ridiculous distinction that won't pass anyone's smell test, given how sophisticated sports team owners have gotten about bullying governments into buying them new facilities.
The juiciest bit comes at the end:
t's time to tell Stephen Harper to STOP his reckless spending agenda. It's time for a return to the sound reforms and balanced budgets of the 1990s and early 2000s.
That would be the 1990s and early 2000s when the Liberal Party was in power.
But the fun doesn't end there. The investor who wants to bring a hockey team back to Quebec, Pierre Karl Péladeau, is the same investor pushing to establish "Fox News North", a conservative propaganda network, in Canada.