A little birdie told me that George Smitherman, Ontario’s infrastructure minister, just dismissed federal Liberal claims that infrastructure dollars are disproportionately going to Tory ridings in Ontario. He told reporters, “you can slice and dice the numbers any way you want” and he went on to emphasize that the programs are balanced.
UDPATE: Here’s the video from Citytv.
“The [federal Liberals] draw conclusions based on the analysis that they’ve done,” deputy premier George Smitherman countered Thursday outside Queen’s Park.
But, he continued, they only looked at the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (Rinc) program. While that would indicate that Conservative ridings received more cash than Liberal holdings, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
The Rinc program was open to not-for-profits and municipalities, he explained.
“So the fact that there are 450 municipalities, many of them small, meant that there were more requests in the mix for smaller communities.
“I think that’s why you see it’s a little more distributed towards rural Ontario and by coincidence, that happens to be where Conservatives represent the ridings.”
Toronto scored big when other initiatives were considered, Smitherman argued.
“The knowledge infrastructure program, which is for post-secondary education, you’ll see that Toronto actually comes out with a higher degree of investment than its proportion of population…I’m pretty confident that there’s going to be a very equitable regional distribution once we’ve completed the allocation of all those dollars.”