Canada's bizarre celebration

The truth of P.J. O'Rouke's famous analogy has never been clearer: "Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."  Government bureaucrats in Canada's dominant province of Ontario (who now have the power to remove children from parents who object to their choice of a non-biological gender identity for them) were charged with celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary this summer, and they demonstrated exactly how stupidly they can squander taxpayers' money.

The Brockville (Ontario) Recorder reports:

A giant rubber duck coming to Brockville this summer as part of the Ontario government's celebrations of Canada's 150th anniversary has taxpayers taking a bath, says a provincial politician.

Ontario PC MPP Vic Fedeli said the $200,000 duck tour – more than half of it covered by Ontario – is a sure sign of a government with "messed up" priorities.

"I cannot imagine what the rubber duck's connection is to the 150th," Fedeli said. "They're laying off frontline health-care workers right across Ontario ... They can't find money for alternative level of care beds, but they can find $200,000 for some kind of a duck promo?"

Keep in mind that the duck already exists and has been exhibited elsewhere by the Dutch artist who created it.  So Canada is only renting it, to have it available for the celebrations.

The 61-foot floating duck will be coming to Brockville as part the city's Rails to Trails festival from August 10-13. With stops also planned in Toronto, Midland, Amherstburg and Sault Ste. Marie to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday on July 1, the giant duck tour of Ontario is expected to cost about $200,000, according to Ontario 150 co-producer Lea Parrell. Brockville, for its part, received $50,000 in Celebrate Ontario grants to stage the festival and that money came on top of $70,000 previously announced from Ontario 150 funding.

Since I am not forced to pay for it, I can say the giant rubber ducky has a certain whimsical charm.  But for the life of me, I cannot see what it has to do with Canada, its history, or even its future.  Is it really a function of government to supply whimsy?

"Ontarians are paying $1 billion a month in debt interest payments alone, but the Wynne govt has $200k for a giant floating duck," tweeted Aaron Wudrick, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.

Another Twitter user asked: "What on earth does a giant floating duck have to do with Canada's 150th."

Ryan Fraser (@fraserrc) added sarcastically, "When I think of Ontario's 150th birthday, a big rubber duck definitely comes to my mind."

Hat tip: Moonbattery

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