By Ross Kentner
Stimulus, shimulus, shameless! Long after this economic turmoil is forgotten we+?G??G??ll still be living with the fallout from the frivolous way politicians are apt to fritter away so-called "stimulus" funds.
Former President George Bush launched the stimulus concept, giving away billions while failing to ensure that it didn+?G??G??t go to the very people whose greed bankrupted some of these financial institutions.
Now our federal and provincial politicians are falling over themselves to get money spent in hopes of saving or creating jobs and reviving the economy. And time is of the essence, but surely there is time to prioritize and be certain that when large amounts of the taxpayers+?G??G?? money are doled out we aren+?G??G??t going to have buyer+?G??G??s remorse.
Recent Canadian history is rife with cases of governments in such a rush to spend our money that they got nothing of lasting value for it. People have been paid for little more than watching paint dry. We should have learned from those fiascoes and be insisting on good planning and transparency as the money goes out the door this time.
Close to home, I believe that the new public school at Cape Croker is exactly the right use of this money. How often do we hear that the school is closed on a winter+?G??G??s day because there is no heat or water. It would also seem that the long delayed plan to update recreational facilities in Owen Sound should move up as a priority.
But I+?G??G??ll give you another one that should be at the top of the list and I+?G??G??ll tell you why. It+?G??G??s the new Markdale Hospital whose time never seems to come even though local residents have already raised $13-million for it! If this stimulus money is spent without going forward on a project that has been on the drawing board all these many years and leaving all these donations sitting on the table, it will make a mockery of health care planning in this province, due diligence and the entire democratic process.