Thursday, June 10, 2010

Let the Taxpayer Buyer Beware

It's one thing to buy something stupid. It's an entirely different thing to buy something stupid with someone else's money.

We all have our weak moments when we buy something that is entirely unnecessary or we get sucked into thinking that we need something that we will cleary never use or we just simply make a bad purchase that doesn't fit our needs or lifestyle. We all make mistakes. Look at the Slap Chop and the Sham Wow. I'm sure some of us have been bedazzled by the fast-talking demonstrators on speed and ended up convinced after 20 minutes that our lives will never be the same once we have the said product. It happens and it's entirely forgiveable.

But let's say that your spouse, child or close friend gets a hold of your credit card one day and then goes out and buys something ridiculous for themselves (oh, and you can use it too). Most of us would be pretty upset.

So why is it that the government doesn't understand why taxpayers are upset that their dollars have gone towards the funding of a fake lake for the G20 summit? Surely, just like the Slap Chop that is bought with our money against our will by some well meaning friend or other, we should be able to forgive this and move on. Except for the fact that the purpose of the Slap Chop is to chop food without using a knife or a food processor, and the purpose of the fake lake is to promote tourism and create a good photo opportunity.

Wait, what? Don't we promote tourism with videos, photos and commercials where people sing about Ontario? How does a fake lake promote our country? We're not exactly a nation rich in the fake lake industry. We have real lakes for that. So what are we building some fake replica for?

Apparently, the government wants people to capture the "feeling" of cottage country with a fake lake. Can't we just give them a cold beer and spray them with the hose?

And then there's the photo opportunity. Of course, because people want to take photos in front of something which is fake and pretty which is why they hire buxom blondes to show up for just about every event in LA. That makes sense. But wouldn't it have been cheaper to just pay the blondes to show up? How much could they have cost? Surely less than the price tag on a fake lake.

And while we're on the topic of a photo opportunity, why not choose a site in Toronto where the G20 Summit will be held? We know that Toronto isn't exactly the prettiest place in Canada, but surely there's at least one site where a photo opportunity for a bunch of world leaders will still look pretty?

Then there's the cost issue again. Original estimates put the lake at $1.9 million. The government has since lashed back, stating that it, in fact, only cost about $50,000 or so and that $1.9 million was the total cost of building this cottage country pavillion. Wow.

So that's like finding out that someone in your life took your money to implant fake boobs for a photo opportunity to look pretty and then have them defend themselves by saying it only cost $25,000 per boob and not the original $100,000 price tag you thought that they had shelled out to make themselves beautiful, and that, as a matter of fact, the $100,000 went into the whole package, meaning it also paid for their spa time and wardrobe.

So I would like to conclude this post by saying that every politician's significant other and their children should do just that. They should grab their credit card and get a bunch of costly, useless aethetic services and then claim that it was beneficial for all and not as expensive as they thought. I'm sure that they will come home and be livid; and they will know how the rest of us feel.

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