Let’s go skating! That’ll be $5 million please.

Let’s go skating! That’ll be $5 million please.

All together now…

There’s a rink, on the Hill, funded by a parliamentary bill…

I’m sure you’ve all heard of it by now — the $5.6 million outdoor skating rink being built in Ottawa. I’ve seen it in Facebook memes slamming Prime Minister Trudeau and as the lede in many a news story recently.

$5.6 million for a temporary outdoor rink. That’s pretty rich.

Now a few paragraphs in to many of these stories you do learn that the budget for the rink on Parliament Hill includes the setup, tear-down, some private security, insurance coverage and the attached facilities like change rooms and bleachers. It also includes the cost of bringing 32 peewee hockey teams from across Canada to Ottawa to compete in a special Canada 150 division tournament from Dec. 26 – Dec. 31. The rink will also be moved when the tournament is done, to an as yet unnamed Canadian community. That’s part of the bill too.

So yeah, it’s not quite as egregious as it appears in the headlines and memes.

Still, it’s allowed the opposition parties, particularly the Conservatives, to tsk loudly at the excess, and shake their ever-so responsible heads in sorrow at the fiscal silliness of the Liberals. And to ask questions like – we’ve got the world’s largest skating rink on the Rideau Canal a kilometre or so away, why the new rink?

The answer of course is, because Canada 150.

Reports say Canada 150 events have cost $500 million — the hockey tournament and five million dollar rink probably being the last of the celebrations.

Remember the giant rubber duck in Toronto Harbour that was somehow supposed to make us think patriotic thoughts? All part of that $500 million.

Now yes, government funding went to communities across the country for Canada Day celebrations and that was nice. The funds allowed a few extras, like more Canada Day swag, right here in Kimberley and Cranbrook. And local Chambers of Commerce and others who organize these events appreciate and rely on the funding. So that’s a good thing.

But, as always when a giant government bureaucracy gets involved, there are bad, or head-scratching, things that happen as well. Like giant rubber ducks. And $5 million skating rinks.

That duck may have started small in some deputy Minister staffer’s office, but once it ground through the wheels of state, it was one big bird.

Same with the skating rink. Someone probably had some quintessentially Canadian memories of the back yard rink and thought ‘what could be more Canadian?’ What better way to commemorate our 150th year? Let’s flood a rink on Parliament Hill. All we need is some boards and a hose.

Oh, foolish staffer. Sad, little mid-level bureaucrat. Your thoughts are cute, your plans so simple.

But this is government. What is their role except to provide unnecessary complication? Let’s consult a few more staff, strike a rink committee, arrange for permits, hold some hearings, maybe a report. And Bob’s your uncle, we have a $5.6 million rink, complete with hockey tournament.

And the wheels of government go round…

carolyn.grant@kimberleybulletin.com

Just Posted

Kimberley Search and Rescue were able to quickly respond to a call for service and transport an injured mountain biker to East Kootenay Regional Hospital over the weekend. Kimberley SAR file photo.
Kimberley Search and Rescue respond to injured mountain biker on Bootleg Mountain

Kimberley Search and Rescue responded to a call for service this past… Continue reading

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

x
City of Kimberley approves RCMP contract strength at eight members

At their regular meeting on Monday, June 14, 2021, Kimberley City Council… Continue reading

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read