Saturday, April 30, 2011

Harper Spent More on Advertising Than Bell Canada

The above photograph is from the Harper protest rally held in Kingston on Friday.

The gentlemen beside Mr. Big Head belong to the prison guard union, and are fighting for the restoration of the prison farms, a vital rehabilitation program.

In typical Conservative arrogance, local candidate Alicia Gordon supported the closing of the farms, suggesting that only 1 in 10 find jobs on a farm. What an incredible insult to the farming community.

During the protest, one of her supporters came down to talk to us, saying that it would be better if the prisoners learned carpentry and other things.

However, sadly they are being taught nothing. And what Gordon and the rest of her party fail to understand, is that farming is a business like any other.

I told the guy that, saying that they do far more than raise animals and grow crops. They learn machinery, accounting, business management, and responsibility. He just waved his hand and walked away.

I spoke with one guard who told me that they worked hard. It was not a free ride. The inmate farmers were up at 5 am everyday and there is no loafing. It's hard physical labour.

Now they do nothing but sit in their cells.

The Conservatives refused to give any breakdown of costs, but suggested that they would save about 4 million a year.

This from a man who spent $136 million tax dollars for self-promotion advertising in 2009-10, $46.5 million more than corporate giant Bell Canada.

Bell sells a service with their ads. The Canadian taxpayer got nothing in return for this enormous expenditure. 34 times what it costs to run the prison farms, assuming the numbers are accurate.

And Harper spent $38.7 million tax dollars to hire a team to monitor the media, to make sure that they could either pull anything negative or go into damage control to soften the blow.

The Canadian taxpayer got nothing in return. 10 times what it would have cost to run the prison farms for a year.

And $100 million was poured into Tony Clement's riding on roads to nowhere, gazebos and lighthouses on stumps. 25 times what it would have cost to run the prison farms for a year.

And he wants us to trust them with the economy.


  1. The prison farms cancellation was just one of Harpie's many idiotic decisions. We know what it costs to run the farms per annum, but do we know what it saves in purchasing food for the prison system? Regardless of the costs and savings, teaching convicts responsibility and skills, not to mention empathy by dealing with animals, is a very good way to lower recidivism rates. But hey, that wouldn't fill all his new prisons.

  2. And it keeps them occupied and in shape. They may have broken the law, but they are still humans.

    If I had to sit and stare at the wall all day, I would go crazy. And what a waste it is.

  3. Harper wants to throw your 14 year old in jail so his rich friends can collect profits

    Steve Harper has no problem sentencing 14 year-olds to life in prison. As for his gang of merry corporate supporters who have fleeced hardworking Canadians for billions? They have a better chance of getting locked up in the U.S.

    "Compared to Canada, the U.S. is actually tougher on its financial industry, and isn’t afraid to put white collar criminals in jail. In fact, Canadians have to rely on the U.S. to prosecute our corporate criminals, including Nortel executives and Conrad Black.

    In the past five years, there have been more than 1,200 successful convictions of white collar criminals in the States, including many Canadians. In Canada, there have only been three."

    It is not a Justice System. It is just a system.
    ~Bob Enyart