19 February 2009

Recycled “stimulus”

There is an unprecedented, historic level of money in yesterday’s provincial government pre-budget spending announcement that is recycled cash from last year or money previously committed.

That’s pretty clear if you read comments by former finance minister Tom Marshall in the province’s other daily newspaper, the Western Star:

There will also be $16 million to finish off the new long-term care facility in Corner Brook.
The province is going to spend $50 million in health equipment and another $40 million on maintenance and repairs of current facilities, though Marshall did not have a breakdown of how much of those monies will be directed to Western Health.The new law courts under construction in Corner Brook will receive $7 million so that project can be completed in the coming year, while Sir Wilfred Grenfell College will be getting a share of the $9.4 million the province will spend on new residences at the Memorial University campuses in Corner Brook and St. John’s. The total cost of the Grenfell residences will be nearly $5 million, while new accommodations at the larger campus will eventually cost $67.5 million.

Leftover work from last year, including jobs on the Lewin Parkway and the off-ramp at Humber Village, will be among the $70.7 million o be spent on the province’s roads. Schools throughout western Newfoundland can expect to see some of the $30 million announced for repairs and maintenance  in K-12 schools.

It isn’t clear at this point how much of the money is actually new nor how much will actually be spent.