What does that come to in eggs benedict?

by Andrew Fogarasi

To the Arnprior Chronicle Guide:

Hi. It’s me again. I wrote a letter to the editor last week whining about the Chronicle-Guide printing a Cheryl Gallant press release verbatim in the form of an article. That didn’t happen this week (so, um… kudos, I guess?), but I did receive a mailout from our esteemed MP and – shockingly – it too failed to pass the smell test. (In other news, water is wet and the sun is hot.)

This time around, our household received a personally-addressed fake “taxpayer credit card bill” for a list of current government expenditures. You might think it is kind of deceptive and creepy to send out what looks like an official bill addressed to you personally… and you’d be right. It is. But you might also think that it presents a compelling logical argument all laid out line-by-line. In which case, you’d be wrong. This list of expenses has nothing to do with math, logic, or fiscal mismanagement and everything to do with getting people emotionally wound up over petty transactions that always were and always will be part of how governments are run.

Do you get ticked off at the Minister of Justice daring to expense a $44 dinner? (I do: that’s barely enough for a drive-thru snack. She should eat better. ) Are you enraged that it cost us over 13 grand for the Minister of International Trade’s appearance on a U.S. national television programme? Of course you are, because how dare the Minister of International Trade publicly promote Canada to our biggest trading partner? Besides, I hear the host is a leftie. And don’t get me started on the Environment Minister spending taxpayer money on photographs at a climate change conference. Because blah blah blah something something climate change. Doesn’t that just burn your britches?

It’s a shame people no longer actually care for logic or math. Otherwise, Ms. Gallant wouldn’t dare send us a note about 3.4 million dollars in federal waste when her government spent north of 1.2 billion dollars on a single G8 summit weekend. One single weekend that wasted several hundred times more than this entire list. But she can happily send this piffle because she knows the actual bookkeeping doesn’t matter. She just wants to see your outrage glands inflamed. Moving expenses. Limo rides. Nannies, for the love of God! (because not even the PM deserves child care in a Tory world.)

Methinks the only way to counter the un-logic and outrage machine is to generate a little outrage disguised as math of our own. This is why I propose looking at the list using Bev Oda orange juices (at 16 bucks a pop) as our currency of choice. A $44 dinner? Why, that’s almost 3 entire Bev Oda orange juices. The Environment Minister’s photography session? That’s over 400 Bev Oda orange juices.

Let’s get to the pulp of the matter, shall we? The entire list of government expenditures Gallant wants you fuming over comes to a combined total of $3,420,750. That amounts to just under 214,000 Bev Oda orange juices. Too much for any single person, granted. But I’m sure you’ll agree with me that to govern a country of 35 million, that isn’t really a lot of OJ. Her list, however, is a lot of BS.


Andrew Fogarasi