Feds make stimulus cash contingent on erecting sign
A photograph of the G8 action plan sign put up by the government of Canada as a three-metre high steel fence is being assembled around the Deerhurst resort and golf club in Huntsville Ont., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA - Millions in taxpayers' stimulus cash doled out by the Harper government was conditional upon project managers putting up federal promotional signs.
The Canadian Press has also learned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself received briefings from the country's top civil servant on the number of Economic Action Plan signs in place.
The new information paints a portrait of a Conservative government consumed with getting the message out on federal infrastructure projects.
Eighteen federal departments and agencies have spent the past year tracking every single one of more than 8,500 signs installed across Canada.
Contracts for the stimulus cash require some project managers to erect a federal sign to show the project is "substantially completed" -- at which point they receive the final 20 per cent of their funding.
Documents show that the prime minister received private memos from the powerful clerk of the Privy Council detailing how many signs had been installed.