Giant rubber ducky costs Ontario $200k

Giant rubber ducky costs Ontario $200k
The Canadian province of Ontario is celebrating the country’s 150th birthday with an enormous 6-storey-tall, 30,000lb giant rubber duck, prompting a debate over the CA$200,000 (US$150,000) cost involved.

About 90 per cent of the duck’s cost is being covered by grants, including a CA$121,325 payout from the Ontario government earmarked for funding the celebrations.

However, not everyone is excited about the prospect of a gigantic rubber ducky docking in Toronto.

I cannot imagine what the rubber duck’s connection is to the 150th,” said Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Vic Fedeli. “They’re laying off frontline health-care workers right across Ontario ... They can’t find money for alternative level of care beds, but they can find $200,000 for some kind of a duck promo?

The rest of the $200,000 bill is being footed by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and the Ontario 150 celebration committee itself. Thousands of dollars will go towards paying for a crane and inflation equipment to set up the duck.

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I believe that people who are struggling to pay their hydro bill, who are concerned about this government’s fiscal policy, will think that spending $200,000 on an expense like that is quack economics,” said PC Deputy Leader Steve Clark.

The project aims to generate CA$20 in visitor spending for each dollar spent on the campaign, according to Jeff Costen, press secretary for the office of the minister.

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It’s an absurd waste of taxpayers’ dollars,argued PC MPP Rick Nicholls. “It is an absolute cluster duck.”

It’s going to be a lot of fun,” countered Tourism Minister Eleanor McMahon.

The duck in question is an American-owned replica of the original world’s largest rubber duck which has been sailing around the globe since 2007. It’s due to begin its Ontario trip with a stop on Toronto’s waterfront late next month before embarking on a tour of various points around the province.