Au bout du compte, par sa trajectoire intellectuelle, Bourdieu incarne cette catégorie de penseurs de gauche qui ont passé le plus clair de leur temps à critiquer l’appareil d’État avant de finalement vanter ses mérites.
Le magazine Maclean’s a compilé cent dépenses folles du gouvernement.
Avertissement: cette lecture peut causer des palpitations cardiaques.
Snow job: In 2011 the federal government unleashed a blizzard of funds on Quebec snowmobile clubs—nine groups received a windfall of at least $1.5 million. Over the past three years Stephen Harper’s government has pumped $6 million into Quebec snowmobile clubs. Not to be outdone, the province of Ontario set aside $500,000 for loop trails of its own.
Quebec paid $1.2 million to send transport officials overseas to study the latest in engineering technology, including trips to Burkina Faso and Algeria.
Doughnuts, tanning beds and anti-aging products
Ottawa awarded $87,000 to PurGenesis Technologies of Montreal to commercialize its “line of anti-aging products based on certiﬁed organically grown baby spinach leaves.” The money followed an earlier government “contribution” of $282,000 in 2009.
Even as Rio Tinto Alcan and Alcoa said they would invest $15 billion to modernize operations in Quebec, the province and Ottawa still gave the industry $125,000 for a trade show.
Going up? Users of Montreal’s spiffy new bus station, which opened in December, are privy to a striking oddity: escalators to nowhere. The station, located on the lower floor of the Université de Québec à Montréal’s Îlot Voyageur, was meant to be the school’s commerce and residence hub, but today largely remains a $300-million taxpayer-funded concrete skeleton. Nine escalators were installed to take users to the mezzanine, at a cost of up to $200,000; because it has been abandoned—and won’t be used any time soon—a wall was built straight across the stairs.
Canada donated $36 million to China, a country that’s accumulated US$3 trillion in foreign reserves.
Rock bottom: U2 isn’t just a rock band, it’s a billion-dollar, multinational corporation. But when Bono and crew swung through Montreal for a two-night show in July for their 360° tour (which incidentally earned them $740 million worldwide), the city subsidized the event by spending $450,000 to build a temporary stadium just for the show.
Graffiti for hire: Montreal budgets about $150,000 annually to pay for murals painted by graffiti artists around the city. Another $1 million is spent helping boroughs get rid of murals that were, um, painted for free.
Ottawa handed over more than $83,000 to promote a bluegrass festival in New Richmond, Que.
Yurt alors: Ottawa doled out $354,000 to build 19 yurts and teepees at a new glamping (glamour camping) park in Debiens, Que.
Howling mad: Ottawa gave $1.5 million to Parc Safari zoo in Hemmingford, Que., in part to build a “wolf observation tunnel.”
Another federal agency spent $1 million to modernize a municipal campground in Péribonka, Que., creating eight jobs—at $130,000 a pop.
Ottawa paid $160,000 to build four eco-tourism cabins in Gaspé, Que., at Chalets du bout du monde Inc., loosely translated as “the ends of the earth chalets.”
99 stupid things the government spent your money on (IV)
In the three months before he was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust in March, then-senator Raymond Lavigne was allowed to expense more than $32,000.
Gotta run: The Public Health Agency of Canada plans to spend $55,000 to study how to combat Montezuma’s revenge—otherwise known as traveller’s diarrhea—in the Caribbean.
A real Thriller: Last January, the City of Summerside, P.E.I., filed a lawsuit against an American concert promoter over a worldwide Michael Jackson tribute concert that officials thought was going to kick off in their little town. The city wired $1.3 million in two separate payments to the promoter between 2009 and 2010 after they were allegedly promised that Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Usher were lined up to perform in Summerside.
Retreating judges: Ontario judges and justices of the peace spent close to $600,000 for three conferences at the Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka.