Yesterday's "historic" $5 billion highways announcement was really only $1.5 billion. Turns out, most of the announced money was nothing more than the annual highways budget.
Of course, you wouldn't know that from the government press release:
PROVINCE INVESTS $5 BILLION IN NEW TRANSPORTATION STRATEGY FOR SASKATCHEWAN
Premier Lorne Calvert today announced an unprecedented $5 billion investment over the next 10 years in an innovative new strategy, Transportation for Economic Advantage, to fundamentally realign Saskatchewan’s transportation network to meet the current and future needs of the province’s thriving export-based economy.
And how did the local paper report it? How about this for a headline?
$5-billion promise made for highways
And then, in just the second paragraph, they get around to the facts:
The Saskatchewan government will make a fundamental change in how it spends money on its long-suffering highway and transportation system, with a new strategy based on nurturing the province's export-based economy, NDP Premier Lorne Calvert announced Tuesday.
And there will be a lot more money to spend, with the government committing $5 billion over the next 10 years, about $1 billion to $1.5 billion more than would have been expected based on current budget numbers.
I'm thinking a more interesting story, perhaps as a side bar, would have the following headline:
Government fudges numbers on highways announcement
That's just me.