HERE: We can better spend billions.
And I'm glad that the politicians in their gold-gilded towers realized it, too. With so much wrong in this province (not to mention the debt), I'm at a total loss as to why dumping almost two billion dollars into a Commonwealth Games bid was even considered. There are better places this money could be spent: libraries, schools, and health care are only a start.
Yes, yes, I can understand it's a loss to local athletes, and a lot of people feel very strongly about that. But let's try to separate the emotional appeal from the numbers.
The bid was expected to be 1.7 billion dollars. That's
1 700 000 000 dollars.
So, let's compare.
I can walk to the corner store and get a loaf of bread for $2. That bid, even at obscene convenience store rates, represents about 850 million loaves of bread. Or, about half that many kilograms of apples. It's all most a billion and a half cans of soup. Imagine what good Feed Nova Scotia could do with even a portion of those funds.
Maybe I'm not getting my point across. Large numbers have a tendency to get lost in people's consciousness for some reason. That's over 1300 kilometers of twinned highway. It's the tution for 11,000 university student-years. Two-thousand (or so) pieces of expensive hospital equipment. The salaries of ~50,000 teachers.
Back to the emotional appeals, I guess.
What baffles me most is that: "It's a lot of money". And it's a big number. Really big. Mind-bogglingly-big. Douglas-Adams,Hitchhiker's-Guide-to-the-Galaxy big, really. And what would Halifax gain? A stadium built in the middle of nowhere that would be used for a few years then left to rot? A pittance of the money spent back in taxes on the stuff that visitors to the region would buy? Some money for big-box chains?
Maybe take some of the saved money and put it into education at the primary and secondary levels so that we could avoid needing to build Super-Schools where the students are just numbers.
And for the athletes who would have otherwise competed -- I'm sure that more facilities for sport would be less costly than the ridiculous pricing of the Commonwealth games bid.
Update: slight numbers tweak, since loaves of bread do not cost $200.