A giant rubber duck is making a big splash in the Trudeau government’s budget. It was recently announced that a six-storey- tall, 13,600-kilogram yellow duck is being brought to Toronto’s harbor by the Redpath Waterfront Festival, with Ontario taxpayers on the hook for part of this expense. It was recently revealed that Ontario taxpayers have provided $120,000 to help pay for this giant rubber duck already. Moreover, a spokesperson for the Department of Canadian Heritage has indicated that the Redpath Waterfront Festival received $250,000 from the Canada 150 Fund for the festival’s Ontario 150 tour. Concerned about the cost and necessity of a giant rubber duck to help celebrate Canada’s 150 Anniversary, the Honourable Tobias C. Enverga Jr., Ontario Senator, asked the Government Representative in the Senate the following question:
FUNDING FOR GIANT RUBBER DUCK
Hon. Tobias C. Enverga, Jr.: My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Ontario taxpayers have provided $120,000 to help pay for a giant rubber duck to celebrate the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Ontario and Canada. I do not understand why a duck would be chosen to celebrate Canada’s one hundred fiftieth anniversary. A giant beaver, a giant loon, a bust of the Queen or a replica of the Parliament Buildings might be more appropriate.
The giant rubber duck will arrive at the Toronto waterfront later this month and then travel to other Ontario destinations. Media reports have claimed that the giant rubber duck received support from the Canada 150 Fund. On Tuesday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage told the other place that her department did not fund this duck. Could the government leader please make inquiries and let us know if any other federal departments or agencies, whether directly or indirectly, provided financial assistance for or related to this giant rubber duck?
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his most important question. I will endeavour to find out if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and squawks like a duck. It probably is a duck, and I will report back in squeaking. time.
Senator Enverga: Could the government leader please help us explain how a giant rubber duck helps to celebrate Canada’s one hundred fiftieth anniversary?
Senator Harder: That’s a good one. I like that one: It’s not what it’s quacked up to be. I, of course, don’t have an imagination that could respond to that question extemporaneously, and I will inquire.