Thursday, May 05, 2005

The China Syndrome

The fine folk who ran the sponsorship program, in expression of their solidarity with fellow supporters of corrupt one-party regimes, dropped $10 million on a 26-part Chinese TV series about Canada called Dashan and Friends in Canada .

Per Canada's National Newspaper:

"The China project, from start to finish, was strictly politically driven," Mr. Guité said.

"My problem was, how do I justify a sponsorship . . . to put up money for a project in China?" he added.

"There's not too many sovereigntists in China," a bemused Mr. Justice John Gomery concurred

Mr. Guité said that (Vickers & Benson)CEO John Hayter told him the project had support in the Prime Minister's Office in the wake of the 1994 Team Canada trade mission to China.

Mr. Guité said Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Carle both reviewed the project and gave funding approval.

From 1996 to 1999, documents tabled at the inquiry show, various federal departments put $9.9-million into the series, with Public Works footing the bulk of the bill, with $8.8-million.

The program was supposed to cost Ottawa $3-million, with the rest of the funding coming from private or provincial sources, but the federal government ended up paying the entire bill.

Dashan & Friends had an estimated 20 million viewers in China. In perspective, though, that would translate into 500,000 viewers had it been aired in Canada. We could've done a hell of a lot better sending them Beachcombers reruns.


905 Tory said...

Ah, yes, the Beachcombers. Brings back good memories.

McGuire said...

I think the Littlest Hobo would be a better draw