Cynicism, part 815 in a series

So Canada’s New Government (getting things done — for everyone) has announced some “new” initiatives that will give homeowners grants for retrofitting their homes. This new ecoENERGY (why is the combination of lower- and upper-case letters so appealing to governments?) retrofit program will provide grants of about $1000 for homeowners who make their homes more energy-efficient. Total cost: $220 million over four years, plus another $80 million over 4 years for initiatives involving businesses and builders.

Sound familiar? Why, yes. This would be the revived Energuide program, which Gigantic Hound has some familiarity with, and which was cancelled by Canada’s New Government in May 2006. Budget 2005 — admittedly, the budget that promised everything to everyone — pledged $225 million more to the popular $40 million program over 5 years.

So CNG cancelled the program, did f-all to encourage energy efficiency for almost a year, and starting in April will re-start the program from scratch. No doubt there will be a new logo commissioned to go with the kicky new name. Talk about efficiency!

To be clear, I have no issue with CNG seeing the light on energy efficiency, whatever has caused the change in sentiment. It’s good they’re restoring this program. What I object to is the extreme cynicism of announcing as a new program the restoration of one that existed until eight months ago, spending $20,000 on a media event (at the Metro Home Show) to tell me about it, and choosing Sunday (when newsrooms are lightly staffed, and willing to report almost anything), to do it. Voters, no matter what their political stripe, should be insulted by this. I know I am.