At first I just thought it was just amusing. Bill Clinton, ex-left-leaning President of the United States comes to one of the most left-wing cities in Canada to lecture us about "Embracing Our Common Humanity" and they can't sell even half the tickets.
They intended to sell 25,000 tickets, but when that looked hopeless they changed to a smaller 10,000 seat venue so that it wouldn't look so empty, and still they were 3000 short of a sell out. The choice tickets cost $50, but yesterday they started practically giving them away at the door for $5 a pop.
Now you can enter all the jokes here: people were uncomfortable with Clinton lecturing about "Embracing." Perhaps they could have pulled in a larger audience if they'd renamed the talk to "Embracing our Common Interns." Ba-dump bump drum slap goes here.
But what made all this very unfunny is that we're paying for it. Yup, our federal stimulus money put up a cool $3 million to this little left-wing love-in. Canadians from Vancouver to St John's are paying for Toronto lefties to go and hang out with Bill Clinton. I bet Toronto Mayor David Miller and all his councillors even bought tickets with their city expense accounts.
What should the feds do? Well a condition of the grant is that the Canadian National Exhibition, the creator of this little event, should make back at least $1 million.
So let's do the math: the first 7000 tickets were sold at prices ranging from $20 to $50, but we'll just say they all sold for $50. That's $350,000 dollars. The remaining tickets finally all sold for $5 each, so there's another $15,000. Let's assume all that union labor at the CNE donates their time. Yeah, right! Grand total from ticket sales: $365,000. This is the absolute upper bound.
But Teflon Bill isn't donating his time. He's being paid somewhere between $175,000 and $300,000. So we'll assume he did Toronto a favor and only charged $175,000. That means the lefty-love-in will only make $190,000 AT MOST. And that is impossible after accounting for real expenses. In reality the event probably lost money.
I suggest that the CNE, which is really just a toy of Toronto's left-wing city council, should be forced to pay back the entire $3 million to the federal government since they did not fulfill the condition of earning $1 million on the event.
It's time to send a chill through the grant-receiving community that this kind of misuse of taxpayer dollars will not be tolerated. If we don't put a stop to this waste of money now, imagine how much it will cost us when Obama is an ex-president and they want him to come to another Toronto lefty-love-in?
Oh, and Clinton's speech? The usual.