Dear Rodney,

Happy New Year.

I write to you with important news. According to an Acadia study, there are little to no health benefits to all-terrain vehicles.

In other news, dishwashers are not an effective form of birth control and sandwiches don’t stop global warming.

I know, it seems a bit silly, right?

Obviously riding an ATV isn’t as healthy as, say, walking. But people often use ATVs to do healthy things like camping. What’s to study?

But here’s the thing. Your government gave $10,000 to a York University study backed by the ATV lobby that basically argues with the first study.

So, in a province that still has issues like child poverty, we’re spending thousands of dollars and man-hours on something that’ll probably make no difference in anyone’s life.

This brings me to why I’m writing you, Rodney. Our economy is, to put it lightly, doomed.

You’re going to have to cut untold millions from the budget next year. Truly a daunting task. Rodney, friend, buddy, let me help you.

My first piece of advice — EBay.

There are people on that site, this is true, paying more than $27 for a $25 gift certificate. They’ll at least pay a couple bucks for some D250 swag like a T-shirt or side bag.

Multiply that by the millions of D250 bric-a-brac out there, and now we’re talking.

It’s just a pity you didn’t come to me sooner. Like, say, last year when I could have advised you giving up to $10 million in no-strings-attached funding to a program with an unverifiable goal could be problematic.

It’s not that democracy isn’t great; it’s that there’s a small chance giving away mountains of D250 golf shirts, stress balls and flags won’t save our political system.

Luckily, we can gather up the thousands of leftovers and discards and to EBay we go. Unfortunately, there’ll be no way to get back the $40,000 salaries of John Hamm and Russell MacLellan.

But hey, 250 is a nice number to celebrate, even if ?democracy? of 250 years ago was a sham and we didn’t get responsible government for another 90 years. Why split hairs?

I’ve got many more valuable tips, but I’m not giving them all up for free.

I’ll help you out for a modest consulting fee. Shall we say $40,000?

Paul McLeod is a staff reporter at Metro Halifax. He is currently in rehab for being a political junkie. It’s going badly.

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