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Ontario to kick off 150th birthday celebration with giant inflatable duck costing $200Gs

The Ontario government will celebrate the country’s 150th birthday with a giant rubber duck - and taxpayers are taking a bath.

Ontario PC MPP Vic Fedeli said the $200,000 birthday duck tour - more than half of it covered by Ontario - is a sure sign of a government with “messed up” priorities.

"I cannot imagine what the rubber duck’s connection is to the 150th," Fedeli said. "They’re laying off frontline health-care workers right across Ontario . . . They can’t find money for alternative level of care beds, but they can find $200,000 for some kind of a duck promo?"

The six-storey-tall, 13,600-kilogram yellow duck is being brought to Toronto by the Redpath Waterfront Festival, at a total cost of $200,000, combining a provincial contribution and other funding such as corporate sponsorship.

The total grant for the Toronto portion of the tour was closer to $121,325, according to tourism ministry spokesman Jeff Costen.

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