Big numbers cost big money

Teresa Wright
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The numbers installed at Province House and Founders Hall celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference are proving popular with tourists and Islanders alike. Many tourists like Akssell Leiva, who is taking a photo of his wife, Ling, stop to take photos of the sign or to read the history behind the 1864 conference on a plaque adjacent ot the numbers.

Two big numbers sculptures in Charlottetown have cost taxpayers big numbers.

The two sculptures depict the dates 1864 and 2014 in big, red digits.

1864 is at Province House and was an initiative of Parks Canada. 2014 is at the Charlottetown waterfront and was P.E.I. 2014 Inc. project.

Four of the eight numbers that make up the two sculptures were repurposed from a War of 1812 structure built in Halifax in 2012.

The one and the eight are at Province House. The two and the one are on the waterfront.

Parks Canada and P.E.I. 2014 Inc. partnered on a tender, awarded to the Quebec-based company Storeimage, for the remaining digits needed for their two sculptures.

The ‘zero’ and the ‘four’ commissioned to complete the 2014 sculpture cost $50,000.

“They’re custom made,” said Patricia Devine, director of communications for P.E.I. 2014 Inc.

“Oh my god,” said Opposition Leader Steven Myers reacting to news of the cost.

“I think it’s the epitome of bad decisions and a government without out any plan or priorities if they think it’s OK to spend $50,000 on a zero and a four.”

Myers said he talks to Islanders every day who are struggling to make ends meet.

He also pointed to cuts in the social services budget and the calls for more mental health and addictions services in P.E.I.

He believes Islanders will be seeing red over this expenditure.

“I can’t imagine that people are going to be happy to find out $50,000 was spent on two numbers.”

Parks Canada did not respond to The Guardian’s request for information about how much it paid for the ‘six’ and ‘four’ needed for its 1864 sculpture.

All four numbers commissioned for the two sculptures were part of the same tender.

Organizations: Parks Canada, Province House, The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Halifax

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Don Humphrey
    June 09, 2014 - 16:38

    Enough 0's in government already.

  • PEIslander
    June 06, 2014 - 10:49

    Those numbers better attract all my celebrity crushes if they were that much..... I'm sick of the government throwing around money like this when the budget for health care does not meet all the required services that should be offered here. Pathetic.

  • Islander in AB
    June 06, 2014 - 02:03

    It's $50k people... Not the end of the world. Calgary is complaining about these artistic pieces being put up all over the city that are costing tax payers MILLIONS not $50,000. And it's true as RG has said, without tourism the island would have a lot less and a lot more to worry about. Great job to the PEI 2014 Inc. team, I hear it's been amazing so far! Can't wait to come home in the summer and see it all. Even the big red numbers... :)

  • Concerned Islander
    June 05, 2014 - 21:04

    Absolutely ridiculous......that money would have been well spent elsewhere, e.g. medical treatment, education, assistance for low income, etc. This is unbelievable!

  • intobed
    June 05, 2014 - 18:27

    They should have just kept the eight rotting round hay bales that were at the Confed Centre over the winter, and spray painted the numbers on that great work of "art".

  • Stanley
    June 05, 2014 - 15:30

    Cannot believe how much money the Ghiz govt is wasting on this historically pointless celebration. This is just a taxpayer-funded campaign launch for the Liberal Party and it couldn't be more eye opening about this government's skewed priorities. Parties for themselves come before you and your family. Breweries come before schools. Charlottetown elites and consultants come before honest, hard-working farmers and fishermen. It's disgusting.

  • worried
    June 05, 2014 - 14:26

    totally awesome.... we have some big red useless numbers that cost a fortune, yet we can't seem to find the $$ to hire desperately needed doctors and are firing teachers.... wow.

  • luv this Island
    June 05, 2014 - 13:14

    So far this Government has done the best job of any Governments of the past.Keep up the great work ..................

    • Craig
      June 05, 2014 - 20:51

      Sounds like someone got some pnp money!!!!

  • RG
    June 05, 2014 - 12:37

    It takes money to make money people. Stop complaining that all money should go towards issues like poverty. If no money was spent on stuff like tourism, you'd have a lot less money than you have now to spend on these types of issues.

    • worried
      June 05, 2014 - 14:29

      are you saying that spending $50,000.00 on those numbers was a wise decision to support tourism? If so, I don't follow your logic!

    • RG
      June 05, 2014 - 16:21

      To worried: Do I think it was a wise decision? I don't work in tourism and don't know how much money they'll make back from it so I don't know, but if they thought it was a good idea to spend this money, then I'll give them the benefit of the doubt rather than attack them. It's the same as anything on PEI. You can't spend money on anything without half the province attacking you saying it should be going elsewhere.

  • don
    June 05, 2014 - 12:02

    this 2014 is not about canada it is about the city and #1 ghiz just think of all the big shots, free meals, and the pictures. to hell with the islanders who needs help. and yet you dumb ass voters who whine about this government not caring and when the election comes you will vote him back in. what he needs is some real competition during the election and the only one that can do it is mrs crane. olive we need you the island people needs you to be the next real leader who cares for the people not yourself or well you know ghiz helping his liberal family and friends.

  • Observer from the East
    June 05, 2014 - 11:50

    You have to spend money to make (more) money sometimes. However, common sense has to kick in. That is an outrageous price for that. Not worth that amount of money. Could they get something promotional done that would be just as effective without spending that much money? I would think so

  • This Disease Also Needs A Cure
    June 05, 2014 - 10:24

    Since I suffer from yearforgetaphobia, for me this is a very welcome tax payer expenditure. My disability causes me to forget what year it is, and finally there's a place for me to go For help. Just yesterday (or maybe it was the day before . . . or perhaps today) I was wondering around asking strangers, "What year is it, what year is it?" I stumbled to Flounders Hall and found the answer. Thank you Mr. Ghiz, clearly this is money well spent!

  • Just Sayin
    June 05, 2014 - 10:08

    Patty Devine sure knows how to waste money.

  • wilf
    June 05, 2014 - 09:59

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am just about ready to puke over this 2014 gig, - not to mention over spending almost $ 30 mill. of the taxpayers hard earned money on all this crab, -- "dignitariens" at the trough throughout the year. - sickening is what it is. Free concerts and circuses, while some kids to hungry to bed and other worry day in and day out how to make ends meet. - why did we not divide all his money up and give the worried and the poor a day of rest????? Because we have thoughtless and entitlement ridden leadership, that is why.

  • Rob
    June 05, 2014 - 09:26

    I can honestly say I'm not one of those people who go on here every day and rant on about how bad our government is. For the most part I figure the government are never going to make a decision that everybody agrees on, so when they make what I feel like is a bad decision I usually just have a "it is what it is" attitude. However, when I heard the dollar amount that the government forked over for 8 numbers, I couldn't help but get on here and rant. I was recently involved in a charity to raise money for kids living in poverty in PEI. The parents of most of these kids are really trying to make ends meet to make sure their kids have a decent life, but because of our economy these days, they struggle. Then I hear the government has mega amounts of dollars to throw away on silly number structures. This is truly sickening. The people responsible for this cannot seriously look at themselves in the mirror and say they got their priorities straight. I'm all about promoting the 150 year birthday of our province, but this is ridiculous.

  • Jon
    June 05, 2014 - 09:21

    Definitely pricey but seeing lots of people getting their photos with them already. Can't imagine that 2014 will ever do right by Teresa anyway...if they got cheaper ones and someone was hurt, that'd be the dirty story she'd be chasing!

    • So?
      June 05, 2014 - 13:27

      Says the liberal shill. It's fantastic that people are getting pictures taken with these numbers. Far better spending than feeding the hungry or housing the poor.

    • Let it go SO
      June 05, 2014 - 17:26

      How is it when a commenter doesn't agree with the Tory trolls - they are called a shrill? Petty.

  • Wilson
    June 05, 2014 - 08:34

    This is ridiculous. I'm sure any Island carpenter or artist could've done that for much less. I would've done it for 1/4 of that!