The consultant was not able to say whether Canadians got good value for their $100 million because basic data was either not collected or was done so haphazardly.
The evaluation, by the consultant firm Performance Management Network, assessed how well Industry Canada set up and ran the program after it was announced in the Jan. 27, 2009, budget.
The so called Marquee Tourism Events Program, a $100 million fund set up in 2009 as part of the Harper government's recession fighting strategy, doled out money too late for about half the projects it funded.
The Marquee program was designed to prop up community based tourism struggling in the throes of a worldwide meltdown.
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Tourism Commission and the rest went to administration.
"Late confirmations of funding inhibited the ability of some events to secure more competitive prices for advertising and media purchases," says an internal report.
"Tight timelines prevented recipients from implementing some activities as planned."
"It was not possible to comprehensively assess the change in the number of domestic and international tourists attending supported events, the change in the level of tourism related spending, along with the change in event revenues."
A copy of the document, completed June 30 this year, was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.
OTTAWA Dozens of tourism projects across the country were delayed and got stuck with hefty bills because a key federal program was slow getting cash to them.
But the evaluation also notes that under Clement's watch in year two, delays persisted. About a quarter of the 47 approved recipients in the final year got the money only after their events were to have begun.
Late cheques undermine federal tourism program
The evaluation found that 46 of the 107 approved recipients got the money only after the scheduled start of the proposed event or project.
"In many cases, performers were no longer available or affordable and deadlines for securing ads in publications or media purchases were missed."
Clement denied money to Pride Week in the second year of the Marquee program, even though internal documents show Industry Canada bureaucrats had declared the festival a good candidate for funding.
for May 8, attracting a mountain of paper from 165 community groups, suggesting there may indeed have been a paperwork overload in Ablonczy's office.
"Recipients did not receive notification and confirmation of funding with sufficient time to plan and implement all of their activities as intended," says the document.
The Marquee fund drew fire when Diane Ablonczy, then the junior tourism minister, announced in June 2009 she had approved $397,500 for Toronto's Pride Week, to improve access for the disabled, among other gay and lesbian focused projects.
Events funded ranged from Whoop up Days in Lethbridge, Alta., and Canada's Largest Ribfest in Burlington, Ont., to the Calgary Stampede and Just for Laughs festival in Montreal.
"As a Nike Air Force Brown Sole result, the potential impact of the program was likely limited in the first year."
The June 30 evaluation report is silent on the Pride Week controversy, but does note the Marquee program was put together over just a few weeks and officially launched on April 6, 2009, about 10 weeks after the budget announcement.
The two year fund, which expired in March this year, actually spent an estimated $88 million, after $8 million was diverted to Nike Air Force Ii Low
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"This negatively impacted the recipients' ability to plan and implement activities as intended," says the report.
It's among the first to emerge assessing how effectively tax dollars were spent under the Harper government's so called Economic Action Plan, a two year infusion of funds that ended March 31.
The Harper government insisted the move had nothing to do with the 10 day gay and lesbian Pride festival, suggesting instead that Ablonczy's office couldn't keep up with the administrative burden.
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