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With Canada’s 150th birthday coming up, you might be thinking about how you want to celebrate. Maybe you want to hike The Great Trail or take in a fireworks show at Canada’s Wonderland. But if you’re looking to switch it up, then you should pay a visit to, “The Duck”.

The Ontario government is providing a $120,000 grant for a giant rubber duck sculpture at this year’s Redpath Waterfront Festival. The attraction will cost a grand total of $200,000, but the remaining balance will be paid for with funds raised by the festival. And while some may have seen a smaller version of this duck at Nathan Phillips Square, we’re in for a shock during the Canada Day weekend. Standing at 61 feet tall and weighing about 30,000 pounds, this duck will be a replica of the world’s largest rubber duck designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.

Toronto rubber duck causing controversy in Ontario government

Although this piece of art may look intriguing, does it justify spending $120,000 of taxpayer’s money? The Conservative Party in Ontario doesn’t think so. When asked about the Liberal Party of Ontario’s spending decision, Rick Nicholls of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party said, “It’s an absurd waste of taxpayers’ dollars”. He continued with, “It is an absolute cluster duck.”

We see what you did there, Nicholls.

Many people seem to be agreeing with the Conservative Party. No one has been able to figure out how a rubber duck is relevant to Canadian heritage. And because of that, people just don’t see the value in using a rubber duck to celebrate our country’s birthday.

 

However, it might not be meant to hold much sentimental value. According to Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Eleanor McMahon, “… it’s an important contribution to our 150th celebrations. It’s just another example of the fun that people are going to have this summer.” McMahon also confirmed that the province of Ontario has funded the festival for three years, and it positively affects tourism in Toronto.

And despite the backlash, some people are excited to see the sculpture.

Keep in mind that the duck itself doesn’t cost $200,000. The price also reflects the costs of renting the art piece, inflation, marketing, and covering transportation to and from the US and on the Canada 150 Tour.

Maybe there’s no real reason why the Liberal Party chose a rubber duck as this year’s unofficial mascot. But we may have figured it out; a male duck is called a “drake”. So are they just trying to be sneaky and give a special shout out to a certain Canadian? That may not be true, but that’s what we’re going with. Plus, we all know our very own six dad would be for it.

This year you’ll be able to snap some pictures with the duck at the Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto from July 1 to July 3. But if you can’t make it downtown, don’t worry! You can also check out, “The Duck” in Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Amherstburg and Brockville.