Waste of taxpayers dollars recognized at annual Teddy awards
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its 14th annual Teddy Waste Awards ceremony last week, giving well-deserved recognition to the worst of the worst in government waste.
CTF federal director Gregory Thomas hosted for the first time as Master of Ceremonies at the black tie news conference on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, Mar. 7. The CTF’s pig mascot Porky the Waste Hater joined lovely and charming guest hostess Catherine Criere Catherine Briere handing out the coveted golden sows.
The CTF’s signature waste award, the Teddy, is named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal government employee who was dismissed in 1999 for his outrageous expenses. Each year the CTF hosts the Teddy awards to recognize the governments, public office holders, government employees, departments or agencies that most exemplify runaway government waste.
“Taxpayers can cry, we can shout and we can stamp our feet when we hear some of these outrageous stories,” said Thomas. “And we can laugh. Some government waste is so ridiculous, it deserves to be ridiculed. The Teddy ceremony is the highlight of awards season for many Canadians.”
Federal Teddy Winner: Agriculture Canada Tobacco Transition Program: $284 million
“And the Federal Teddy goes to Agriculture Canada`s expensive tobacco boondoggle, said Thomas. “A program set up to pay farmers to get out of the tobacco business that ended up doubling the number of tobacco farmers.”
Provincial Teddy Winner: Alberta MLA’s “best committee ever”
“And the Provincial Teddy goes to…21 Alberta MLAs. These greedy politicians $1,000 per month to serve on a committee that hasn’t held a meeting since 2008,” said Thomas,
Municipal Teddy Winner: Montreal’s invisible snow snowplows
“And the Municipal Teddy winner is…the City of Montreal and its fleet of imaginary snow snowplows,” said Thomas. “Motorists and pedestrians need speedy snow removal service after the snow falls, not before.”
Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Gilles Duceppe
“Mr. Duceppe lost his seat in Parliament,” said Thomas. “But he’s still collecting $140,765 every year for life from Canadian taxpayers, the gift of a grateful nation for a lifetime of devoted service to trying to break it up. That’s after his Bloc collected $23.5 million from taxpayers and his put the party’s executive director on the Parliamentary payroll.”
Other nominees included:
Federal – Department of National Defence: $2 billion since 1998 for four used submarines still not in service.
Federal – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency: $190,000 to subside donuts made with pure lard in the province with the highest obesity rate in Canada.
Federal – National Capital Commission: $5.2 million for seven portable skate shacks on the Rideau Canal that sit unused 337 days a year.
Provincial – Yukon: Supreme Court Justice Vital Ouellette: $15 million order to build a school for 41 French-speaking students in Whitehorse.
Provincial – British Columba: BC Hydro for paying $42.3 million in performance bonuses to 99 per cent of its employees.
Provincial – Ontario: ORNGE Air Ambulance Service: $25 million unaccounted for and a police investigation unfolding.
Municipal – City of Winnipeg, Manitoba: a $5,000 grant to notify citizens in winter if it is slippery outside.
Municipal – City of Calgary, Alberta: $25 million and counting for the 15-month overdue pedestrian Peace Bridge that doubles as a public art display.
Municipal – City of St. Albert, Alberta: $280,000 to buy a Starbucks, to compete with taxpaying St. Albert small businesses.