15th Annual “Teddy” Government Waste Awards Winners
- Federal – Standing Buffalo Band Chief Pockets More than PM
- Provincial – Former Alberta Tourism Minister Billed Taxpayers for Mother-Daughter Olympic Junket
- Local – Toronto Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council’s $143 pencil sharpener
- Lifetime Achievement – Bev Oda turns on the juice, smokes all challengers
OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today held its 15th annual Teddy Waste Awards ceremony, roasting the year’s worst and funniest examples of government waste. CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas, Master of Ceremonies, joined the charming and talented Catherine Brière and the CTF’s pig mascot Porky the Waste Hater at the swine-studded gala, held on Parliament Hill at the Charles Lynch Press Conference Theatre.
The CTF’s signature waste award, the Teddy, is named for Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee sacked in 1999 after submitting a litany of dubious expenses, including a $700 lunch for two. Each year the CTF hosts the Teddy awards to shine the spotlight on corruption and waste in government at every level, whether it’s on Parliament Hill, in a provincial capital, at city hall, the band office, or the school board office.
“It’s enough to bring you to tears sometimes, these greedy scheming politicians,” said Thomas. “Once a year we can all have a laugh about it, and more importantly, about them.”
Federal Teddy Winner: Chief Roger Redman, Standing Buffalo First Nation
When band members gathered to impeach him, the Chief padlocked the band office and confiscated the chequebook. For leading the Standing Buffalo reserve, home to 443 people, Chief Redman took home more after-tax income than the Prime Minister, and each of his councillors out-earned Saskatchewan’s premier.
Provincial Teddy Winner: Former Alberta Tourism Minister Christine Cusanelli
Alberta had a problem on its hands: cancelling a massive provincial junket to the London Olympics left the province with $113,000 worth of empty hotel rooms. The minister helped the province with the problem by taking her mother and her daughter to the Olympics with her, billing the entire trip to the taxpayers before eventually paying the money back.
Local Teddy Winner: Toronto Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council
The Toronto Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council billed the Toronto Public School District for 293,000 work orders totalling $158 million, including $143 to attach a pencil sharpener to a desk with four screws and $266 for hanging three pictures on a wall. Union boss, Jimmy Hazel believes in being accountable – to himself. As he told a Toronto Star reporter “We don’t need to f----ing prove anything to anybody about costs.”
Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Bev Oda
After expensing chauffeured limousines in cities from Halifax to London England, expensing two luxury hotels in London on the same nights, ordering $16 glasses of orange juice, and charging taxpayers for an air purifier so she could smoke in her office, the former Harper cabinet minister left office, with only her $52,000 annual Parliamentary pension to comfort her for the rest of her life.
Other nominees included:
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: $826,000 to a private company to develop sausages that don’t explode when you cook them.
Metro Vancouver Translink: untold costs to mobilize the RCMP, the Coast Guard, Transport Canada, Vancouver Airport security and Air Canada security, when the Metro Vancouver Transit Police forgot explosives on a commercial Air Canada plane after a training exercise with their bomb-sniffing dog.
The Senate of Canada: $106 million for this unelected group of unelected politicians who refuse to disclose details of their public expenses to the public.
New Brunswick MLAs: two former New Brunswick MLAs dragged taxpayers before the province’s human rights tribunal, seeking protection for their gold-plated pensions.
Ontario Government: $225 million to $775 million in costs to move two gas-fired electricity plants from Mississauga and Oakville, the former during the last election as a vote-buying exercise.
Montreal’s Mr. Surprenant: $706,000 pocketed by former city engineer in bribes on city construction contracts.
Hospitals in St. John’s, Halifax, and Windsor - $1.9 million in losses operating unsuccessful Tim Hortons outlets with union staff and some refusing to sell doughnuts.
Click here for our detailed backgrounder on all 2013 Teddy award nominees.
For further information please contact CTF federal director Gregory Thomas at 1-800-265-0442 (office) or (613) 205-8409 (mobile)