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FED: 12th Annual "Teddies" Government Waste Awards

March 10, 2010
FED: 12th Annual

MP junk mail, outrageous Nova Scotia MLA expenses, the City of Toronto's homeless audit and gold-plated MP pension plans are this year's winners

VIEW THE LATEST MEDIA COVERAGE

OTTAWA: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its 12th annual “Teddy Waste Awards” ceremony to recognize the best of the worst government waste.  CTF Prairie director, Colin Craig, acted as the master of ceremonies today at the black tie news conference on Parliament Hill.  “Porky the Waste Hater” (pig mascot) and guest hostess Natasha assisted with the ceremony.

The “Teddies” award ceremony is named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal bureaucrat who was fired for outrageous expenses in 1999.  Each year the CTF holds the ceremony to recognize a government, public office holder, civil servant, department or agency that most exemplifies government waste.

“We hold the ceremony each year to educate the public about government waste and highlight fat that needs to be trimmed,” said Craig.  “The event also helps hold bureaucrats and politicians accountable for their decisions.”

The 2010 Teddy winners are:

Federal Award Winner:  MP Junk Mail

“And the federal Teddy goes to...Members of Parliament for their junk mailer program.  The federal mail-out program allows MPs to send flyers to no more than 10 per cent of the households any riding in the country. The flyers are in addition to riding-wide MP flyers and have increased in cost from $5.9 million in 2005-06 to $10 million in 2008-09. Oddly enough, as our deficit skyrocketed, MPs hiked up their usage of these flyers to tell us about everything but the deficit.” said Craig.

Provincial Award Winner: Outrageous Nova Scotia MLA Expenses

“And the provincial Teddy award goes to...Nova Scotia’s MLAs for their outrageous MLA expense claims. A scathing audit on MLA expenses between 2006-2009 revealed the maritime MLAs had expensed just about everything under the sun. The all-star from the scandal was Len "The Master of Multitasking" Goucher for expensing 11 computers, 12 printers, 5 digital cameras, 4 video cameras and the Xbox game Dance Dance Revolution over a three-year period.” commented Craig.

Municipal Award Winner: City of Toronto’s Homeless Audit

“And the municipal Teddy goes to...the City of Toronto for paying people to pretend to be homeless. The city conducts a ‘homeless audit’ each year and to assist in the audit they decided to pay people $100 to dress up and act homeless in the streets of Toronto. Designed to help the city get count its homeless people, it was actually a slap in the face to real homeless people as they were banned from applying for the work,” said Craig.

Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Gold-plated MP Pensions

After the suspense built for everyone’s favourite category, Craig announced the final award, “And the Lifetime Achievement Teddy goes to…the gold-plated MP pension plan. For years Canadians have heard about quite possibly the richest pension plan in the country – the one Members of Parliament decided to award themselves. Unlike most pension plans, MPs are eligible for a minimum pension of $46,000 after just ten years of service and it skyrockets from there. Every candidate seems to hate it until it’s offered to them,” said Craig. “When will it end?”

Other nominees included:

  • Federal – $1.5 million for unused hotel rooms at the Francophone Summit in Quebec
  • Federal –Public Works staff accidentally sold off Queen’s silver for $4,000 then spent nearly $100,000 to get it back
  • Federal – $1.4 million spent by mint to discover $20 million of ‘missing gold’ not really missing
  • Federal – Peguis Reserve Band Council paid taxable equivalent salary of $295,000 to $439,000
  • Newfoundland Government – One MLA expensed $30,000 in annual cell phone bills
  • British Columbia Government – Paid 241 civil servants to “volunteer” at the Olympics
  • Ontario Government – $1 billion eHealth boondoggle
  • City of Calgary – Councillors spend $6,700 on dry cleaning bills
  • City of Winnipeg – Councillor expensed a $739 satellite radio and subscription
  • City of Edmonton – $1.4 million “promo web site” only attracts 53,000 visitors from outside Edmonton - $26 per web visitor

To view the full description of all thirteen nominees and the lifetime achievement award winner, click here.

Photos from The Teddies

 

Prairie director Colin Craig was Master of Ceremonies

 

Lots of media in attendance!

 

Natasha - Our Model

 

Porky the Waste Hater

 

More media

 

Colin, Porky and Natasha

 

By
on March 10, 2010

What about the costs to keep the Human Rights Commission, bilingualsim, and multicultualism programs functioning. They should should be completey dismantled. That would save taxpayers a bundle.

 

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By
on March 10, 2010

The federal long gun registry won a Teddy award in 2003 and it's still here! Sign the CTF petition to stop it.

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By
on March 10, 2010

Heard about your site on CJAD and love it. Here is a timely suggestion for a new category. As the fiscal year ends for government on March 31, there is always a mad rush by all levels to make sure that they spend every single dollar of their budget before the 31st, for fear that if they don't, next year's budget will be reduced. Suppliers love this time of year, and even if they are back-ordered on product, they make arramgements with the purchaser to deliver boxes, even if full of bricks or paper, as long as they get there on time. They can then deliver the actual product at their leisure. Since this product was not needed, it usually sits in storage for months or years.

I think the new category should be for those who spend the highest percentage of their budget in February and March, and if possible, how many dollars are sitting on the shelf at the end of April or May.

No wonder they can't balance a budget !

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By
on March 11, 2010

That is the TITLE of the book I am currently reading, written by MEL HURTIG, and I STRONGLY RECOMMEND EVERY CANADIAN HOUSEHOLD ( WHO ARE CANADIANS ) PURCHASE THIS BOOK AND ACTUALLY READ IT!!  YOU KNOW,,,, READ... YOU CAN DO IT, AND BY ALL MEANS GO AND GET EDUCATED ON OUR HYDRO AND HEALTH CARE ETC... THERE IS A REASON WHY THIS GOVERNMENT IS DOING THIS ALL TO US CANADIANS, AND ITS SICKENING!!

 

Trust me Canadians, if you love your country as much as you say and pretend to do, then do this country , yourself and out future children and their children all a favour and get pro - active....

 

I DONT want to become AMERICANIZED!!  Have you seen/heard how their healthcare is, or isnt....!!!!!  DO you fellow canadians want that for your parents, siblings, elderly?????  Think wisely, just remember, your aging too, so if your not ready for a nursing home in the next 10 years or so, you sure will be eventually...

 

Also a darned good book to read is also written by Mel HURTIG titled

 

THE BETRAYAL OF CANADA also

 

PAY THE RENT, OR FEED THE KIDS...

( sound familiar !! )

 

The takeover by the americans of MacMillan Bloedel ltd, WAS A TRAJIC CASE

Those americans certainly have alot of nerve

First they pressured the white house and the u.s. congress to compel canada into limiting its exports of softwood lumber to the United States even though Canadian Softwood Lumber exports were traded fairly and without subsidy.

THE EFFECT HAS BEEN REDUCED TO PROFITS , EMPLOYMENT ANBD NEEDED NEW INVESTMENT IN CANADAS SOFTWOOD LUMBER COMPANIES.

 

NEXT THE AMERICANS TURN AROUND AND START BUYING UP CANADA'S MAJOR SOFTWOOD LUMBER PRODUCERS, WHICH ARE AVAILABLE AT A CHEAP PRICE ( DID YOU GET THAT????  THRONE SPEECH FROM THIS WEEK NOW SAYS FOREIGNERS DONT HAVE TO PAY ANY TAXES.. HMFH DID YOU GET THAT?? )  -- IN PART TO THE CONSTRAINTS OF TE SOFTWOOD LUMBER AGREEMENT.. ( NICE SO NICE, AND THAT HELPS CANADIANS WHO NEED WORK ... HOW??? )

 

WEYERHAEUSER COULD become ONE OF THE LARGEST HOLDERS OF FOREST LANDS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA ---- CANADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WAKE UP CANADA, AND THIS IS NOT TO BE HEEDED SO LIGHTLY.  IS THAT WHAT CANADIANS WANT???  TO BE SOLD OUT LIKE WE HAVE BEEN?  HOW ABOUT THE HYDRO BUSINESS... ENJOY THE HIGH COSTS YOUR SPENDING ON HYDRO NEEDLESSLY...I AINT .... HERES ANOTHER ONE  FROM MR. MEL HURTIGS BOOK ....

 

I CANT DO BETTER THEN CRANE IN DESCRIBING THE APPALLING $ 13 BILLION TAKEOVER OF WESTCOAST ENERGY -- A TAKEOVER NO OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WOUL DHAVE ALLOWED,.... WAY TO GO CANADIANS... NOTHING LIKE SELLING OUT YOUR OWN CHILDRENS FUTURES... WAY TO GO... YOU SHOULD ALL BE EVER SO PROUD...... KERTHUD.. WAKE UP .. SMELL THE COFFEE, ,GET OFF THE MIND ALTERING DRUGS ..... REIGN IN THIS GOVERNMENT OR HAS IT ALREADY SOLD OUR COUNTRY TO THE AMERICANS, HOW DO YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF YOUR CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN MANDATORILY DRAFTED INTO ALL WARS... HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT ONE ??  HOW DO YOU LIKE THE MANDATORY / VOLUNTEERRING BEING FORCED ON YOUR CHILDREN?  YEA, i THOUGHT YOU WOULD ENJOY THAT ONE TOO... LIKE SAYING WAR EQUALS PEACE.. YEA... TIME TO WAKE UP CANADA... YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS ALL OF US ....

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By
on March 11, 2010

I'm not sure we would award a Teddy for this, but it is a good idea for an Access to Information request. Thanks for the tip!

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By
on March 12, 2010

Is it just me, or is there only sound on the left channel? I know my headphones work, just listened to the pod a minute ago. 

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By
on March 12, 2010

How about a positive category? Let MPs compete for the prestigious award of Anti-Ted (or whatever). For the MP that reduces a budget while maintaining services or something like that.

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By
on March 12, 2010

...when you should look at the whole. The whole damn $55 billion deficit spending bill is the ultimate Teddy.

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By
on March 12, 2010

As a young man, I once was employed by the Department of Public Works Manitoba. During that short period, there came the fast spend don't get caught with a lot of inventory on hand time (February and March) I could not believe it when I happened upon the DPW crew and front end loader crushing hundreds of cases of unopened flourescent light tubes and other such fragile inventory, for the purpose of showing short supply, so as to get the budget increased the following year.  So you see, it is not only getting rid of surplus cash, but inventory as well.

Jean H. Broeckx  - Castlegar, BC

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By
on March 12, 2010

I would agree, with shutting down bilingualsim, and multicultualism, but human rights, I'd like to see given more teeth and a mandate to lay war-crimes charges against the likes of Gordon Campbell and those in the backroom of his party responsible for creating the sociopathic agenda. And then reestablish Human Rights here in Canada.

 

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By
on March 12, 2010

Save even more multi-millions by simply have department managers take staff attendence. So called "Stress leave", family illness days booked weeks in advance, f_ _k you days and a dozen other weak bullshit excuses from employees of all levels of governments cosy us probably millions per week.

How about the simple practice if "No working, no paying", including management levels.

Manager bonuses could be partly based on reducing waste rather than following the common practice of dumping the office supply room contents in the garbage to make room for the new stuff.

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By
on March 12, 2010

There are a number of ways the Government could save taxpayer's money. Some of these would be very unpopular to some sections of Canadian society. Note that these suggestions are to save money and not to raise the collective ires of various groups.

!  Federal Government.

   Get rid of the Indian Act. Doing this would save billions of dollars. This act is outdated and is of no further use to the people who should be protected agaist the excesses of there 'elected' representatives.

    Get rid of the tax exemption for natives who live on reserves. I'm sure that a lot of them live off reserves and still claim tax relief.

     Pay the taxes on any intellectual property and goods that were invented and in use after the signing of the various treaties and not give tax exemptions on those items that are delivered to the reserve.

     Give Indian Status ONLY to people who can prove that their parents were Both 100% Indian and who were legally married. This would much simpler than the present method of establishing heritage.

     Scrap the Gun registry now! It was a waste of money when it was introduced, and it still is. The time has come to get rid of it. It was introduced to reduce violent crime committed with firearms and it hasn't worked. If the government had done any research at all they would have found that banning guns would increase crime. The only people who are happy with the registry are the beaureaucrats who run it, with their bonuses! The Police, who still get shot at with firearms (I wonder how many of these are registered?) and members of the public who will feel safer if they are not involved in the crossfire between various gangs.

    Make prisons so that the criminals feel that they are not at 'Club Fed'! They commited crimes and they should be so treated. Instead of sports and weight rooms. let them do work which benefits society,rather than give them the physical edge on others.

     Stop the grants to the Special Interest and Arts groups and English/French as second language courses. If a new immigrant is not able to speak either of the official languages, then do not let them into Canada. If an immigrant is found guilty of committing a crime which causes personal or property damage then deport them asap.

     Scrap the Senate! This is just a reason to 'reward' good and faithful servants for services rendered to the various P.M.s who ,promoted them there.

    I realise that these are but a few ways in which the Taxpayer's money would be saved, together with making the pensions of our represenatives less 'Gold Plated'. I'm sure that with more time and more thought I could come up with some more ideas to save Taxpayers some of their hard earned cash.

jagman38@yahoo.com  

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By
on March 13, 2010

Regretably A Population gets the Government it deserves.  Canadians apathy over politics in general and in voting in Elections in particular gives politicians the opportunity to commit the wasteful practices you have highlighted.  The obsolete "First past the Post" voting system is another factor, and is the reason I have sworn never to vote again until it is reformed.  Since 1945 I have voted in every Election in which I was qualified to vote, up to the May 12, 2009 B.C. Provincial General Election.  On that occasion, in a coinciding Referendum, B.C. Voters soundly rejected Electoral Reform.  That is when I quit voting!   Peter Kearvell, Pender Island, B.C. 

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By
on March 14, 2010

Good work and keep shining a light on the waste

might want to be choose a crowd shot next time though, 2 people doesn't look like "lots of media in attendance".

There must have been more considering how many hits on google news for your event.

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By
on March 15, 2010

Unfortunately, you are right....or is that left?

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By
on May 03, 2010

Comments like jagman88's only frustrate the legitimate concerns about tax payers dollars.  To make outrageous claims like "I'm sure alot of them live off reserve and still claim tax relief" only shows how little some tax payers know about how such tax exemptions really work.  There nonsense from a few angry misinformed taxpayers takes away from the legitimate concerns of taxpayers.

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By
on July 12, 2010

We give out a Tax Fighter Award to deserving groups, individuals, politicians, etc, for outstanding committment to taxpayer emancipation: https://www.taxpayer.com/federal/ctf-names-three-taxfighter-honour-roll

Will give out more this fall.  E-mail us your nominations.

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By
on October 10, 2010

The All-Nations Co-ordinated Response Network (ANCR), the axial assimilation and analytic assemblage for adolescent abundance in Manitoba, has been singled out by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in its anniversary Teddies Waste Awards for crumbling tax money on a "spa day" for advisers aftermost spring. The award-winning is a aureate sow trophy, admitting CTF federal administrator Kevin Gaudet accustomed cipher has anytime apparent up to aggregate the prize for childrens bedding.

Childrens bedding

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By
on December 07, 2010

1. Legalize marijuana. Canada spends between $700 million and $1 billion a year on marijuana law enforcement (2002, senate report). The problem is enforcing this law has gotten us nowhere. Almost every day you hear of cops busting a grow op, yet the total supply is unaffected. There are also the court costs for every smoker caught with possession, and the incarceration costs for jailing offenders. But since 2007, many polls by Angus Reid show that at least half of Canadians think marijuana should be legal. Then there is the potential revenue which could be generated by taxing the sale of marijuana.

2. Scrap the gun registry. It costs $66 million a year to enforce and administer this law, yet evidence shows that it has failed to reduce crime or keep guns out of the hands of criminals. And just like the marijuana laws it makes criminals out of innocent people. Owning rifles is part of the rural culture and they don't want to deal with the bureaucracy, so many do not obey these laws.

By scrapping these ineffective laws Canada could save BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR.

We could use this money on health care, education, law enforcement, national security, or just reduce taxes.

Not to mention we would stop wasting our law enforcement resources on non-violent crimes. Our cops could focus on actual crimes like murder, rape, theft, etc.

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By
on November 18, 2011
This is en excellent idea!!! I have worked at a non-profit organization as an Admin Assistant and Operations Administrator, both had responsibilities of "Purchasing". First i should let you know that I am longer employed because I questioned as to where some publicly funded dollars "disappeared to". I was told year after year to spend, spend, spend come February and March. My former boss even found ways to spend the money after March 31st by convincing Vendors/Service People to date the invoice on or before March 31st. This not-for-profit organization is funded by 3 Provincial Ministries and an NGO, and it hosts 6 Community programs. I have witnessed funded dollars being moved around between programs and Ministries to cover budget deficits. They have even managed to accomplish "Board Manipulation" by getting family members, friends and family members of friends to sit on this Board so that these kinds of transactions may occur without any problems. There is so much more I can write but noticed I have limited space. but I'll end with this: This is just one organization with its Base budget being around $2 million!

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By
on February 06, 2012
Jagman38 comments were not outrageous or misinformed - I think I know why your against his comments but I wont go there right now. I would like the taxpayers of Canada have a vote on these issues and pass that on to our MP'S.

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By
on February 07, 2012
Jagman38 was right on with his comments. Why should our children and Grandchildren pay forever. Its time to say enough is enough and say no more to Indian tax exemption for Indians just because they are Indians. Should we all not be equals in this country? terrible62@live.ca

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By
on February 14, 2012
Sterritt estimates Enbridge has provided up to $1 million to B.C. First Nations to study the pipeline. Most First Nations contacted by The Canadian Press would only say they accepted money from the company, but wouldn't confirm amounts. The Burns Lake Indian Band confirmed that a previous chief and council accepted $60,000 from Enbridge to study the pipeline, which stretches 1,177-kilometres from Bruderheim, Alta., to Kitimat, B.C. I guess the think tank had a brain freeze and just gave the so called First Nations some more free money.

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By
on February 18, 2012
Early in 2012, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo was conducting interviews for an IT HELPDESK (just Windows mostly, and no UNIX, Cisco) job for 87,700 US dollars annum which would not go beyond 58,000 USD in the local market. This in consideration of the language factor and any other of course. I thought that was a major rip off unseen in general more so at this time. Makes me deduce that loads of waste was going on there for decades.

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