Taxpayers Federation presents Teddy Waste Awards for worst government waste

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2024/05/07

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation presented its 26th annual Teddy Waste Awards to CBC President Catherine Tait for handing out millions in bonuses while announcing hundreds of layoffs; the Mission Cultural fund for its sex-themed artistic performances; and the city of Regina for its Experience Regina rebrand fiasco.

“Because it spent buckets of taxpayer cash funding birthday parties and photo exhibits for celebrities, and making things awkward for countries around the world with sex-themed artistic performances, the Mission Cultural Fund earned the Lifetime Achievement award for waste,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director.

“Tait is winning a Teddy Award because she handed out millions in bonuses despite announcing hundreds of layoffs just before Christmas, only to turn around and beg for more taxpayer cash.

“The Alberta Foundation for the Arts spent tens of thousands flying an artist to New York, Estonia and South Korea so she could flop around on a futon for a couple minutes and showcase a painting that can best be described as ants on a pop tart.

“The city of Regina came up with snappy slogans like, ‘Show us your Regina,’ and ‘Regina: the city that rhymes with fun.’ After spending $30,000 and facing backlash, the city ditched the entire rebrand so it won a Teddy Waste Award.”

The Teddy, a pig-shaped trophy the CTF annually awards to governments’ worst waste offenders, is named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee who was fired in 1999 for submitting a raft of dubious expense claims, including a $700 lunch for two.

This year’s winners include:

  • Municipal Teddy winner: The city of Regina

Regina spent $30,000 rebranding Tourism Regina to Experience Regina. But after facing backlash, the city scrapped the rebrand. And Regina taxpayers are out $30,000.

  • Provincial Teddy winner: Alberta Foundation for the Arts

The Alberta Foundation for the Arts spent $30,000 flying an artist around the world to produce art few taxpayers would ever willingly buy or pay to see.

  • Federal Teddy winner: CBC President Catherine Tait

Tait handed out $15 million in bonuses to CBC brass in 2023 as she announced hundreds of layoffs weeks before Christmas and lobbied the government for more money. Bonuses at the CBC total $114 million since 2015.

  • Lifetime Teddy winner: The Mission Cultural Fund

The Mission Cultural Fund spent $10,000 on a birthday party for Margaret Atwood in New York, $52,000 for a photo exhibit for rockstar Bryan Adams, $8,800 on a sex toy show in Germany and $12,000 for senior citizens to talk about their sex lives in front of live audiences.

You can find the backgrounder on this year’s Teddy Waste Award nominees and winners HERE

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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