The 13th Annual “Teddy” Government Waste Awards Winners were announced by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) last week.
The CTF is a citizen advocacy group dedicated to less waste, lower taxes and responsible government spending of our hard earned dollars.
These awards confirm what I had been saying all along, that a left-wing mayor in the City of Toronto was going to cause an increase in taxes and result in less money in the pockets of Torontonions, as David Miller was given the lifetime achievement award.
Please, read on.
The “Teddy” award is named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal bureaucrat who was fired for outrageous expenses in 1999 (I’ve included his expenses below). Each year the CTF holds the ceremony to recognize a government, public office holder, civil servant, department or agency that most exemplifies government waste.
Federal Teddy Winner:
G8/G20 costs: $1.24 billion spent to host leaders from the other G8/G20 nations to ironically discuss how to trim government over-spending.
Provincial Teddy Winner:
Ontario tax collectors paid severance for keeping jobs: Approximately $56-million in severance for changing their business cards from ‘Ontario PST collector’ to ‘Federal HST’ collector.”
These guys moved across the street from 5150 Yonge Street to 5001 Yonge street and were topped up to make up for the fact that the Feds pay less than the province.
Municipal Teddy Winner:
Edmonton City Council for wasting $5,000.00 on a haiku contest. Citizens were asked to write poems (or haikus) about riding the bus, despite already having paid $5,000 to have one written.
Lifetime Achievement Teddy:
“And the Lifetime Achievement Teddy goes to…former Toronto Mayor, David Miller, for a career of reckless taxing-and-spending. As Mayor, Miller grew the city’s operating budget by 44 per cent, $2.8 billion, increased the city’s debt by more than $1 billion and increased property taxes every year well beyond the rate of inflation. He fought for and got new taxing powers which he used to impose a host of new taxes, including a: plastic bag tax, garbage tax, car tax, billboard tax, and land transfer tax.”
Concluding the ceremony CTF federal director, Kevin Gaudet remarked, “over the years David Miller has provided so much material for the Teddies we will see if future municipal nominations will suffer with his departure.”
Other nominees included:
Federal – Space Agency/Agriculture Canada: $400,000 for failed “Canadian Content” astronaut food program.
Federal – Border Services Agency Employee: Bureaucrat spends five hours/day at work surfing porn and is not fired.
Federal – National Defence: $515,000 for not conducting security checks on NORAD facility builders.
Federal – Public Works: $550 million for maintenance including $1,000 for removing one light switch.
Federal – Senator Lavigne: $30,000 for expenses – while suspended from the Senate.
Provincial – ON E-Health: $224M for consultant abuse including charges to consult on consulting charges.
Provincial – ON Parks: $400K for Niagara Parks Exec expenses including roller coasters.
Provincial – NS Premier Dexter: $10,600 to expense full membership fees to the bar association, then reducing status to “not practicing” when forced to pay himself.
Provincial – MB Health: $38,000 to build “rooftop oasis” for health bureaucrats while patients down the road fundraise for theirs.
Municipal – Summerside, PEI: $1.3 million for fraudulent Michael Jackson tribute concert.
Municipal – Regina, SK: $5,000 for bizarre sponsorships including $450 for a ‘pickleball tournament.’
Municipal -Richmond, BC: $59 million for city purchase of land for five-times real value to be “as fair as possible.”
Municipal – Toronto, ON: Public transit boss caught expensing $2,400 for taxis.
Now, back to the name of these awards… The “Teddys”, named after Ted Weatherill who was the Chair of the Canada Labour Relations Board since 1989. Between 1995 and 1996, Mr. Weatherill charged at least $21000 to taxpayers for business travel he incurred as President of the National Academy of Arbitrators, an Alabama-based private organization.
“Mr. Weatherill concedes that he could have sent the expenses to the National Academy of Arbitrators…but Mr. Weatherill believed his participation in the NAA’s conferences that year to be a wise investment for the Canada Labour Relations Board. So, he chose to bill his expenses to the Canadian government instead.”
The Ottawa Citizen, 7 April 1997
There’s more than just travel, though. The following is a “taste” of the meals Mr. Weatherill has billed to the Canadian taxpayer over the past eight years:
Breakfast: Relais Christine, Paris $25.00
Meal (for 2): RPG Arpege, Paris $733.43
Dinner: Le Cercle Universitaire d’Ottawa $1 084.40
Room Service (one night): Chateau Frontenac, Québec City $95.27
Meal: Royal Windsor Hotel, Brussels $531.50
Mr. Weatherill billed the federal government on average $18,500 a year in meal costs alone, for a grand total of $148,000 over the first eight years of his ten year term. He has billed the federal government more that $200 for a meal on 107 different occasions since he was hired.
Many of Mr. Weatherill’s lunches have included alcoholic beverages. Treasury Board guidelines state that “reasonable expenses means the specific, itemized expenses incurred, based on receipts, excluding alcohol.”