When it comes to waste, the ‘win­ners’ are ...

National Post (Latest Edition) - - NEWS -

In typ­i­cal flam­boy­ant fash­ion, on Wed­nes­day the Cana­dian Tax­pay­ers Fed­er­a­tion rented tuxe­dos, dressed some­one up as a gi­ant pig and pre­sented the an­nual Teddy Awards. Named for Ted Weather­ill, a for­mer head of the Canada Labour Re­la­tions Board who racked up $150,000 in meal ex­penses, the awards cel­e­brate the “best of the worst in govern­ment waste.” The tro­phies, which fea­ture a golden pig, are reused ev­ery year since, in 18 years, no one has yet shown up to ac­cept their Teddy. “Strangely enough, the peo­ple who re­ceive our awards are gen­er­ally not pleased with it,” said the fed­er­a­tion’s fed­eral di­rec­tor, Aaron Wu­drick. The Post’s Tristin Hop­per looks at the high­lights.


A lot got done at COP 21, the 2015 United Na­tions cli­mat­e­change con­fer­ence, but al­most none of it had to do with the fact that Canada dis­patched ev­ery­one it could find to the De­cem­ber sum­mit. An in­cred­i­ble 350 Cana­dian del­e­gates made the trip, com­pared to 124 and 96 sent by the United States and the United King­dom, re­spec­tively. “Canada is back,” tweeted Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau. Iron­i­cally, among the first to sound the alarm about the Parisian lovein was B.C. Green Party MLA An­drew Weaver, a well-known cli­mate sci­en­tist. He de­cried the show­ing as “over the top,” “ridicu­lous” and “a waste of tax­payer’s money.”


The Cana­dian Tax­pay­ers Fed­er­a­tion comes from the brown M&Ms school of tax­payer waste. In or­der to test the tech­ni­cal dili­gence of its pro­mot­ers, the rock band Van Halen fa­mously re­quested bowls of M&Ms picked clean of “brown ones” — and would or­der venue- wide au­dits if brown ones were found. Sim­i­larly, the CTF is fine with fo­cus­ing on sta­tis­ti­cally in­signif­i­cant spend­ing out­rages, since they may re­veal a much big­ger prob­lem be­hind the scenes. That’s why Canada’s High Com­mis­sion to the United King­dom, headed by for­mer B.C. premier Gor­don Camp­bell, was nom­i­nated for throw­ing a $200,000 party, in­clud­ing spend­ing $10,000 to ship in B.C. wine and $5,000 to have four Moun­ties in red serge.


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