Bev Oda receives Lifetime Achievement award for government waste

·Politics Reporter

It's sort of like the Oscars for us 'political geeks.'

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its Teddy Waste Awards black tie ceremony at the Charles Lynch Press Theatre on Parliament Hill on Wednesday.

The annual event recognizes the best of the worst in government spending.

This year's Teddy goes to....

The Federal Teddy:

The Federal Teddy goes to Chief Roger Redmen of the Standing Buffalo First Nation — a reserve just outside Regina that is home to 443 people.

According to the CTF, Redmen makes over $194,737 in tax free money — paid for by taxpayers — which equates to more money than Prime Minister Harper makes. Harper of course serves about 35 million people.

When band members gathered to impeach him [over questionable spending practices], 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.

One of the runner-ups for the Federal Teddy was the Senate.

The Provincial Teddy:

For the second year in a row, the Provincial Teddy goes to the Alison Redford government in Alberta — this time for Olympic spending.

In an attempt to save money, the government cancelled a tourism junket to the 2012 Olympics in London. By doing so, however, they left the province with a bill of $113,000 for empty hotel rooms.

[ Related: Magazine releases list of stupid things governments do with your money ]

CTF specifically recognized now former Tourism Minister Christine Cusanelli.

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.

At least she paid the money back.

The Municipal Teddy:

It's a given that governments — of all levels — hire unionized workers and those unionized workers often cost more money than if the work was contracted out to the private sector.

But this is a bit ridiculous, and worthy of a Teddy:

As part of a long-standing contract with the Maintenance and Skilled Trades Council (MSTC), the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is paying through the nose for school maintenance projects. Over a twoyear period, the board made 293,000 work orders valued at $158 million – or $539 a piece – for such routine tasks as installing pencil sharpeners ($143 a pop), hanging three pictures ($266) or installing an
electrical outlet ($3,000).

The Lifetime Achievement Award:

What's a government waste award ceremony without Bev Oda?

Former Conservative cabinet minister Bev Oda gets the lifetime achievement award for her limo rides, for her expensive hotel rooms, for billing taxpayers for an air filtration unit for her office so that she could mask the smell of smoke and for her $16 glass of orange juice.

[ Related: Bev Oda: So long and thanks for all the orange juice ]

CTF federal director Gregory Thomas comically announced this award with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. In an interview with Yahoo! Canada News, he said while Oda was an obvious choice, at least one other politician was considered.

"Unfortunately, we bestowed one on Dalton McGuinty early in his career as Ontario Premier, possibly too early. Many of our supporters suggested him anyway," Thomas said.

"Lifetime Achievement is really reserved for someone such as Oda, or Gilles Duceppe with a notably long-term track record of waste, ideally who has left the public stage."

And, to 'commemorate' Oda's award, here's one of our favourite Bev Oda 'tributes' from YouTube.

(Photo courtesy of the Reuters)

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