Taxpayers on the hook for pricey cheese boards and other swag at premiers’ conference

Andy Radia
Canada PoliticsFebruary 13, 2013

Part of the agenda at last July's premiers conference in Nova Scotia was about saving money and becoming more efficient with regard to health care, prescription drugs and inter-provincial trade and so on.

Well, an analysis done by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation indicates that they certainly spent a lot of money while talking about saving money.

According to the CTF's review, the summit cost just over $110,055 — $72,691.57 was funded by the Council of the Federation (the provinces) while the Province of Nova Scotia spent approximately $37,000.

[ Related: Magazine releases list of stupid things the government does with your money ]

It's not a huge amount but here's a brief list of what they spent taxpayer money on:

- 38 crystal whiskey tumblers: $1,653

- 25 cheese boards: $1,625

- 400 reversible microfiber jackets: $35,654

- 25 (limited edition) diamond jubilee leather journals: $1,875

- 27 porcupine quill broaches: $627

"Nova Scotians pay some of highest taxes in all of Canada, yet our politicians act like there is money to burn," Kevin Lacey, Atlantic Canada Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told the QMI Agency.

"Why are taxpayers shelling out for swag and gifts for Canada's premiers? Our politicians should treat taxpayers' money like it's their own. That means rather than spending thousands on expensive loot bags, they should set the example and govern frugally."

The NDP government reacted to the CTF report with a typical 'the government before us did worse' response.

But how about a little fiscal accountability.

[ More Political Points: Senator Pamela Wallin audited for over $350,000 in travel expenses ]

I don't think anybody's expecting meeting loot bags to include bic pens and shot glasses from the local bar, but $65 cheese boards is more than a little ridiculous.

This year's premier's conference will be hosted by the Province of Ontario at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

(Photo courtesy of Reuters)

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