The BC provincial government got some good news today, they did not win a Teddy Award from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) for allegedly wasting taxpayers money. While BC may be walking away empty-handed, plenty of other provinces and cities didn’t.
One expensive Ice Rink
Speaking of throwing money out the window, the Trudeau government was slammed by the CTF for the pricey Canada 150 Parliament Hill rink. Data referenced by the CTF shows the temporary ice rink cost a hefty 8.2 million dollars to open; which means it worked out to be about $100,000 dollars a day.
It was also pointed out CTF that the rink was open approximately one block away from the Rideau Canal, which is widely known as Canada’s most famous outdoor skating rink.
In a press release, CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick says “Any temporary rink costing millions of dollars is a project that should have been put on ice from the get-go.”
Not so public art
The City of Calgary has won a Teddy award before and this year it won again. Wudrick says “The City of Calgary has a long track record of wasting taxpayer dollars on public artwork stretching back to the inception of its public art policy in 2004”.
Here is the CTF’s outline of why the City of Calgary has won again.
- Bearing, a $221,000 large metal ball/archway located behind a fence at the Calgary Fire Department’s repair and maintenance facility
- Travelling Light (giant blue ring), a $470,000 giant blue ring with two lampposts on top of it
- Forest Lawn Lift Station (aka the “poop palace”) a $246,000 wastewater station which embedded LED lights that change color
The other nominees
The CTF wasted no time giving awards to all levels of governments they feel wasted money. Here is a list of the other candidates in Canada:
- Federal – Finance Canada for spending $192,000 on graphics and advertising for the federal budget.
- Federal – Health Canada for spending $100,000 per year to operate the minister’s Twitter account.
- Provincial – Danny Graham, CEO of Engage Nova Scotia for getting a $163,000 salary despite not being able to explain what Engage Nova Scotia does.
- Provincial – SaskPower for previously maintaining a fish pond in its Regina headquarters at an annual cost of $20,000.
- Municipal – The Toronto Transit Commission for its $1.9 million “word art” project that remains dormant due to fears passengers will use to type profane words.
- Municipal – The United Firefighters of Winnipeg for taking a 40% taxpayer subsidy for their union president’s salary.
Wudrick says “Sadly, we are never short on nominees, as governments seem to be very good at finding new ways to waste money.”