OTTAWA — The Senate was recognized Wednesday with a lifetime achievement award for being a bottomless pit of wasteful spending.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) held its 16th annual Teddy Awards — a red carpet affair that bestows golden sow statues to Canada's most egregious abusers of public funds.
Other winners include Employment and Social Development Canada for spending $2.5 million to advertise a non-existent jobs grant program during the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford was given a shout-out for shellacking taxpayers with a $45,000 bill to fly her and an aide to Nelson Mandela's funeral. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil expensed $946.44 for the same trip.
Former Pan-Am Games CEO Ian Troop won a provincial Teddy for expensing 91 cents for parking and $8,500 for a lavish party in Mexico. He collected $552,065 in annual salary before he was removed from the payroll.
Vancouver's TransLink won local accolades for shelling out $4.5 million for a parking lot with a $2 toll that nobody uses.
Honourable mentions went to National Defence for spending $14,000 on a survey to determine Canadians' beliefs in super heroes and more than $70,000 to move Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, an advisor to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, to a new home only a few blocks away from his old place in one of Ottawa's swankiest neighbourhoods.
Canada's highest paid mayor, Brampton's Susan Fennel, was tagged for spending $2,162 for personalized barbecue aprons, $1,326 for Mandarin lessons and $531 for hotels in nearby Toronto to attend class.
She rakes in $213,727 annually, says the CTF.
The Teddys are named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee, who treated the public purse as if it was his own personal piggy bank before being turfed for sketchy expense claims in 1999.
I thought this could be a fun (and maybe a little bit frustrating) thread about government spending. What is the worst example of government spending you've read about/heard about/partook in?
In Alberta, the premier's executive assistant billed the taxpayers $9,000 in hotel bills. He lives in Calgary, but needs to come to Edmonton every now and then. Apparently, he needs to stay in the nicest hotel and for up to 50 days at a time.