Sunday, March 5, 2006

CTF Teddie Awards

The 8th annual Teddie Awards were handed out this past Wednesday by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, honouring the most extravagant or outrageous misuse and waste of tax dollars in Canada.

The awards are named for Ted Weatherill, a former senior public servant, who was terminated in 1998 for living high on the hog at taxpayers' expense. In that tradition, The Teddies are awarded annually to a government, public office holder, civil servant, department or agency that most exemplifies government waste, over-spending, over-taxation, excessive regulation, lack of accountability, or any combination of the five. A beautifully adorned golden sow is awarded in the following categories: federal, provincial, municipal and lifetime achievement.
David Dingwall is very appropriately the winner of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Awards were also bestowed on Joe Volpe, the province of Manitoba and the city of Richmond, BC. It was remiss of the London Fog to fail to nominate the city of London for an honour — this will be remedied in the future.

Fortunately, the CTF has announced this year that monthly Teddies will be awarded in the federal, provincial and municipal categories. The London Fog will be pleased to submit nominations in the municipal category especially as we will not have to constrain ourselves to only one example of waste and fraud, a daunting task considering the pile of examples in front of us. Readers are welcome to nominate candidates to the CTF here.

The distinction of the Teddies inspires the suggestion that a modest local award would be equally informative and entertaining. For example, how about the Foggie Awards for politicians, bureaucrats or agencies that display the most contempt in an official capacity for Londoners, either of their pocketbooks or their own persons? A popular perennial favourite would be Susan Eagle, of course, but given her relative and merciful silence over the past year. I would suggest perhaps the mayor Anne Marie DeCicco for her unflagging efforts to parrot the talking points of a heavy-handed and unaccountable city administration. Would readers have any commendations in mind?