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National Citizens Coalition Recognizes True Giants

of Wasteful Government Spending

TORONTO (February 4, 2010) – With the federal debt climbing past $510 billion, and
combined provincial debt surpassing $350 billion, Canada is well on its way to reaching
a public debt level of $1 trillion in the next five years.

Taxpayers, of course, will have to pay this bill – the same taxpayers who have been
cutting back their own household expenditures and doing with less while their
governments continue to spend, Spend, SPEND.

To recognize those in government who epitomize bloated excess, the National Citizens
Coalition (NCC) has published a list of worst offenders. “It was a difficult process
because there are so many candidates,” says Peter Coleman, NCC President and
CEO. “The amount of wasteful spending that occurs at all levels of government is truly

Tales From The Tax Trough VI chronicles some of the most outrageous examples of
public-sector profligacy. It is a Who’s Who of politicians, appointed officials, and
government departments considered the true giants of wasteful spending. They are:

Human Rights Commissions

• At an annual cost of $68 million, our Canadian Human Rights Commissions have
evolved into absurd farces that censor free speech. But wait, it gets better…most
of the complaints brought before the CHRC were lodged by one, over-zealous

Federal Government

• The Speaker of the House enjoys an apartment in the rear of the Centre Block that
comes with a full dining room and a chef, a house in the Gatineau Hills, a car and
driver, a $1-million budget that includes up to $167,500 for hospitality, and a
$75,516 pay increase on top of the $155,400 MP base salary.

• MPs travel in style. For example, Maxime Bernier spent $17,537 on a flight to
Sydney, Australia, to attend an APEC meeting.

• In only eighteen months, Governor General Michaëlle Jean spent $843,461 on


• Generous MP Pensions. Government public accounts suggest the pension

scheme cost taxpayers more than $56 million for the 2009-2010 year.

• The CBC. The network received over a billion dollars in federal funding last year.
Hubert Lacroix, President of the CBC, makes between $341,700 - $402,000 with a
bonus up to 28%, thus having a maximum pay of $514,560.

• Social Studies and Humanities Research Council. Funded such studies as the
expansion of gay and lesbian rights in Argentina, Chile and Mexico ($62,156) and
geographic mobility in rural Northern Burgundy during the 18th Century ($34,000).

Provincial Governments

• The Auditor General for Newfoundland and Labrador revealed details on

$1,600,000 in excessive expense claims that were filed by five provincial
politicians, with amounts going directly into their own bank accounts.

• Alberta’s provincial government has become the highest-spending government in

Canada. In 2009 it spent $11,000 per capita, compared to just over $8,000 for

• Nearly one in ten Ontario government workers earns more than $100,000. The
number of highly paid Ontario public service employees shot up by nearly 32% in

• A probe of Cancer Care Ontario revealed $75 million of inappropriate or
unqualified expenses. Furthermore, only 6% of expense claims included a receipt
or documentation.

• eHealth Ontario continues to be plagued by scandal. CEO Sarah Kramer was

fired over concerns relating to millions of dollars of untendered contracts, and
excessive cost over-runs nearing $1 billion. She earned $380,000 last year plus a
$114,000 bonus. She also received a $317,000 severance when she was sacked.

• In British Columbia, the downtown lower east side of Vancouver receives nearly
$1 million a day for social housing and support.

The NCC is calling on all levels of government to implement zero-based budgeting. “We
need a top-to-bottom review of spending and a systemic cut of unnecessary, wasteful
expenditures,” Coleman says. “We could save billions of dollars – dollars that could do
far more good in the pockets of consumers.”