An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THIS IS TAX DAY, for most of us, the deadline for filing our income-tax returns. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a little money back from all those deductions during 2017; if not, we’ll be writing cheques.
Certainly not our favourite day of the year, but it’s a good feeling to know that all our hard-earned tax dollars are being spent wisely.
Things like the $8.2-million temporary hockey rink in front of the Parliament buildings last winter, and the federal Phoenix pay system that will cost $540 million to fix.
Or maybe the traveling red couch that was hauled from coast to coast last year so people could sit on it and talk about Canada. That cost us $155,000.
We’ve all got our favourites, no doubt, such as then-federal cabinet minister Bev Oda’s $16 glass of orange juice at a posh London hotel back in 2011.
Two years later, federal finance minister Jim Flaherty racked up $130 worth of makeup needed at the last minute for a TV announcement.
Then there was the B.C. government spending $48,000 in 2013 to bring Entertainment Tonight Canada to Vancouver for three days, including airfare and hotels.
More recently, Health Minister Jane Philpott expensed $520 for a pass to Air Canada’s airport lounges.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s 2018 Teddy Waste Awards nominated, among others, Finance Canada for blowing $192,000 on graphics and advertising, and Health Canada for spending $100,000 a year to run the minister’s Twitter account.
The Teddy Awards, by the way, are named for Ted Weatherill, a former federal appointee fired in 1999 for submitting questionable expense claims such as a lunch for two for $700.
Yes, whether the spending be big or small, our politicians have our backs, or the shirts off them. Since 42.5 per cent of the average Canadian family’s income — more than we pay for food, clothing and shelter — is handed over to various levels of government, that’s really good to know, isn’t it?
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.