The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has issued its annual Teddy Awards for government waste, and replacing the 93-year-old Johnson Street Bridge in Victoria won the Municipal Teddy.
The Federation says in 2009 when the replacement Blue Bridge was initially proposed, the cost estimate was $63-million.
Due to problems with the quality of steel being used, that estimate has ballooned to $105-million, that’s a $42-million increase.
Final completion is set for the middle of next year, a full three years behind schedule.
A cautionary tale
Spokesperson Jordan Bateman says this is a result of poor oversight and contracts with insufficient protections.
He says it’s a cautionary tale…
“When you contract with people outside of Canada you understand their culture and their standards. Making sure that you are staying on top of your contractors. Writing better contracts so that if you are outsourcing the risk that the company is actually taking on the risk, not taxpayers themselves.”
Issues with the steel increased the budget by $42-million to $105-million and completion is now three years late.
- Federal Teddy Winner: The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for paying an employee $538,000 in moving expenses.
- Provincial Teddy Winner: Ontario’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program.
- Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Government of Ontario for its mishandling of the energy file.
- Federal – The Department of Canadian Heritage for commissioning a $14,000 survey on Parliament Hill’s Christmas light show.
- Federal – The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food which together with the Manitoba government gave Maple Leaf Foods $500,000 to expand bacon production at their Winnipeg plant.
- Provincial – The Government of Nova Scotia for subsidizing improvements to the Portland, Maine ferry terminal and losing millions on a service intended to boost tourism.
- Provincial – The Government of Quebec for paying a political appointee $180,000 per year for nearly four years even though she almost never went to work.
- Municipal – The City of Montreal for spending $3.45 million to install 27 granite tree stumps in Mount Royal Park.
- Municipal – Former County of Richmond, Nova Scotia, CAO Warren Olsen for expensing taxpayers for dubious mileage claims, double dipping on meals, and $582 at two Houston strip clubs.
With files from Liza Yuzda