March 11, 2009

Taxpayer watchdog hands out golden pigs

Vancouver's Olympic Village, the Canadian auto industry and a giant inflatable banana were among the winners Wednesday of gold pigs.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation announced the 11th annual Teddies Waste Awards at a ceremony in Ottawa, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The awards honor Teddie Weatherill, a civil servant fired for imaginative spending.

The group gave the auto industry a lifetime achievement award for its history of receiving government grants and loans.

Awards were given for each level of government, local, provincial and federal. Vancouver got the municipal prize for what Kevin Gaudet, the federation's executive director, called waste of Olympic proportions on the Olympic Village.

The Manitoba Child and Family Services agency received the provincial honor for providing spa days for employees, complete with pedicures and facials.

On the federal level, the Canada Council for the Arts received Best Achievement in Special Effects with Taxpayer Dollars for funding the giant inflatable banana and importing a piece of Belgian art that produces realistic poop when fed with food.