Nobody can waste money better than governments, but to pay people to do absolutely nothing? That’s obscene even for Canadian political standards, low as they are.
The latest scandal comes from Alberta, the so-called hotbed of freedom in Canada. The current and unelected premier of Alberta, Alison Redford, was one of many politicians who received pay for their “work” on a committee that never, ever met.
The standing committee on privileges and elections, which hasn’t met since 2008, continues to pay 21 politicians $1,000 per month or $261,000 annually to do, well, nothing.
Despite the fact she was actually a member of the useless committee for a time, Redford had the cohones to tell reporters that she “did not know” about it. She at least had the honesty to admit what everyone else is thinking, that paying people to sit on a committee that never meets is “a ridiculous situation.”
It is far beyond ridiculous; it is obscene and unacceptable.
While Redford has appointed a former judge, John Major, to head a panel to look into how MLAs are paid, she seems quite unwilling to simply put a stop to these payments and this useless committee.
Scott Hennig, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, made that point quite clearly, as did Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald.
"She can revise those committees at any time," said MacDonald. "There's nothing holding her back."
If that doesn’t offend you regardless of whether you’re an Albertan or not, it should.
It is symptomatic of the waste and culture of entitlement that surrounds every government in Canada, from your local town or city government all the way to Ottawa.
Despite what they think, politicians really are our employees.
Perhaps we should force politicians to pay back all the money they received for doing nothing, along with a 50% penalty for defrauding The People. Maybe then, when there are financial penalties they must suffer personally, we might get some glimmer of integrity from our elected employees.
Hey, maybe we should just fire them all on a regular basis. Think that might get their attention?
There is an election coming up in Alberta. Might be just the thing to wake up the political class in that province and show the rest of the country that we, the people, are fed up with their garbage and lies.