March 13, 2019 1:42 pm
Updated: March 14, 2019 7:59 am

Canned Olympic bid and ‘Star Trek’ uniforms nab Alberta Teddy nominations

Canadian Taxpayers Federation Federal Director Aaron Wudrick announces the Municipal recipient of a CTF Teddy Waste Award during a news conference in Ottawa, Wednesday March 13, 2019.


Although neither ended up winning the dubious honour, both Calgary and Vulcan, Alta. were nominated for an award given to Canadian governments accused of wasting taxpayer dollars.

The pig-shaped Teddy Awards are handed out annually by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) in honour of the “worst waste offenders.”

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The City of Calgary was nominated for “waste of Olympic proportions” for spending approximately $10 million on what the CTF described as an “ill-conceived bid” to host the 2026 Olympics, including “at least $1.4 million on advertising.”

The City of Calgary held a non-binding plebiscite in November in which 56.4 per cent of voters rejected a potential 2026 Olympic bid. The city then officially kiboshed the idea a week later.

The city’s draft host plan for 2026 had committed $502 million to make Calgary’s 1988 venues Games-ready again. The Alberta government committed $700 million and the Canadian government $1.45 billion. The city was asked to contribute $390 million.

READ MORE: Parliament Hill rink wins dubious award for waste of taxpayer dollars

Also nominated was the Town of Vulcan, which spent $4,340 on new Star Trek uniforms for its mayor and six town councillors.

The town shares its name with the home world of Star Trek character Spock, which has turned it into a tourism destination for fans of the show.

Vulcan, located about 100 kilometres southeast of Calgary, has a population of about 2,000 people.

The CTF nominated the move as the “most illogical use for taxpayer dollars.”

The winner of the CTF’s 2019 Teddy Award for a municipality went to Vancouver for the “most expensive conversation about trees” after the city spent $50,000 to invite residents to send emails to trees and paid artists to send replies on the trees’ behalf.

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