Whine and cheese

Earlier this year, the Campbell administration splashed out at least $92,856.33 to throw a flashy party for British Columbia's civil servants. This, according to records obtained by Public Eye via freedom of information request. But documents posted on BC Bid this Monday suggest the premier's innovation and excellence awards ceremony next year is going to be an even bigger to-do.

The documents state "the program is undergoing a significant expansion in 2007/08. Four regional ceremonies and dinners will be held around the province prior to the culminating provincial awards event in Victoria on March 10, 2008." The government hasn't yet said how much more those new regional ceremonies and dinners would cost.

But, in an interview, Canadian Taxpayers Federation provincial director Maureen Bader said, "It's extremely irresponsible of the government to expand a ceremony like that when they're already spending too much money and it already is a bit extravagant. A much better use of taxpayer dollars would be a tax cut so that taxpayers can decide what they want to do with the money and not have the government spending it on these extravagant ceremonies for government employees."


There are more than 30,000 employees in the BC government. The government spent $3 per employee on this event. Was it a extravagant party or a celebration of excellence in public sector employment? I suppose it depends on whether or not you beleive that an employer should be thanking their employees for demonstrating excellence in their work.

If an private sector employer asked their shareholders if an event that celebrated excellence from their employees made sense AND that the expenditure was only going to be $3 per employee, most shareholders would not be concerned.

Maureen Bader's quotation is absurd. Did she understand what the interview was about? A tax cut of $97,856.33 amounts to two and half cents per BC resident per year!!!! It would cost more to legislate that change than would be generated by the tax cut.

Those in the public service should be celebrated. They are often underpaid and overworked. This is not news.

Agree there. Usually these events cost about $10 to $15 per person, and the government is only indexing this to about $3.00? Not even the cost of a wheat bun, ham, mayonaise and three pats of Dairyland butter.

The Public Service people (for the most part) do earn their keep. It's not the typical lazy short sleeve white shirted with a green visor on servant perpetually in front of a "next wicket" sign at the counter.

Compare that to the $120 per person it takes to get into to a BC Liberal Bun Toss, which comprises of the same wheat bun, ham and mayonaise accompanied by three pats of Dairyland butter, and followed by a dinner which costs an additional $15 each.

The difference is that with the Public Servants, there are people working in government there all of whom are important to the government's success.

With the BC Liberal one, there are many who try to influence government, at the same time trying to look important.

Greg, were all 30,000 government employees invited to this event? (hint: the answer is a two letter word started with the letter 'n')

The people in the trenches slogging away to keep this province running are rarely if ever recognized or acknowledged. Just look at the employee surevey results to see for yourself. However you should be sure to look at the raw data at the end of the report to get the real unadulterated numbers.

This event is a puff piece so that the government and the psa can say that "look we recognized our employees".

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