The Trudeau government bought $6.7 million worth of frivolous items with taxpayers’ money

Flashlights that cost $85? Pens that cost $78? Olive oil that $66? These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Trudeau government’s wasteful spending.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Siddak Ahuja Montreal, QC

Flashlights that cost $85? Pens that cost $78? Olive oil that $66? These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Trudeau government’s wasteful spending.

According to iPolitics, documents recently tabled at the Parliament revealed the extent of wasteful “promotional spending” under the Trudeau government. In sum, agencies, crown corporations, and departments spent a whopping $6.7 million between a span of two years.

Branded promotional material such as pens, T-shirts, and mugs took the biggest slice of the pie. These goodies were handed at conferences, job fairs, and public events. The spending also included promotional material for the military, sciences, and space exploration along with gifts to public service employees such as iPads.

While this would be acceptable if these items weren’t excessively overpriced at the cost of the Canadian taxpayer, Trudeau and his crew could apparently do not care. Farm Credit Canada (FCC) purchased 160 pens at a cost of $78 per pen. Thats a whopping total of $12,555 for just pens. They even purchased flashlights worth $85 each, and hats worth $30 each. In total, FCC spent a mammoth $1.6 million on promo items.

FCC spokesperson Éva Larouche attempted to justify this by saying “Like any other commercial entity in the competitive financial market, we promote our business.” Certainly, paying wasteful amounts of money for goodies doesn’t reek of financial literacy or competitiveness.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) spent $637,000 on promo items. Their most notable purchase was olive oil bottles worth $66 each, which was to be handed out as “client gifts”. $35,000 spent on golf balls which cost as high as $22.50.

Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, questioned this wasteful spending. He mentioned that while not all promotional spending is wasteful, organizations such as BDC and FCC should clearly not overspend as “they’re not subject to market forces the way commercial banks are.” He further described the purchase of $78 pens as “outrageous.”

If you thought this was it, the dreadful list goes on. Here are some more questionable examples of “promotional spending”:

  • Jacques Cartier & Champlain Bridges Corporation spent $242,000 which included umbrellas at $25 each.
  • The Communications Security Establishment purchased 5254 rubber ducks for job fairs.
  • Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority spent $3400 on hockey pucks.
  • Transport Canada bought pens worth $23.73 each

According to Wudrick, “if the per-item amount is way more than the average person wouldn’t find on the internet in five minutes, you’re probably spending way too much.” The list goes on and some departments, such as the Department of Canadian Heritage, declined to even disclose their spending amounts based on “privacy provisions.”

What do you think about the wasteful spending by the Feds? Let us know in the comments below!

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