Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Using taxis would save millions

Thirty-seven minister and junior ministers, each with a driver and a car in Ottawa. A quick calculation allowing for salaries, benefits, overtime and vehicle costs indicates at least $3.2 million a year to transport Harper's politicians around Ottawa.

I suppose that is cheap because The Honourable Bev Oda, Minister of something, ran up $3,000 in limo bills to move 2km from one swank London hotel to another during a couple of days in conference. (Non-smoking policies at fancy hotels require innovative solutions.)

CTV News:
"Each of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's 26 ministers and 11 junior ministers that year -- a total of 37 -- were entitled to a car and driver, who were paid between $46,883 and $50,755.

"...The analysis reveals that the drivers who serve the Public Works and Government Services Minister Rona Ambrose accumulated the most overtime: more than 1,000 hours costing taxpayers $40,074.

"Records show that Tony Clement, then Industry Minister, had a driver on standby for more than 360 days that year.

"The driver charged taxpayers to be on "standby" for Clement virtually every hour outside of his regular shift -- 16 hours every weekday and 24 hours on weekends to a total of 6,548 hours in 2010/11. (Standby hours are paid out at 0.5 hours for every four hours on standby)..."
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  1. G. Barry StewartMay 2, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Taxis, yes — or at the very least: how about a much smaller fleet of cars, available 24/7?

    The video (and my own mental picture) of those drivers standing/sitting around doing nothing was sickening. Such waste!

    Congrats to the one MP who prefers to take a walk and has turned down his free car.

  2. So where do I apply?

  3. So much for driving Miss Daisy.

    This is extravagance and waste on a scale that only the 1% can appreciate. I guess if your job is driving these clowns around to Private Clubs, Five Star Restaurants and Sporting Events (corporate box seats) some of that righteous entitlement can't help but rub off on the chauffeurs too. Harper' Cabinet - no better representatives of the people than role models for the poor.

    On sober second thought we tax payers could probably save a lot more than the billions (what ever the number is claimed to be this week) that the F-whatevers will cost if all these politicians were simply confined to there cars.

  4. G. Barry StewartMay 2, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Hmm... I was the first to reply, but don't see my post. It was here earlier. It was respectful and on-point. What happened?

    1. The spam filter in Blogger sometimes diverts messages to await moderation and that's where I found your message. Be assured, I welcome your worthy comments anytime.

    2. G. Barry StewartMay 2, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      Got it. Thanks Norm.


  5. It's obviously about priorities, that's why BCAS paramedics get two dollars an hour when they are on standby.

  6. Don't they have driver's licenses? Doesn't Ottawa have buses? I'm stumped.

  7. Wonder if Oda's limo was just a refuge outside the non-smoking hotel where she could grab a smoke and a gin soaked olive.

  8. That is certainly a lot of money. Given their entitlements I don't see why the average taxpayer, who has to drive themselves around, can't continue to collect their pension at 65 instead of 67.

    I would suggest the driver/limo's be removed for all cabinet ministers. They don't need drivers. If they do need drivers for specific occasions, then use military personnel & rotate them through the job on a monthly basis. It would be much cheaper & provide security as well.

  9. That pic of Bev Oda...what a class act. How on earth do these people get elected Norm?
    I could not vote for her based on her picture alone. Hope she sucks her smoke into eternity.

    1. One of the pix is Bev Oda, the other is Roy Orbison, her brother from another mother. Can you guess which is which?


    2. Roy Orbison is prettier...

  10. Did Harper need a $1 billion dollar fake lake? Harper permits our tax dollars, to be a free for all. Flaherty and MacKay, spent $1,300 for luxury hotel suites. Bev Oda is far from the only one, that rips off the tax payers.

    Harper and his Conservatives would squeal, if they had to use lowly taxi's. Their tax abuses are obscene.

  11. Same in the UK - all the ministers have their expensive cars, chauffeur driven......

    Station Cars



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