Every year we the taxpayers of the
spend a minimum of $20,000 to
send our elected officials to conventions put on by various organizations that
lobby on behalf of the municipalities. Crowsnest
Some people (usually politicians that want to justify going to these conventions) contend that they are an excellent opportunity to network with other municipalities, to attend various courses offered by the province and the host organizations and to have an opportunity to meet with ministers and other various government officials.
Having attended a couple of conventions during my two terms on council, I determined and that is why I stopped going to them that they are a waste of taxpayers money. We should call a spade a spade, they are a perk for politicians.
You have approximately 450 municipalities in this province who will send somewhere between 2-3000 politicians to these events at an average cost of $600 plus per day.
Our municipality similar to many others meets and networks with their neighbor municipalities on a regular basis, they do not need to go to
Edmonton or Calgary
to do that.
The various courses and information that are offered at these functions could easily in this day and age of the internet be provided to interested elected officials in seconds.
The last justification made is the opportunity to meet with ministers, well let me tell you what that is like. If your lucky you will get a half a hour with a minister, you will be ushered into a room where the minister and a couple of his assistants will shake your hands, smile at you and listen very intently to your concerns. Then they will shake your hands again kick you out of the room and march in the next group then repeat that process 15-20 times.
In six years of being on council I can not remember one thing that this municipality gained by attending the various conventions.
What as it cost us to send our elected officials to these conventions over the last three years?
Mayor Decoux $14,312
Now I know some people will argue that is an insignificant amount in the grand scheme of running a municipality. This is a prime example of what is wrong with big government today that attitude. Every politician and I know they all will at least until October 21st must understand that they are spending the taxpayers dollars. This may only be a $66,000 issue, but where is the line on how much taxpayers dollars is it all right to waste?