Hopefully the CTF did their homework this time before handing out the hardware. We wouldn't want another embarrassment like this following story. And they blamed the Sun for it too. Classy. I know there is waste in government and they should be called on it but I just like poking a little fun at my absolute favorite taxpayers group.
Wasteful spending award withdrawn
Winnipeg Free Press
Friday, March 10, 2006
Byline: Gabrielle Giroday
THEY'RE used to embarrassing politicians, but yesterday members of an outspoken advocacy group said they were embarrassed after not doing their homework.
And they blamed a rival Winnipeg newspaper for misleading them.
Yesterday, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) withdrew an award for wasteful spending given to the Manitoban government last week for publicly funding Botox and tummy tucks.
On March 1, the CTF awarded Manitoba its top provincial prize for spending $918,000 on tummy tucks and $10,900 on Botox from 2003 to 2004.
Following the awards' release, Manitoba Health officials defended the spending and told the Free Press the procedures were not used for cosmetic purposes.
Botox is a common cosmetic procedure to smooth fine wrinkles, they said, but it's also used to stop muscle spasms for sufferers of multiple sclerosis. The 218 publicly funded tummy tucks were used to treat patients with chronic skin infections on their stomachs, health officials added.
"It makes it out that all of these procedures are cosmetic and that's not true," said Jackie Sul, director of insured benefits for Manitoba Health, last week.
After about a dozen complaints to the CTF, the organization decided to withdraw the award for the first time since the annual campaign began in 1999.
"Frankly, we had not done our homework on this," said Troy Lanigan, National Taxpayers Federation communications director.
"We were under some misinterpretation about the nature and scope of those procedures, and we felt (withdrawing the award) was the appropriate thing to do."
Yesterday, the CTF released a statement apologizing to burn victims and patients with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and cancer that had Botox or tummy tucks because it was medically necessary.
CTF said in a release that when it first heard of the tax expenditures for the treatments it was "implied that the said amounts were for cosmetic purposes," in an article published in the Winnipeg Sun in December 2005.