Friday, April 9, 2010

Our Public Servants at 'Work'- Volume 1

I'm happy to announce that due to the many hilarious stories in the news concerning lazy, uncaring and wasteful public and para-public employees, I'm adding a new recurring piece describing the follies of those who abuse the public purse.

Blue collar Workers Asleep on the Job.
Office workers in old Montreal were surprised to find two City of Montreal employees fast asleep in their city owned vehicle. As passerby after passerby gawked and photographed the oblivious pair, it's disquieting to know that they are earning $40 an hour during their siesta. When asked to comment about the incident, a union representative claimed that the picture only proved that the employees had their eyes closed and not necessarily that they were sleeping. LINK(Fr)

Don't Call Us- Call the Police
A Montreal women complained to a TV commentator that when her corpulent mother fell down and couldn't get up, she called paramedics to help her lift up the heavy load. After three hours of waiting with no response she phoned back Urgences Santé to complain. The dispatcher explained that she'd have to wait even longer as the call was classified as non-emergency.
Frustrated, she asked what other options she had, to which the operator told her to call the police and tell them that she had 'pushed her mother down'.  The operator assured the caller that the police, the firemen and an ambulance would be there within minutes.

20 Grand for Yoga Classes
The day after the Quebec government's tax-raising budget, 300 civil servants, employees of the Centre jeunesse de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec, took advantage of an organized paid day to enjoy a program of yoga, stretching, relaxation and conferences on food and physical activity. Meeting at the Hotel Dauphin in Drummondville the outing set back the government $20,000.

Workshop in 'Silence' costs $1,400
Fifteen Managers of the L'Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec  enjoyed an "experience of silence"at the Auberge Les Jardins in Bromont, consisting of two days and one night of silence. They were told to think about what really matters to them at this time of their lives, said Remi Tremblay, who provided the training.
Cost of this weekend cost $1,404.37 per person.

In another story, five members of the Health Agency of Montreal paid a whopping $9,385 to attend an "e-Health 2009" conference in Quebec city to learn about (...sigh) cost overruns. How the group managed to spend so much money in just three days remains a mystery.

Town of Rawdon Blows Half a Million Suing Bloggers 
After some bloggers wrote some pretty nasty things about the mayor and city council members, enough seems to be enough for the town of Rawdon. The village of 10,000 inhabitants sought an injunction to close down the web site which was the home of the abuse.
The Quebec Court of Appeal overturned the injunction based on freedom of speech and the whole issue is spiralling upwards.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association commented that the issue ought to be addressed pursuant to new anti-SLAPP legislation in Quebec and not left to fester until a trial date sometime in the future.
At any rate the town has blown a whopping $500,000 or 5%, of its $10 million budget on the affair. LINK

$830 for Eyeglasses charged to Community Organization 
An employee of a community organization that helps people with alcohol addiction in the Montreal suburb of  Longueuil, La maison de l’Amitié Omer  was reimbursed $ 830 for a pair of glasses, contact lenses and an eye exam. The Chairman of the organization billed $ 9,278 in meals and gasoline without any receipts. 

Expense-Padding Director's mandate extended
You might remember Marielle Poirier, the directer of Cégep de l'Outaouais, a junior college near Hull who was outed in the Journal de Montreal for expense account padding. She is renowned for taking globe-trotting trips, to attend various dubious meetings,  all on "school" business. She once expensed a purchase in a museum gift shop as a meal reimbursement, only to be caught in the lie by a reporter who revealed that there was no restaurant in the museum in question. She also claimed as an expense a tourist trip to the Grand Canyon and regularly raids the hotel min-bar and enjoys three bottle of wine dinners, all on the arm of the CEGEP.

Was she punished for any of these excesses? No! The Board of Directors of the school unanimously renewed her mandate for another five years.

Image Maker Fired  in Quebec City
A international image-maker, of dubious reputation scored a $300,000+ contract to re-define Quebec City's image. When Clotaire Rapaille made his preliminary findings, that Quebec city residents were "totally neurotic,  sado-masochistic and that they loved being abused by Anglophones, the shit really hit the fan. Mayor Regis Lebeaume was not amused to say the least and cancelled the contract, not before paying the image consultant $125,000 for his bon mots. LINK


  1. And Quebec wonders why it needs 8.5 billion in equalization from the rest of Canada.....

  2. I know it doesn't pertain to this particular post, but on the subject of burkhas (that you have touched upon from time to time) a 24 year old muslim woman was killed yesterday while riding a Go-Kart and wearing a burkha. Apparently the Burkha got caught in the wheels and strangled her. Paramedics at the scene said it was the worst throat and neck injuries they had ever seen. Just ONE MORE reason why I don't like the burkha...

  3. Go Darwin!

    It was a 26 year old woman in Australia.

    The whole point of the Burkha is to show that the woman is a piece of precious furniture not to be looked at by others. Like Italian families that keep the plastic on their fancy furniture lest it goes bad from actually being used.

    Whould you let a piece of precious furniture onto a go-kart?

    BTW. No helmets? I am a regular go-kart user in the Montreal area and I have not seen any operator here allow helmetless use of go-karts. I certainly wear mine. And if she wore a full face helmet it would be just as effective as a burkha for the purposes of covering up her face. You can also put a balaclava under the helmet for extra burkhaness.

    Looks like not the first time such a thing happened.

    Scarves and machinery are not a good combination.

  4. I believe Sikhs are exempt from wearing helmets. Not sure about this though. True enough a full face helmet would hide your face but unlike a burqa it would also protect your head! I would also presume one would take it off after they are done Go-Karting. In any case I am not sure what the policy is in Australia. I heard that the operators-owners of the track repeatedly advised her to take off her burqa and she stubbornly refused. Would the owners then be on the hook for a lawsuit for refusing service to her? Or face charges by P.C. authorities for denying "freedom of religous expression"? Would muslim groups picket against the track to get it closed down? One thing seems clear to me; when your a westerner dealing with the burqa you just can't win.....