It recently came to light that the City of Burnaby has been spending an obscene amount of money on something they have no business spending a dime of tax dollars on — golf.
Burnaby taxpayers paid the nearly $42,000 golf bill racked up last year by Burnaby city council members, commissioners and so-called VIPs, according to information uncovered by the Burnaby Now newspaper.
Apparently, the city has a freebie golf pass system that can be used by city officials at various municipal-owned courses around town.
Politicians in Burnaby sure haven’t been shy about using this ridiculous perk to the max, mindlessly wasting green on their personal green time.
The worst tee-time offender was Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, sticking the city with a bill of $5,717.65.
Other big golfers on city council include Coun. Colleen Jordan, who golfed away $4,674.20, and Coun. Paul McDonell’s $2,633.40.
To make matters worse, this taxpayer-funded golf nonsense is an annual program – each year the golf fund gets refilled to the tune of $50,000.
Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal attempted to defend this outrageous expenditure by saying the golf pass system helps drum up new business for the city’s courses because pass users may bring their friends along for their tee time.
The only thing the freebie golf-pass system drums up is a better handicap for the city officials who are clocking in their tee time at the expense of taxpayers.
Dhaliwal further defended the program by saying that it is a token of appreciation from the city to the commissioners and councillors.
A token of appreciation? It makes you wonder what other taxpayer-funded perks and tokens are being doled out to Burnaby elected officials.
Burnaby city hall should be apologizing and putting the golf freebie pass through the shredder. In fact, elected city officials who partook in the passes should pay back taxpayers.
Instead, council is defending the program and making excuses. This sort of entitlement attitude is a hallmark of governments that have been in power for too long without any formal organized opposition to scrutinize their actions or question their finances.
The Burnaby Citizens Association has been running the city for over 10 years.
However, this November’s civic election could overhaul council and bring in a fresh team of new faces.
The Burnaby First Coalition is running a full slate of candidates to unseat the government. They hope to bring change and transparency to city hall and increase the dismal voter turnout, which last election was only 23%. This latest golf revelation will certainly help their cause.
Come election day, Burnaby’s current politicians may have a lot more spare time to golf – this time it would be on their own dime.