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Taxpayer group backs Liberal bid to curb waste

The Liberals are getting some support from a small-c conservative source for their opposition motion Monday that aims to cut government waste by curbing the use of political tools like 10-per center mailings.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation plans to e-mail its supporters on the Conservative backbenches and within the NDP caucus, asking them to back the Liberal initiative.

The 10-per-centers are flyers that are sent, using taxpayers money, by MPs into the ridings of other federal politicians. Their messages are often overtly partisan.

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"Given that MP junk mail won the federal Teddy last week, this seems appropriate," taxpayer federation director Kevin Gaudet said.

The Teddies are tongue-in-cheek annual awards the federation bestows on what is deems to be the worst offenders when it comes to government waste and overspending.

"It's about time this came to a vote," Mr. Gaudet said. "They are borrowing $134-million a day, they can do without partisan mailers. The public is fed-up."

The Liberal motion takes aim at what the party says is $1-billion in partisan expenditures including $800-million that is spent on government advertising and travel and $350-million that is spent on management consultants.

But the 10-per-centers, mass mailings that cost an estimated $30-million a year, are the most controversial of the items the Liberals want to see on the chopping block. The Liberals say that Conservative MPs accounted for 62 per cent of 10-per-center printing costs in 2008-09, compared to 16 per cent for MPs in their own party.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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