Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray is an award winner along with some other big names in Canadian politics, but its a dubious distinction at best. Murray, along with Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the federal gun registry, have been awarded the "golden sow" or "teddy" award by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Adrienne Batra heads up the Manitoba Chapter of the Taxpayers Federation. She says Murray won the award for a project involving the Provencher foot bridge. "We chose the million-dollar toilet as the biggest flush performed."
Murray says he's proud of the award. He says that some people just can't understand how he is moving towards building a more attractive city.
The restaurant on the pedestrian bridge will make it the only one of its kind in North American. He says the $1 million is what it costs to bring water, sewer, phone lines and other fibre optics on to the bridge for a restaurant that will sit halfway across the span, which links the Forks with St. Boniface.
Murray says if they didn't build a toilet to go with the restaurant, the public would be left with few options. "Stick their bum over the edge of the railing," he suggests. "Do that."
"The health act actually requires that you have water and sewer, and we actually do have water and we actually do have sewage on most bridges for drainage and things like that, to protect the rivers from salt going directly into the rivers. This is hardly a great revolution."
Murray says out of the $54-million bridge redevelopment project, $1 million to make the bridge a destination is a small price to pay. Murray says he may just keep the golden sow award in his bathroom.