It didn’t take long for one of Trudeau’s ministers to put their foot in it. As has been reported Minister of Health Philpott has been somewhat free with throwing taxpayers dollars around on limousine service in the GTA. Some of the excuses that have been reported are just laughable… it wasn’t a limo it was a sedan… it was on legitimate business etc. They would also have us believe that the fact that the limo company is owned by one of her campaign workers is purely coincidental.
The media have reported that the minister knew that the owner of the company (Executive Sedan Livery Service Inc.) had worked on her campaign, but she still went ahead and used the service not this one time at a cost of $1700 for one day, but she used the same company on over 20 occasions (including another day that cost the taxpayer $1994). That shows incredibly poor judgement on her part.
It also doesn’t say much about the political judgement of her Chief of Staff who is responsible for vetting the ministers work, including travel and whose responsibility it is to keep the minister out of trouble. If the minister knew the company was owned by a campaign worker did the Chief of Staff also know that?
If the minister planned to use limo service on a regular basis why wasn’t a tender process used to get the best price? Who suggested that this company be used? Did her staff solicit several quotes from different companies? Departments often have standing offers from companies to provide services as required. Does Health Canada have one for transportation in the GTA? If so, is this company on their list?
Harper would make his ministers pay out of their own pocket when travel expenses weren’t justified. Let’s see if our current Prime Minister is just as strict or does he sweep this story under the carpet.
It is always fun when sitting on the opposition side of the aisle to attack the government side and make all sorts of demands; they tend to forget that these stories will happen to every government.
Back in 2012 the opposition parties were quick to demand that the Conservative minister appear before a committee to answer questions on her spending and travel arrangements… what goes around comes around.
Perhaps Bob Rae when he was the Interim Leader of the Liberals said it best:
“It’s ridiculous to think that ministers get themselves in these positions where they think this is what they are entitled to, it’s all wrong,” (Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae on Bev Oda’s expenses April 24, 2012)