Conservative MP and Head of Caucus Guy Lauzon Holds Passport Clinic – Public Gouged with $20 Passport Photo Fee – Cornwall Ontario – March 27, 2010

Cornwall ON –  Our MP Guy Lauzon is having another one of his passport clinics Saturday March 27 at CCVS.   We have confirmed that the photo fee is $20.

So the bottom line question is why is our MP allowing his constituents to be bilked and gouged for a passport photo?  Several local and regional services offer Passport photos for less than $10.

We queried several professional photographers in the area that categorically stated the public was getting gouged and that they be happy to charge $10 per photo for such an event when you can do 200+ in a single day even with the cost of renting mobile equipment to shoot on location.

Does it seem reasonable for a MP to be associating himself with an event that gouges the public?  An event that some people may attend as it’s advertised with his mug in the ad as it is in this week’s issue of the Adam Brazeauless Le Journal?

What do you think Cornwall?  Feel free to post your comments below.

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  1. Can the public bring their own photo? Or are they forced to be gouged?

  2. Author

    Hi Grimalot,

    I do believe the public can bring their own photo, but that’s not really a difference. I attended one of the clinics and at no point was that point suggested. There was no signage stating that the photo service was separate and the line up was for the photos. Even if Mr. Lauzon doesn’t profit by the gouging why would a MP allow the public to be gouged at an event held in his name?

  3. #1 You can bring your own photo, been there done that , but it has to be done right, no glasses, no smile, no forehead glare, no shine on the chin etc. #2 The photographer is a pro and $20 may not be cheap but it is not GOUGING. #3 This blog is always looking for ways to throw stones at Lauzon. These clinics are a good thing, a service to our community. I may not always agree with Lauzon’s Party but to date I think he is doing a good job. Maybe I’m just star struck, we are not used to a MP actually working for us. Backing our new arena, bringing in the new RCMP building, new call center, etc. etc. We haven’t had this kind of attention since the days of Ed Lumley. I for one would like to say thank you Mr Lauzon. You told us you would work hard for SD&G and it shows..

  4. Author

    Hi Dave,

    As you can see we offer more courtesy to others than our MP. Gouging the public under the MPs name is just wrong. Welcome to the Cornwall Free News.

  5. On google, I found a May 2009 memo from Guy’s office that stated he and his staff do these clinics as volunteers without pay. At that time it was the 30th one. This looks like a good service and people have a choice not to go, but maybe Mr Lauzon’s office can respond to the 20 dollar photo charge……

  6. Author

    That would be nice Eric. No citizen should get gouged at an event in an MP`s name. Mr. Lauzon is aware how much is charged too. Why should the public pay such an excessive fee

  7. Just a comment to Dave from a person who covered the events when they happened and has no political affiliation and hasn’t voted in the last three elections. The RCMP building and the call center were both announced when Bob Kilger was our MP before Guy Lauzon. As for the new arena, that was a city council initiative and part of the stimulus package. Lauzon had no choice but to back it since there were precious few stimulus packages coming to the riding. Mr. Lauzon has proven to be good at taking credit for other people’s work (and so are his supporters) but I haven’t seen a thing he has done to benefit the riding yet. I hope to soon be proven wrong but I doubt that I will…unfortunately.

  8. Author

    thank you for posting Mr. Pilote. I hate the way I get vilified by “certain” Conservatives. In this case I believe Dave is an actual politician, but won’t out him any further.

    Mr. Lauzon hasn’t accomplished a single thing as MP for the residents of this riding. You outlined his lack of impact on several projects. You can add gouging thousands of residents via his Passport clinics. Even his tenure with the government prior to elected office involved cutting the numbers in his department before taking his golden parachute.

    Jobs at the Call Centre? I have yet to verify a single job to a resident of Cornwall that already hadn’t been employed by the government and of the jobs posted almost all required official government bilingualism which usually translates as French; as the same scrutiny isn’t given in Quebec than in Ontario. IE; Francophones don’t go through the same type of testing in English for “bilingual” jobs as Anglophones do in Ontario.

    The bridge we’ve written about enough to see where our MP stands on that issue.

    All that being said I truly understand why people support Mr. Lauzon. It’s not about the candidate; it’s about the party and leader. It’s how Mr. Lauzon got elected and it probably will take a powerful opponent to take Mr. Harper and thus Mr. Lauzon down.

  9. .
    The gouging is not by Guy but the photographer, and is not gouging. It costs money to do the work and all the supplies needed. Bringing your own photo is not a good idea either. There is certain criterion that must be met. It is your choice to get the passport; if you can afford to travel then $20 shouldn’t be that hard to cough up.

    As for Guy Lauzon, *l* that man is quite the enigma. Can anyone find a clear definition of his role in government? Can just one person tell us what he did for Cornwall and the surrounding area? He like Brownell is a nice guy but find me a successful businessman that is truly nice in business. I am not speaking of some of the local business no minds but successful businessmen. Guy found an addition to his pension sa did Brownell and some of us were dumb enough to endorse it.

    What would happen is an independent ran and vowed support to a particular party? That could be interesting. It would give the person a method of control over whomever the leader is.

  10. Author

    No, the photo clinic is his responsibility. It’s his name on it and he’s been aware of the gouging for over a year now and is using the same photographer.

    We have spoken to many local photographers who said they’d be thrilled to have this gig and charge half that fee for such a day. Half that fee being $10 so why is the MP allowing residents to be gouged??

    That answer is probably buried with his answer for why he’s been so silent and inactive during the Seaway International Bridge Crisis.

  11. You would figure it would be in Guy’s best interest to tender out the photo contract and obtain the best price possible for his constituents. If a photographer is willing to do it for 10 bucks, thats half the cost of what is being paid now. If there were say, 200 pictures done in a day, thats a difference in savings of 2000 bucks. You should provide that list of local photographers to Guy.

  12. Author

    Grimalot it’s not my place to do such a thing as provide our MP with this information. I posted area retailers and how little they were charging and during the last election confronted Mr. Lauzon with this exact information.

    So knowing this as long as he has he simply chooses, knowingly, to continue to allow the public to be gouged by the same photographer? I sure as heck hope that at least Guy gets a vote out of the deal 😉

  13. grimalot & admin: definition of conservative: stuck in the mud, impervious to change

  14. I have had a few discussions with Lauzon regarding economic development and business plans for the area. To be honest he has no clue how to answer or any concept of growth. His best answer was “I believe there is a retired entertainer looking at that”. *
    This is a win win business which is growing in other countries but this man has no clue. He should be referred to as puppet. He like Kilger and Brownel needs to grow a pair

    What the hec is a head of Caucus anyway?

    In Guy’s defense I have had the same discussion with Brownell and Fitzpatrick and some of the cities go green group. Not one has the mentality or fortitude to see the future and greater then the front of there fat stomachs. I noticed on a visit to Jim’s office, the son of one of his former associates while teaching was working in his office. Is it a possible show of friends helping friends? No not in Cornwall….

  15. That won’t be a vote from me.

  16. Author

    Now now PJR I’ve met some very intelligent and enlightened Conservatives and some boors in all parties. I think we as Canadians need to become more issue centric.

  17. I did say “conservative”, admin. Not “a conservative”. Now progressive conservatives, I grant you, can be enlightened, relatively speaking. Poor dear Mr Lauzon, however, is the clapmeister (aka cheerleader) of their regressive cousins.

  18. Way to go PJR. Regressive Conservatives it is.

  19. “In this case I believe Dave is an actual politician, but won’t out him any further.”
    So you will out people to a certain extent without their permission? What editors’ handbook did you read?

  20. Author

    We have not outed anybody. If we wanted to out someone we would. We are not fans of anonymous attacks. I know they’re popular, but there’s a very clear difference between someone posting a shot from the shadows and say a whistle blower.

  21. If I had any issues that Jamie would actually out anyone (except to the proper authorities if subpoenaed), I would not be posting here. But Jamie, in the interests of preserving your loyal readers, I would calm any current or future rhetoric about outing anyone. This is a few times now that this conversation has come up on your site. Some anonymous posters do not like any semblance of being outed.

  22. Author

    Hi Grimalot,

    We have a policy regarding anonymous posting, and will not allow our site to be used for “black” or “white” ops. If a poster is connected to a story via affiliation on either side we expect them to identify themselves when posting in the story.

    What that means is say I’m posting a story about Guy Lauzon. If Guy’s campaign manager defends him I expect him to identify himself. Same thing if say Darlene Jalbert were commenting about Guy Lauzon in that story. I’d expect her to identify herself in that post.

    It’s not about a user posting their independent opinion. People have the choice of how they sign their posts and as many internet users know your handle can become more popular than your name and your signature.

    This isn’t about privacy. This is about “fair dinkum” and the integrity of not only this site, but the quality of the commentary from you the viewers which is something that I consider to be very important. I hope that those of you that take time from your days to participate in our discussions do so too.



  23. Granted, a very noble policy to have. But randomly threatening to out someone you will find will reduce your subscriber loyalty very fast. You have the option of allowing or not allowing a comment. Therefore that is already method enough to keep comments within the guidelines you seek for this site. If someone should own up to a comment, then you don’t allow the comment if it breaks those rules and they rewrite it accordingly. Plain and simple.

  24. If people do not want to pay $20.00 for the passport photograph with this photographer then they have the right to go some place else. Also just because this photographer is charging $20.00 doesn’t mean he/she is gouging anyone. They have based their pricing on their costs, experience and overhead. People know upfront the cost so they can use it or go someplace else. I do not see any dishonesty here. BTW…applications will be returned if the images are not taken with the very specific guidelines dictated by government so when choosing a photographer ask about their return rate. If you are in a hurry for your passport, you will not be pleased if the application is returned because it is out of the specifications required.

  25. Author

    Hi Ms Milner,

    When I go into a studio and hire the skills of a professional photographer it’s one thing. First off the photographers I spoke with when outlined with the paradigm of having to shoot proper passport photos; renting mobile equipment if they didn’t already have such equipment were quite happy with the prospects of shooting 200-500 people in a single day at $10 per photo.

    Without getting into the semantics of the definition of “gouging” how do you justify doubling of the fee on a continued basis?

    Should the MP, offering what’s supposed to be a service to voters ensure that the greatest steps are taken to make sure those needing the service pay the fairest amount possible? I mean the politician is doing this to pander for votes, right? It’s a photo op, right? I’m sure there are many skilled professional photographers that would be happy to provide Mr. Lauzon with a day of your time at that price point?

    What I find particularly wrong with this is that Mr. Lauzon is aware of this situation and still condones it. I sure as heck don’t want my MP in Ottawa voting to spend my money if this is his idea of serving the public. Paying twice as much for something isn’t good except for the photographer in this case.

  26. My name is Dan Morency and I’ve been a professional photographer for 27 years and I’ve owned Roy Studio for 23 years.

    During the last 4 years, I’ve done about 20-25 of the passport clinics with Mr. Lauzon. The reason he asked me to do the clinics is that 99.9% of my passport photos are accepted and he doesn’t want to bring so called professional photographers who’s photos will get rejected. Do you think the public would be happy to attend the passport clinics and a few weeks later get a letter stating that their photos are rejected? I can tell you that it happens constantly that I get people who come in to see me for their passport photos after they have gone to these supposedly professional photographers and their photos were rejected and I can tell you that their are not happy about it.

    How many passport photos are taken during a clinic? You say 200-500. I can tell you that you are way off. The first couple of years, I was the only photographer doing the clinics. The highest number I ever did was 275. The average was between 150-200. The clinics used to be 3 hours long and I kept taking photos until everyone had their photos done so sometimes I would stay an extra hour or 2 to do those amounts. Now the clinics are 2 1/2 hours long and no extra time is allowed. They lock the doors after the time is up. Mr Lauzon’s staff process a lot more applications because a lot of people already have their photos when they show up at the clinics so that is where you might get the higher numbers of people attending the clinics. A couple of years ago, Mr Lauzon did find 2 other photographers who’s photos were not getting rejected so now there are 2 photographers on site so less waiting time for the public. All 3 of us have our own businesses and are independant. That means that at last saturday’s clinic I took 85 passport photos and the other gentleman probably did about the same. I did not take 500 photos and keep all the money to myself, far from it like it has been said in earlier posts.

    As far as pricing…if you come in my studio my price is $17.26 + GST and PST for a total of $19.50. That is the price I would charge at the passport clinics that I have been doing and I also gave out official business receipts with the photos. When I do a clinic, I have to bring a van full of equipment ( studio flashes, tripod, cameras, backgrounds, printers etc ) set up everything on location, bring 2 employees that I pay to help me do the clinic, pack up all the equipment and reset everything in my studio. Why should I charge less than I normally do when I have all this extra work and employees to pay?

    So yes, if I was alone and did 500 photos in 1 day I would charge $10 per photo. Since we are now 2 photographers who work on our own and we usually do between 90-100 each I WILL NOT do photos for $10, I will keep charging what I normally charge at the studio. Saturdays are my busiest days for family and baby photos. I will not go do passport clinics for less money that I would be doing at the studio.

    So Mr Admin, you say that there are a lot of professional photographers that would do this for $10. Would they do it for the 85-100 people that I now have at the clinics? Do they have the 99.9% acceptance rate like I do for my photos?

    If they are that good, they can call Mr Lauzon and he can replace me. I’ll just keep doing the family and baby photos that I normally do on a Saturday.

    I’ve been in business for 27 years, if I was gouging the public like your saying I am, I think the word would spread pretty fast in Cornwall and I would have been out of business a long time ago.

  27. Author

    Hi Dan,

    Thank you for posting and sharing this information with the public. You’re welcome to post here any time you wish. I highly commend you on the quality of your work and longevity in our community.


  28. Editor please note, it would seem there’s no gouging going on at Guy Lauzon’s passport clinics.

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