Not only did the French- and English-speaking Caron bill taxpayers more than $4,000 in 2011-12 so he could take one-on-one Spanish lessons, he signed a $10,000 contract last year for another year’s worth of lessons though a spokesman said no charges were ever actually incurred on that second contract.
Still, Caron appeared to enjoy the taxpayer-funded perks of the job.
Caron enjoyed dining, for example, at the swanky Rideau Club in downtown Ottawa, billing taxpayers more than $2,100 for his 31 visits to the members-only club over the last two years. And if he wasn’t eating at the Rideau Club, taxpayers still paid: He expensed more than $8,700 for 35 business lunches elsewhere over the last two years.
Researchers with the opposition NDP calculated that Caron’s total bill to taxpayers for his travel and hospitality was more than $87,000 last year alone, including six trips to Europe so he could meet with international archivists. By comparison, his boss, the heritage minister, spent about only half that – $47,755 – on travel and hospitality.
TORONTO – Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot in performance in November, 2012 at Toronto’s Massey Hall, a venue he’s been playing every year in the fall for 45 years. The federal government, in its budget last week, promised $8 million to fix the place up. (Jack Boland / Toronto Sun)
Stompin’ Tom Connors has passed away at the age of 77 in Peterborough, Ont. I just got off the phoen with Brian Edwards, Tom’s promoter of 25 years. Brian says Tom passed on at about 5 pm ET today, surrounded by family and friends. There was no precipitating illness at the end. “He just wore out,” said Edwards. On March 13, a memorial is scheduled at the Peterborough Memorial Centre, the same place where the Peterborough Petes play “that good ol’ hockey game”, but Edwards says it’ll be more of a celebration of life than anything else. “It’s very rare you can work with someone who’s got fans from 4 to 104,” Edwards said. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Lena, his 2 sons, 2 daughters and his grandchildren. God bless.
You can read Stompin’ Tom’s dying letter to his fans and to Canada right here:
MONTREAL, CANADA – Lars Eller (#81) of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates after scoring his second period goal during the NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images/AFP)
Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown speaks to members of the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce during Thursday’s MP Breakfast at the Brockville Country Club. (RONALD ZAJAC/The Recorder and Times)
MPs have and will continue to criss-cross the country soliciting ideas that might make it into Jim Flaherty’s 2013 budget. (If you’re in St. John’s, NL Friday morning, you can bend the ear of the junior minister of finance, Ted Menzies at one of these consultations) One thing we know for sure about Flaherty’s budget: There ain’t a lot money that can be spent on new programs. But what about tax breaks that would spur spending on public assets, assets the government would normally assume financial responsibility but for which, in a time of austerity, it doesn’t necessarily have the ability to do so? Read more…
The posts on this blog are, by and large, created and maintained by me, David Akin, the national bureau chief for Sun Media.
I receive no fees, considerations, etc. for the posts on this blog nor do I have any plans to accept any beyond the salary paid to me by Sun Media and Sun News Network. Both those companies are owned by Quebecor Inc. As a publicly traded Canadian company, Quebecor must disclose financial and other information. You can monitor those disclosures at Quebecor's Web site.
You may see advertisements at this blog. I have no control over the placement or selection of that advertising. Both Sun Media and Sun News Network earn the money to pay my salary and the costs of hosting this blog by selling advertising.
I am not, nor have I ever been during my 25 years as a professional journalist, a member of any political party. I own no shares or equity in any corporation or business, my employer's included. Any investments I have are in widely-held mutual funds.
If you think other disclosures are appropriate in this space, I'd like to hear from you. All of my contact details are always at www.davidakin.com.