A Sun Media report that Sylvain Lafrance, a CBC executive vice-president, expensed more than $28,000 on hotels, travel and meals in 2006, has resulted in a public scolding yesterday from Heritage Minister James Moore.
The expenses included almost $6,000 for meals with other CBC managers, and $7,500 on two business trips to Paris. Lafrance’s incurred in-office catering bills of about $15,000 in 2006 and included beer and wine for staff.
The spending was reportedly contained in documents released under the federal Access to Information law, which also revealed Lafrance had signed off on $33,000 worth of benefit dinners and theatre tickets for Quebec-based cultural organizations.
James Moore’s dressing-down came in a letter he sent to Timothy Casgrain, chairman of the board of directors of CBC, and included the following:
I am sure that you are sensitive to the fact that, at a time of fiscal restraint when Canadians are struggling to maintain their jobs and savings, this sort of reported excess does not sit well with them.
Our government expects that senior public servants and senior officers of agencies and Crown corporations who derive a large proportion of their budgets from the Canadian taxpayers manage public funds prudently.
A CBC spokesman allegedly told Sun Media this week that the spending was fully compliant with CBC corporate policy.