Tuesday, February 25, 2014

La Air Ticket: Tabernouche! C'est quoi ce bordel?

"Attention! At ease taxpayers?"

A $6,000 plane ticket to the wife of a general

Joel-Denis Bellavance
Monday, February 24, 2014

Rob Nicholson (Photo: The Canadian Press)

(Ottawa) As he slays the retired General Andrew Leslie for moving expenses of $72,000 passed on to taxpayers, the Defence Minister, Rob Nicholson, has approved the purchase of an airline ticket $ 6,060 to allow the joint Chief of Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces Tom Lawson to accompany the latter to a NATO conference in Budapest last September.

Documents obtained by The Press under the Law on Access to Information show that Minister Nicholson has endorsed the expenditure for a return ticket first class between Ottawa and Budapest for Kelly Lawson.

The Deputy Minister of Defense, Richard Fadden, wrote a four-page memo to Mr. Nicholson asking him to authorize the expenditure, arguing that the presence of Ms. Lawson in the capital of Hungary would "facilitate the conduct of events and strengthen relationships and linkages between the various parties involved."

Ms. Lawson finally participated in activities organized for military spouses at the conference.

The delegation to the NATO conference consisted of six people, including General Tom Lawson and his wife. Two of the six participants were in Brussels and went to Budapest at the expense of the hosts of the conference.

Travel expenses and subsistence for the delegation amounted to $ 37,961. On their own, the transportation costs for four people was about $ 25,000. During this conference, the generals were given an update on the situation in Afghanistan while NATO troops were preparing to leave the country ravaged by decades of war.

The office of Minister Nicholson would not answer questions from the press about the expense. He just referred La Presse to the Ministry of Defence for an explanation.

In accordance with the Treasury Board, the Minister must approve each such expense when it comes to pay travel expenses of a spouse or a spouse of a senior officer, including the Chief of Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that the taxpayers had paid the travel expenses for Ms. Lawson last September. The latter also accompanied her husband to another NATO meeting in Brussels in January. She traveled first class and the fare was $2,231. Minister Nicholson also approved the trip.

Output rule

Last week, Mr. Nicholson made an exit rule against the former General Andrew Leslie, who acts as an Advisor to the Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, after it was revealed that his last move within the city of Ottawa had cost taxpayers $ 72,000.

Mr. Nicholson has asked his department to investigate, saying it was an excessive amount. "It is important Andrew Leslie explains why he thinks it is reasonable to absorb Canadian workers expense. It's a matter of judgment and respect for the responsible use of taxpayers' money, "he said. The problem is that this resettlement program for retired military has been in effect for several years, and Mr. Leslie is not the first to benefit.

Mr. Leslie, who led Canadian troops in Afghanistan and who expects to be a candidate in the next federal election in a constituency in the Ottawa region, has accused the Conservatives of engaging in a "personal attack" because it s' is committed to the Liberal Party of Canada

With files from William Leclerc

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