Aug 23, 2016

By Jane Brown

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Another Trudeau cabinet minister is accused of entitlement and excess when it comes to spending.

A CTV News report says the federal environment department paid a French photojournalist $10,681 to take pictures of rookie Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and her staff during the climate change conference in Paris last year.

McKenna appears in almost every shot from the conference posted on her ministerial and departmental Twitter accounts.

But Aaron Wudrick at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation questions the amount spent.

“This is a day and age of everyone having a smartphone. The press obviously take a lot of pictures. Should taxpayers really be on the hook for what are essentially vanity photos for ministers? I don’t think there’s a compelling argument there, said Wudrick, who will have more to say on the topic on Zoomer Radio’s Fight Back with Libby Znaimer at 12:05pm.

In response, Environment and Climate Change Canada says the sole source contract for photos issued to Sebastien Leban saved the government travel costs of sending a photographer from Canada to document the event.

Meantime. Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott has promised to pay back $520 that she’d billed taxpayers for access to Air Canada’s executive airport lounges in North America and Europe.

Last week, Philpott said she would repay $3700 in luxury car service costs.

The minister says she has directed her department to review all of her expenses, promising to fully reimburse any other filings found to be inappropriate.

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