A Hamilton MPP will grill the Ontario Liberals on Tuesday about expenses for highly paid executives with the 2015 Pan Am Games organizing committee.
A recent auditor general’s investigation shows that executives with the games – which will be in Hamilton and Toronto in two years – billed taxpayers for items such as moving a family pet from Vancouver to Toronto.
That’s outrageous, says MPP Paul Miller, who represents Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. Miller will question Michael Chan, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, on the matter Tuesday at the standing committee on estimates.
The games are an opportunity for Ontario, Miller said.
“We don’t want to paint an ugly picture,” Miller told CBC Hamilton. “We want the games to be successful, but we don’t want another Expo 67 or another Olympics.”
CEO billed taxpayers for 91-cent parking ticket
The Conservatives demanded the investigation after documents showed that Pan Am CEO Ian Troop, who is paid $477,000 a year, billed taxpayers for a 91-cent parking ticket.
The committee's senior vice-president, Allen Vansen, billed taxpayers more than $27,000 to move from Vancouver to Toronto, including $110 to transfer a pet.
Some of the expenses are “unacceptable,” even if they are allowed, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday.
“It’s ridiculous, OK,” Wynne told reporters. “I’m just going to say it’s ridiculous. It is the kind of entitlement that is unacceptable.”
The government has already ordered officials to tighten and clarify the rules, Wynne said in the legislature on Monday.
But Miller sees it as a flashback to the ORNGE and $1-billion eHealth scandals.
“It seems like the same old, same old, here we go again,” Miller said.
“This is just an ongoing debacle.”
Taxpayers also billed for expensive hotel rooms
The Pan Am executives also billed taxpayers for expensive hotel rooms and dinners as they travelled to Guadalajara, London, Glasgow, Miami, Jamaica and St. Kitts.
The committee's senior vice-president Louise Lutgens rented a car in Guadalajara for $1,830 and also billed $9.92 for laundry and another $45 for a cover for her BlackBerry, the Toronto Sun reported.
CFO Barb Anderson, who is paid $307,000 a year, twice billed taxpayers $1.89 for coffee. Troop also expensed $8,561.19 for a Mexican hotel and cocktail party.
The city of Hamilton is contributing $45 million to a new $145-million Pan Am stadium, future home of the 2015 Games soccer matches. It replaces the former Ivor Wynne Stadium.
The games will significantly impact Hamilton's economy, Chan said in August.