Province still paying MANFF despite questionable expenses
The Province of Manitoba is continuing to disperse millions of federal dollars of flood-relief funds to an aboriginal association despite the fact that the federal government has said they won't reimburse them for all of it.
The Manitoba Associated of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF) was tasked with paying for the housing and food for people displaced by the 2011 flood.
MANFF was to pay the bills, get reimbursed by the provincial government which, in turn, would get reimbursed by the federal government.
"Our money is fully accountable, and we're accountable to our provincial auditor and our legislature," Premier Greg Selinger said Wednesday.
But a CBC investigation showed MANFF still owes millions in unpaid hotel bills that the organization has already been paid for by the province.
It was also discovered that within an eight-month period, more than $1 million had been spent on late-night snacks from a Winnipeg pizzeria – an invoice the province has also already paid.
As the province continues to dole out money, it is not required to check that the expenses are appropriate -- that is the role of the federal government. Recently, a federal government said in a statement they would not reimburse the province for inappropriate expenses billed by MANFF. "I would expect the federal government to reimburse us based on what we have done," said Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton.
So far the organization has received more than $75 million in provincial government funding.
"We look forward to them rebating that money to us," Sellinger said.
MANFF and the hotels that owed money are headed into mediation soon to settle the bill.