Former Quebec lieutenant-governor says lavish spending was needed
Quebec's former lieutenant-governor Lise Thibault is dismissing allegations she frittered away $700,000 in taxpayers' money during her 10 years on the job.
She told a national assembly committee Thursday she never misused public funds.
Thibault was ordered to appear before the committee, which is looking into allegations by the province's auditor general that she was reimbursed $700,000 while in office for expenses unrelated to her official duties.
Thibault claims she is the victim of a "mean" and "disgraceful" smear campaign.
She said her lavish spending – including a $10,000 cocktail party for her aides after a training day – was justified because they were volunteers.
Thibault also charged golf lessons, vacations, and family gifts as business expenses. She told the committee she thought it was appropriate to include those costs as part of her job.
She said she did her job properly and honestly and she blamed her problems on scandal-hungry media.
The former lieutenant-governor told the committee how her work was never done while in the post.
She said she was constantly hosting events with Quebecers from all walks of life, and her expenses covered the cost of filling her role as the Queen's representative in the province.
She had harsh words for the provincial government and the auditor general for not meeting with her before releasing the report on her spending.
A police investigation into Thibault's spending while in office is ongoing.
Quebec has introduced stricter guidelines to control expenses in the lieutenant-governor's office.
With files from the Canadian Press