Moncton sewerage commissioners named
Former board members resigned
The provincial government has started naming new people to the board of the Greater Moncton Sewerage Commission, four months after a scathing report by the auditor general.
The previous board members resigned after Auditor General Kim MacPherson's report, which was released in October, that found a range of problems, including extravagant expenses and a lack of accountability.
Winston Pearce, one of the new commissioners, said those days are over.
Pearce, a retired engineer living in Riverview, has spent 20 years as a volunteer, helping to turn the Capitol Theatre from a run-down building to a top notch community asset.
Now, he wants to help turn the sewerage commission's reputation around, he said.
"I think we do have to get some of the governance issues dealt with," he said.
Moncton Coun. Brian Hicks, another new member, said he expects the commission will be run very differently.
"I told them right off the bat that don't think you're going to send me around the world to become an expert on this," he said.
"We have experts, we have engineers at the commission and that's who I think should be the experts. And the commission, the board of directors, are basically there just to give overall direction."
Hicks said he also plans to ask a lot of questions.
"From our city council's point of view we just wanted some of the basic questions answered that came up in the auditor general's report," he said.
Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney had promised to replace members of the commission's board.
The report found more than $80,000 spent on international trips and $7,000 on Christmas parties.
The former chairman, Ron LeBlanc, was singled out in the report for questionable spending, including his BlackBerry bill that averaged $550 a month, and $9,600 a year in office expenses, for which no invoices were filed, and $5,800 in claims for travel, which did not include supporting invoices.
LeBlanc had been chairman of the sewerage commission for 27 years. He resigned in December.
Hicks also said he wants more openness, particularly with respect to expense accounts, at the commission.
"To me, I think if anybody does…have an expense account or put an expense account in, I think it should be on the web page," he said.
Chanel Michaud, of Dieppe, has also been appointed to the commission, and the provincial government is expected to name at least one more person.
The auditor general had recommended all long-serving board members be replaced immediately.