$5,000 in restaurant bills charged by P.E.I. liquor commission

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission spent $5,000 in the last four months of 2013 at a single restaurant, and the opposition Progressive Conservatives say that's too much.

Government turning a blind eye to people in need, say Tories

$5,000 on entertainment spending in four months by the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission is too much, says Interim Progressive Conservative leader Steven Myers. (CBC)

The P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission spent $5,000 in the last four months of 2013 at a single restaurant, and the opposition Progressive Conservatives say that's too much.

DateEventCost
List of expenses
9/10/2013Atlantic presidents' and CEOs' meeting$504.79
9/12/2013Licensee show meeting$72.48
9/30/2013Senior management retirement function$1,210.68
10/7/2013Meeting with legal advisor$32.36
10/29/2013Corby's function (supplier)$767.73
12/4/2013M5 meeting (marketing company)$26.89
12/17/2013Board and senior management staff function$1,971.04
12/17/2013Labatt's lunch function$480

The details of the spending came out as the result of a freedom of information request by a member of the PC party. The expenses range from a $27 lunch to an event that came in at slightly less than $2,000 on Dec. 17, described as a board and senior management staff function.

All of the charges were at Sim's Steakhouse, one of the flagship dining rooms of the Murphy Group of Restaurants in Charlottetown.

"Islanders should be incensed to find out that their money is being spent in such a frivolous fashion by people who are entitled and think they should treat their friends to fancy meals in Charlottetown. It's ridiculous," said interim Progressive Conservative leader Steven Myers.

Myers said the spending is symptomatic of a government that has been in power for too long.

"Here is an entitled government who is tired, and thinks it's OK to spend thousands and thousands of dollars at the ritziest restaurant in Charlottetown, buying meals and wine and beer for them and their friends," he said.

"It's unacceptable that government can turn a blind eye to people who are in real need on Prince Edward Island and spend that kind of money on themselves on a handful of meals."

Rob Henderson, the minister responsible for the liquor commission, responded that the spending is part of doing business.

"This is a normal expenditure that we would have in promoting and doing business as a liquor control commission," he said.

"We have volunteers and we have boards of directors, we have people that make decisions, and I think it's only fitting that we respect their time and effort."

Henderson said the department reviews all expenses of that type, ensuring that proper checks and balances are in place, and that all money is spent in accordance with the rules.

For mobile device users:Is $5,000 too much spending on entertainment by the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission?

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