Health Minister, Jane Philpott, confessed on Wednesday that the executive limo service she hired on several occasions were of “too high” amounts and the owner of the company, Reza Shirani, has promised to refund the invoices in response to “petty, political posturing.” A total of $1,700 were expensed by Philpott for one day of service in the Greater Toronto Area, March 31.
The expenses triggered a debate on Wednesday into what’s an appropriate amount to transport a cabinet minister during busy days that often include multiple meetings and events. Giving their remarks, NDP’s Charlie Angus and Conservatives Colin Carrie and Michelle Rempel, all said that using a limousine service for this purpose was inappropriate. In a statement made by Philpott herself, she said the cost was “inappropriate” and “I have already taken steps to prevent this from occurring in the future.”
The owner of Executive Sedan Livery Service Inc., Reza Shirani said in a statement he’s a long-time supporter of the Liberal Party and of Philpott and “I’m delighted that she and my party were elected to form a majority government.” Shirani was a volunteer on Philpott’s election campaign last year. He mentioned that “I resent the implication that, somehow, I was ‘playing the system’ as an ‘insider’ in some inappropriate way.” Offering a 100 per cent refund, Shirani alleged “I fully expect to be accused by the ‘defenders of Canadian taxpayers’ of making a donation of services to the Liberal Party of Canada that exceeds authorized individual donation limits, even if I promise not to seek any political tax credit.”
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