Wednesday, October 2, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Premier Kathleen Wynne angrily questions executive expenses

The Ontario government is demanding Pan Am Games organizers “tighten the rules” on expenses after it was revealed high-paid executives were charging the public for dubious claims.

Premier Kathleen Wynne told the legislature Monday the Liberal government was taking the matter seriously, and stressed that Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Michael Chan is on the case.

“We’ve already taken action. The minister has already given instructions of the board to tighten the rules,” the premier said after the Toronto Sun disclosed that Pan Am CEO Ian Troop, who made $477,000 last year, and other high-paid honchos were claiming expenses such as $1.89 for a Starbucks tea and 91 cents for parking.

Other charges were for travel, fancy dinners, laundry, hotel room service and moving expenses, according to the Sun.

“There are expenses within that report that are unacceptable,” fumed Wynne.

“Three weeks ago, the minister responsible for the Pan Am Games asked the board to review their policy (and) strengthen it where appropriate,” she said.

“The rules should be tighter. There should not be that kind of entitlement, so we’ve already taken action. We need to make sure that the dollars are spent wisely, that there’s good judgment in place, and that the rules are appropriate.”

Speaking to reporters later Monday, Wynne could barely contain her fury at the Pan Am executives.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s the kind of entitlement that is unacceptable,” Wynne said. “I’ve been asked about reimbursement and that’s one of the questions I will take up with the minister,” she said. (Source: Toronto Star)