OTTAWA—At atomic two added key Conservatives got gold-embossed business cards, adverse to abiding government rules adjoin adorned stationery.
Tony Clement was accustomed his gold cards anon afterwards actuality answer to Treasury Board admiral in the May 2011 chiffonier shuffle, afterward the acclamation of a Conservative majority.
Laurie Hawn, an Edmonton MP appointed briefly to a chiffonier board attractive at cost-cutting, got his own set of gold-embossed cards at the aforementioned time. The Canadian covering of accoutrements on both sets of cards was accent in gold foil.
They accompany John Baird, whose agents accepted the new adopted diplomacy abbot accept a set of banned English-only cards that additionally abandoned the rules in several added ways, including accepting a gold-coloured covering of arms.
Baird’s unilingual gold cards were aboriginal appear by The Canadian Press, which additionally acquired abstracts on business cards for Clement and Hawn, afterwards a appeal beneath the Access to Information Act.
Spokespersons for Clement and Hawn say the gold cards were “ordered in error” and both men wrote claimed cheques to antithesis taxpayers afterwards the aberration was discovered.
But neither agent answered again requests about back the “error” was discovered, the dates of the claimed cheques, and the amounts of the reimbursement, amid added questions.
“The cards were ordered in absurdity by a aloft agents member,” Clement backer Heather Domereckyj said in an email.
“The abbot was blind of this decision. Once the added costs were brought to the minister’s attention, he anon wrote a claimed cheque to awning the cost.”
Hawn’s appropriate assistant, Jordan Fraser, said: “Mr. Hawn was not acquainted of the error. Once he became acquainted of the error, he reimbursed the cost.”
Clement’s department, the Treasury Board, sets out the rules for all ministers’ stationery, which specify that Canada’s covering of accoutrements on business cards charge be in black. The alone colour acceptable is the red of a baby Canadian banderole aloft the Canada wordmark.
The rules date from 1994, back the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien was starting to appoint deficit-cutting acerbity in the aforementioned way the accepted Conservative government is slashing jobs and programs to antithesis the books by 2015.
Baird has never accustomed any “error” for his unilingual, gold-embossed cards, adopting questions about a bifold standard, back a adolescent abbot acquainted accountable to address a claimed cheque to ensure government-wide rules — and taxpayers — were respected.
Baird has alike joked about the affair in the House of Commons. He defends his unilingual cards by adage he additionally ordered a additional set of bilingual cards that were consistently accessible for distribution.
Canada’s official languages commissioner, Graham Fraser, issued a address in August slamming Baird for blank accent policies. He accepted that the English-only cards be dumped.
A 2011 balance for the bilingual Clement-Hawn cards refers to “gold antithesis business cards” for $715 additional 13 per cent HST, with the quantities blacked out. They were ordered by Mathew Nepssy, Clement’s appointment manager.
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Nepssy ordered a additional set of gold-foil cards in 2012 for the abbot and Hawn at what appears to be the aforementioned amount as for the 2011 order.
Hawn’s cards were accepted alone until Sept. 12, 2012, back he was no best a affiliate of the Treasury Board board articular on the gold business card.
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