Catherine Mckenna Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca
|The federal Conservatives say Environment Minister Catherine McKenna needs to repay money paid to a photographer during a climate change conference in Paris last year.|
Documents obtained under the Access to Information Act indicate McKenna’s department paid a French photojournalist nearly $11,000 to take pictures of the minister and her staff during the COP21 conference. McKenna's office initially reported the cost as $6,662, then told CTV News the amount was reported in Euros, so was worth $10,681.
Today McKenna said the cost had been reported correctly the first time (duh ahuck) and the $6,662 figure was the actual cost.
|“Photos, like press releases, social media and other communications tools, are a way to communicate to Canadians the work the government is doing on their behalf,” said McKenna’s spokesperson.|
|The Canadian Taxpayers Federation questioned whether the contract with the photographer was a good use of government money.|
“Should taxpayers really be on the hook for what are essentially vanity photos for ministers? I don’t think there’s a compelling argument there,” said CTF federal director Aaron Wudrick.
|Government records suggest ECCC was prepared to spend even more on photos if necessary. The value of the contract is listed on its website at over $19,900 and classified as “management consulting.”|
Jane Philpott Jane.Philpott@parl.gc.ca
|Environment Minister Catherine McKenna defended her ministry's decision. "Pictures are an important part of how we transmit our message ..." The image gallery from the conference was posted to the department's Flickr account — which has 56 users. The photo contract revelation comes one day after Health Minister Jane Philpott said she would repay $520 billed to taxpayers to access Air Canada lounges in North America and Europe.|
Last week, Philpott also said she would repay $3,700 in limo services paid to one of her politico cronies.