Friday, June 11, 2010

Another pig at the trough

The release of Ministerial expenses has turned up another pig at the trough: Clayton Cosgrove. No porn this time, just excessively long "official" trips for himself and his partner, a $712 five-hour sightseeing trip around Montreal by taxi, tourism books and luggage - which he then managed to lose. In fact, Cosgrove seems to be very unlucky with luggage - according to Stuff, he managed to "lose" it three times in a year (though they only list two cases), each one resulting in $750 - $1,500 to replace his expensive suits. The money was supposed to be reimbursed by insurers, but there is no evidence of this ever happening, and the receipts later went conveniently missing.

If a Minister actually loses their luggage, ensuring they have something suitable to wear to their meetings is of course a legitimate expense. But three times in a year? Clearly, the world's baggage handlers have it in for Cosgrove. Or his luggage has feet. But regardless of whether he's committing actual fraud here or not, his other repeated personal purchases show a clear pattern of abuse. Like Shane Jones, Tim Groser, and Phil Heatley, he's just another thief, and he should have no place in our political system.