Former N.S. politician says spending scandal has made life horrible for family
HALIFAX (CP) – Len Goucher says Nova Scotia’s political spending scandal has made life “ horrible” for his family over the past few days.
The former Tory cabinet minister said television camera crews “scared the hell” out of his grandchildren Wednesday. The children were afraid to leave the home, he said Thursday.
Looking tired and stressed, Goucher spoke to a reporter through a partly open door at his Halifax-area home.
According to the provincial auditor general, the former Conservative member of the legislature spent $43,982 in his three years in the legislature. That’s the most of any member.
The purchases included 11 computers, 12 printers and four video recorders between 2006 and 2009.
Goucher said some information about his purchases in auditor general Jacques Lapointe’s report, released Feb. 3, is incorrect. He wouldn’t elaborate, except to mention a $113.99 Xbox game called Dance Dance Revolution Universe that was listed in the report.
He said he wouldn’t comment further because he hasn’t been in touch with the auditor general’s office.
Goucher was defeated in the Bedford-Birch Cove riding in the June provincial election.
Lapointe’s audit covered a three-year period from July 2006 to last June. He said there were “serious weaknesses” in the system for member expenses.
He listed some inappropriate expenditures that should be recouped by the Speaker’s Office, plus a number of items that seemed to be “outside the norm” and that a reasonable person would consider excessive.
A Facebook petition has been created to protest the spending. As of Thursday afternoon, 658 people had joined the Petition for Full Investigation/Audit Nova Scotia MLA Expenses.
“Everybody on here, please go to Graham Steele’s website and write a letter demanding he does NOT raise the HST until this mess is cleared up and all these outrageous expenses are outlawed once and for all,” one man said on the website’s message board.
“Anybody else wondering why MLAs need cameras or TVs in the first place?” another asked. “I can understand printers and computers. Not a number of them. Most hard-working people get along fine with one computer for years.” VANCOUVER — The Olympic flame, which has flickered on the faces of thousands of torchbearers