For­mer N.S. politi­cian says spending scan­dal has made life hor­ri­ble for fam­ily

Cape Breton Post - - National -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.