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Dinner is on Joe - Oops, I Mean Taxpayers


Joe Volpe, the Member of Parliament for the affluent riding of Eglinton-Lawerence, and Minister of Citizenship and
Immigration was recently found to have spent nearly $7000 in a matter of 28 days on food and booze. To put things in perspective, on a yearly basis that would mean that Minister Volpe would spend approximately
$96,000 per year on fine dining.

Compare that to statistics Canada's estimate that an average single Canadian makes just under $26,000 per year (2003). In a matter of 4 months under this trend of reckless spending Joe Volpe will have spent more than the average annual income of a regular Canadian on food alone.

The Minister's office came to the defence of the spending citing the fact that Minister's have many different obligations, and may in some instances constitute 2 dinners in a single night - as was the case in Minister's Volpe's situation. What's worse is that the former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration spent only half that amount during the same period a year prior. In fact, he has spent nearly double all his cabinet colleagues on food and beverage expenditures.

My problem is not with the fact that the Minister is expensing dinners, it is the manner in which he is doing it. When you are hosting a dinner with 15 people, you do not need to take them to Hy's Steakhouse or Bistro 990. The Minister needs to seriously think about who's money he is spending. For the record Minister, it is not yours it is mine, and every other tax paying Canadian.

The Volpe Gluttony is a perfect example of how the Liberals feel they have the divine right to govern this country. In their eyes, our money is their money, and the lack of accountability that has been illustrated by both large (the Gomery Inquiry) and small (Volpe's expenses) instances of corruption, should have Canadians outraged.

Could you imagine if the Sponsorship Scandal happened in the United States? The President would have (and I think rightly) resigned immediately. Why are we such pushovers?


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