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High Spending at McGuinty’s Higher Education Quality Council

(February 16, 2010) Ontario’s Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is the latest participant in Dalton McGuinty’s group of high spending government agencies.

Between 2007 and 2009, senior staff at HEQCO spent $12,223 on hospitality and catering, including $260 on ineligible alcohol expenses and $769 for items expensed without detailed receipts.  President and CEO James Downey also billed the agency $11,628 for a 3 month stay at the Sutton Place Hotel – over $3,800 per month.  Also expensed was a $400 engraved watch from Birks jewellers.

“This example of high spending in higher education demonstrates how Dalton McGuinty was never serious about cleaning up spending in his government,” said Colleges and Universities Critic Jim Wilson.  “Nobody is holding these unelected and largely unknown government agencies accountable.”

In Question Period, Wilson noted how it was only after the Freedom of Information request was filed that staff at HEQCO repaid $1,558 in inappropriate expenses, including the $400 watch from Birks.

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