A pro-abortion former MP that was appointed by former Ontario Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty to be the Fairness Commissioner in 2007 has been criticized for claiming excessive and inappropriate expenses.
Jean Augustine billed Ontario taxpayers for thousands of dollars for foreign limousine rides, a city sightseeing tour in Finland, and for a pair of $3.40 headphones on a flight from Toronto to Halifax. Progressive Conservative MPP Monte McNaughton said, “it’s an abuse of tax dollars” and “I think taxpayers deserve better than this.”
Augustine refunded the money after the government deemed the expenses ineligible because they were unrelated to her work as Fairness Commissioner. Augustine maintained in an interview with the CBC that the limousine expenses were necessary for her to travel to do her job.
McNaughton wants to know how the government will prevent such entitled spending in the future, but Citizenship and Immigration Minister Michael Chan said the commissioner operates at arms-length from the government.
Augustine was reportedly appointed to the new office of Fairness Commissioner in 2007 to make room for Michael Ignatieff to run for federal office. The Fairness Commissioner, who receives no salary but does collect a $566 per diem, advocates to have foreign credentials recognized by Canadian associations and employers.
Augustine, an elementary school principal with the Metropolitan Separate School Board in Toronto, was appointed by Liberal leader Jean Chretien to be the candidate in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore to prevent the Liberals for Life candidate from carrying the party banner in the general election in 1993. She founded the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, a pro-abortion caucus, in 1997, and chaired the group until she was appointed Secretary of State for Multiculturalism in 2002. She was also chair of the officially “pro-choice” National Liberal Women’s Caucus for three terms.
Campaign Life Coalition rated Augustine pro-abortion during her entire tenure as MP.