OTTAWA — Conservative MP Chris Warkentin says federal government spending on television sets is out of control after he discovered departments spent tens of thousands on them, including almost $14,000 at Indigenous Affairs for a single unit.
Warkentin says an average family can pick up a flat-screen television for $500 or less, adding he expects the government to institute improved spending practices for units often used for training and teleconferencing.
He says indigenous people in his riding living in poverty would be outraged to learn Indigenous Affairs needed to spend more than $10,000 on a single TV for bureaucrats.
Figures Warkentin obtained through an order paper question show overall amounts spent on TVs since the Liberals came to power totalled more than $66,000 at Indigenous Affairs, $62,000 at Natural Resources, $67,000 at Health Canada and $1.3 million at National Defence.
Spokespeople for ministers of the departments note there is a process in place to ensure standards for approving all expenses, adding the units are used for business purposes including video conferencing — a practice that helps cut travel costs.
Aaron Wudrick of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says it is surprising to see the high amounts forked out for individual units.
The Canadian Press