Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clement Pays Back Taxpayers for Second Set of Improper Business Cards

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clement Pays Back Taxpayers for Second Set of Improper Business Cards

Article excerpt

Clement Xmas bills include one for biz cards

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OTTAWA - Among Tony Clement's stack of Christmas bills this year was one to pay back taxpayers for a second set of gold-embossed business cards that broke government rules.

Clement, the Treasury Board president, used his personal credit card last week to reimburse his department $195.98 for gold-embossed cards that were ordered back in 2011, when he first took the cabinet post.

The Jan. 8 payment was in addition to the $434 he reimbursed taxpayers last month for another set of forbidden gold-embossed cards.

Clement has now paid back $630 for improper stationery, which he says was ordered in error by a staff member.

Each set of his cards featured the Arms of Canada decorated with gold leaf, a costly stationery option that has been banned across government since 1994.

Through the Access to Information Act, the Canadian Press obtained invoices, emails and other documents on Dec. 3 showing Clement's office ignored the rules shortly after the Conservatives won a majority in 2011.

The same day the documents were released to the news agency, Clement used his Visa card to pay back taxpayers for the first set of business cards. The amount repaid was calculated as the extra cost for having the gold leaf applied.

Other documents released this month, however, reveal a second set of Clement business cards with the same gold-leaf problem. The second set, also ordered in 2011, added a reference on the card to the minister's secondary portfolio, the FedNor development agency.

Clement paid back the second amount on Jan. 8, a day before these other documents were released to The Canadian Press.

"We have been assured by Treasury Board officials there is no remaining amount owing," the minister's spokeswoman, Heather Domereckyj, said in an email Monday.

"Minister Clement personally reimbursed the cost as soon as he was alerted. …

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