Jennifer Lynch's $8,200 party in Vienna
The Canadian economy is in recession; MPs and cabinet ministers are being told to curtail wasteful expenses, like first-class travel.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is under massive scrutiny for its misbehaviour. Its own hand-picked consultant, Prof. Richard Moon, recommends that its censorship provisions be scrapped. And Prime Minister Stephen Harper tells Maclean's magazine in a year-end interview with him that Canada's HRCs are "abusive" and their conduct is "egregious".
So what does Jennifer Lynch, the chief commissar of the CHRC do?
She hops on a plane to Vienna, for a bacchanalia, celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of another five-star, caviar-and-champagne United Nations meeting about "human rights". Maybe they'll meet next year to celebrate the first anniversary of this celebration. Why not? If chump taxpayers will pay for it, let's go!
Lynch's flight alone cost more than $7,000. This morning I went on Air Canada's website, and you can get a return flight from Ottawa to Vienna for $960, including taxes and fees (as if any trip was appropriate). But that's just for the little people. For the big people -- the international superstars, those who live above the law, and certainly above trifles like political accountability -- anything less than first class just won't do.
Fire. Them. All.
UPDATE: It looks like Lynch has been sharing the wealth -- with David Langtry, her deputy chief commissioner. Check out his expense report for three months, September to November, 2008. Langtry racked up nearly $40,000 in travel and hospitality in that quarter alone.
That included a whopping $10,000 trip to Kenya. Nice work. Join the human rights commission see the world -- in five-star style.
Then there's his $7,000 trip to Geneva and -- by far my favourite -- a $3,500 trip to Mexico. Oh yes, we've got a lot to learn about human rights from Mexico. Better take five days in the gorgeous sun to study that one very carefully.
But the most objectionable thing about Langtry's expenses is what I can only surmise is his weekly commute to Ottawa, at up to $2,000 a week in travel and expenses. I don't know where Langtry lives -- judging by those receipts, I'm guessing in London, England. And, judging by his hotel bill in Ottawa, I'm guessing he stays at the Chateau Laurier. Nothing but the finest!
You'd think that someone who had a full time job in Ottawa would deign to move to Ottawa. But why bother, when the spendthrift CHRC will turn you into a jet-setter, on the public dime. Recession? Not at the CHRC! Too bad he doesn't use all his frequent flyer points to pay for his Kenya and Geneva jaunts. But why should he? He's entitled to his entitlements, just like his role model, Jennifer Lynch is.
Fire. Them. All.