Canada Lands to oversee Old Port of Montreal after expense scandal

OTTAWA – Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose is placing the Old Port of Montreal under the stewardship of the Canada Lands Co., a Crown property management firm.

The switch follows an expense scandal that rocked the board of directors of the popular Montreal tourist attraction.

Last June, the House of Commons ethics committee said a $10,000 expense bill racked up by the president of the Old Port during a trip to the South Pacific was out of line.

The committee said the costs submitted by Claude Benoit were inappropriate and unacceptable, and called for a broader investigation into spending at the corporation.

Benoit charged $10,000 in expenses related to 12 days of work during a 29-day personal vacation to Australia and New Zealand in late 2008 and early 2009.

Benoit said she gathered information on behalf of the Old Port and on her return, produced a 115-page report which was heavy on photos, light on content and failed to impress the MPs on the committee.

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