Clement defends $2.3 million to photograph cabinet ministers
Treasury Board President Tony Clement is defending the government’s more than $2.3 million tab to photograph cabinet ministers, saying the photos are part of the government’s obligation to communicate with Canadians.
“The government of Canada has an obligation to communicate with the public and we take our responsibilities to taxpayers very seriously in this regard,” he told the House of Commons.
Clement’s comments came after Liberal MP Mark Eyking went on the attack during question period, following the revelation by iPolitics of just how much Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has been spending on professional photographers to take photos of ministerial announcements and events. Since it came to power, it has commissioned photographers torecord more than 2,483 events and spent at least $2.3 million.
The government is spending a quarter of a million dollars on average each year. That amount jumped 68 per cent to nearly $500,000 in the year leading up to the 2011 federal election, fuelled by a 38 per cent increase in the number of photo ops.