CBC CEO Lacroix invoiced $30K worth of illegal expenses

This is awkward:

February 12, 2014

During a regular review of benefits at the end of June 2013, the Corporation’s Human Resources group discovered an error in the way expenses for the President and CEO have been reimbursed for work in Ottawa. As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, CBC/Radio-Canada and its President and CEO are sharing the details of the error and the action taken to address it.

An appendix to the Corporation’s bylaws states that the President and CEO should not be reimbursed for expenses incurred while travelling to Ottawa, the headquarters of the Corporation. Neither the President’s office nor the people who process expense claims were aware of the appendix to the bylaws .The total amount of Ottawa-related expenses dating back to November 2007 was $29, 678.11. The President and CEO claimed these expenses in accordance with the practice in effect when he came in. Upon learning of the appendix and the error, the President immediately expressed his intention to repay the full amount. This has been done.

Here are the actions taken:

  • The President and CEO voluntarily reimbursed the full amount of the error to the Corporation.
  • The Chair of the CBC/Radio-Canada Board of Directors, and the Chair of the Board’s Human Resources and governance Committee and the Chair of the Audit Committee, were informed.
  • At the request of CBC/Radio-Canada, the Corporation’s internal auditors (Deloitte) conducted a review of all material, including all expense claims for the President in Ottawa, since his initial appointment in November 2007.
  • The Office of the Auditor General of Canada was informed of the situation, and the actions taken, as was the Government of Canada.
  • We have made changes to ensure that the senior executive team and the people who process expense claims are aware of all relevant rules governing the Corporation and that those rules are communicated to the entire senior executive team on a regular basis.

As the national public broadcaster, CBC/Radio-Canada takes very seriously its obligation to be transparent and accountable to Canadians. The President’s expenses are proactively posted on our website after they are approved by the Chair of the Board of Directors; they are also reviewed by the internal auditors on a quarterly basis. We want to be transparent so that taxpayers continue to have confidence that their investment is well managed.


13 Responses to “CBC CEO Lacroix invoiced $30K worth of illegal expenses”

  1. Guffman Says:

    Awkward maybe, but hardly surprising.
    Question is, why is this just coming to light now, instead of when it was discovered?

    • BC Blue Says:

      Yup, for 8 months the CBC was running stories about Senate expense abuses while hiding the fact their own CEO had done the same thing

  2. Liz J Says:

    No problem, who’s going to do anything about it? The Conservatives are afraid to interfere with the CBC so we’ll keep on getting fleeced. Hubie knows he’s quite safe in his position for as long as he wants it, no questions asked.

    • BC Blue Says:

      Heritage Minister Shelly Glover must demand a full audit of CBC’s expenses as obviously they can’t be entrusted to do their own

      • brenda young Says:

        Since tax payers pay for the CBC, I would like to see a full audit as they can’t be trusted to do their own.

  3. Bubba Brown Says:

    Schadenfreude !
    Why was this not brought forward earlier?
    Well how do you beat the dead horse of approved Senate expences when you are doing the same thing.?
    Will P. Mandsbridge and Solomon have “specials” for 8 months on this?
    Just askin’

  4. Martin Says:

    So the President didn’t know the rules and mistakenly billed $30,000, which when discovered he quickly paid back. Is this not something like Duffy was attempting?
    Will he be dragged over the coals for days by Solomon and friends as to why he did this; or is it already a non-story around CBC? What other irregularities are being hidden? What is good for the Senate has to apply to another taxpayer funded entity.

    • BC Blue Says:

      No way the CBC can now hide behind not knowing about their own expense laws – ignorance of the law was not a defence accepted for Senate

      Think about it – for 6 years CBC’s internal auditors nor Chair of the Board of Directors caught their CEO’s illegal expenses.

    • Alain Says:

      This is not the same as Duffy, who actually did not break the existing rules/regulations. An official audit confirmed this. This did not stop the media party, Liberals and NDP from whipping up public outrage, and Harper helped them by throwing Duffy to the wolves and ordering him to repay the money. The money was repaid without any law being broken, but the circus continued. I fault the PM for immediately throwing Duffy to the wolves based on the fabricated outrage by the Left. Senators who were found guilty of breaking the rules/regulations or law are a different matter. If the PM did not like the rules that Duffy followed, then change the rules.

      • Guffman Says:

        I don’t blame Harper at all in the Duffy nonsense. While Duffy did not break the rules, he abused the spirit of the rules in claiming expenses he did not actually incur (like far too many on the hill do!). Harper quietly told Duffy to repay the money, he didn’t run to the media and throw him under the bus. It was the media who kept digging and found out that Wright had given Duffy the money to cover the repayment. Then Harper was forced to speak up publicly about it.
        Harper did the right thing here in looking out for taxpayers, as well as the Conservative brand. Duffy did not, by greedily making large housing claims on his expenses through an available loophole in the rules, to pad his already generous salary. Duffy was gaming the system, as many senators I’m sure have done (and much like we have just found out former Gen Leslie has done), as it seemed to be the ongoing practice, and no one ever questioned it, as they should have.
        To this day I don’t understand why Wright repaying the taxpayers out of his own bank account is any scandal. I applaud him for doing it. You’d certainly never catch a Liberal repaying taxpayers out of their own pocket.

        • Alain Says:

          My reference to Harper throwing Duffy to the wolves was not clear I see. I was referring to the end when Wright, who as you state, did absolutely nothing wrong or illegal was along with Duffy thrown under the bus. I still find that Harper mismanaged the whole situation with his knee-jerk reaction to the manufactured outrage by the Left.

        • Guffman Says:

          Sorry Alain, but I read that all the time – that Harper “mismanaged” the whole thing, or threw the senators under the bus. Yet no one explains how else they expected Harper to handle it? Should he have supported Duffy in being “entitled to his entitlements”? As I remember, it was originator of that expression himself, old liberal David Dingwall, who used the same defense Duffy used in that technically, he broke no rules, yet through some sketchy expensing rules, both were bilking the taxpayers for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses and compensations they shouldn’t have.
          And Harper had to let Wright go because he technically DID break the rule of making “a gift” to the tune of $90K, to a senator… even though in this case I see it as a repayment to taxpayers, not a gift to Duffy. Wright was a good man but I think he himself knew the consequence he had to face when all this came to light.
          Harper was between a rock and a hard place and I for one, saw no better way out than the path he took. I like to think that’s what separates a conservative from a liberal, certainly these days anyway – accountability.
          There are other times that I think Harper and the conservatives could practice this better, but not in this case, IMO.
          But you’re welcome to explain to me what you think he should have done differently.

  5. Bubba Brown Says:

    Now if only the 30,000 dollars in inappropiate expenses which was paid back was loaned to Mr Lacroix by a friend.
    That would be a scandal!

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