Rob Ford’s talking points for the next six to nine months: audit finds ample gravy flowing through Toronto Community Housing
This morning’s headlines were full of anticipation for today’s release of an audit of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, filled with quotes from allies of Rob Ford saying things like, “We have to stop it. We can’t let it go on” (Doug Holyday). The audit has been released, and the juicy details are now being revealed. According to the Globe and Mail, Toronto auditor general Jeff Griffiths found:
Banquet-hall Christmas dinners for $53,500 in 2008 and $40,000 in 2009; $1,925 for a “divisional planning meeting at a local spa”; $6,000 for a planning session in Muskoka; and $1,850 spent on a four-hour cruise for “staff training and development.”
The report also notes that $5,000 was spent on entertainment at a downtown restaurant “approved by the individual who incurred the expense” but with “no documented reason for the expense” or any record of who was there.
“In each case, there is no bill supporting the expenditure other than a copy of a credit card slip.”
Griffiths said this list was “by no means exhaustive,” which totally inspires confidence. TCHC says they’ve already taken action in response to the audit, firing offenders and strengthening policies. All of that would sound great, except that Griffiths’s audit didn’t find fault with TCHC’s policies, just with the fact that nobody seemed to be following them. In an on-line statement (hilariously posted next to a “Canada’s Top 100 Employers” badge), TCHC said it could get on board with that.
The best news out of all of this is that the mayor finally has a new bunch of talking points that he can use as examples of municipal gravy. He got something like six months of use out of Kyle Rae’s June 2010 retirement party, after all. (We’re pretty sure he mentioned it in council in December, and he was certainly still talking about it in November interviews.) Thanks to the work of TCHC, our mayor has clear examples of waste to keep him in talking points at least until July or August.
• Toronto housing corporation flouted its own spending rules, audit finds [Globe and Mail]
• Audit Reports [City of Toronto]
• Toronto Community Housing improving financial oversight [Toronto Community Housing]