Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sex toys, lingerie show up on government bill, lol

Sex toys, lingerie show up on government bill
NDP blasts B.C. for questionable spending; Minister says sexy purchases result of credit card fraud
Lindsay Kines, Times Colonist Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The B.C. government blamed credit card fraud yesterday for a number of eyebrow-raising purchases that showed up on provincial credit card bills last year.

The NDP asked Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon during question period why his ministry spent $300 at Honey Gifts Incorporated in 2005-2006.

"On its website Honey Gifts specializes in adult sex toys, lubricants and lingerie," NDP critic Guy Gentner said. "My question to the Minister of Transportation is: Why was the ministry's credit cards used to purchase such items."

Gentner and NDP house leader Mike Farnworth also questioned Falcon about a $191 payment to JDate dating service that show up on purchase card transactions in the 2005-2006 Public Accounts.

Noting that he is responsible for a $1-billion budget, Falcon said he was unable to comment on specific line items in a credit card bill.

But he said ministry staff did uncover multiple cases of credit card fraud last year, and he accused the NDP of using that to malign the government and the public service.

"This was a case of credit card fraud where the numbers were stolen, as happens every day unfortunately throughout North America," Falcon told reporters. "Individuals -- not individuals in government -- but individuals who committed the fraud then went and made these purchasing decisions.

"Obviously that's inappropriate, but those cards were cancelled and credits were provided by the credit card companies back to government."

The Transportation Ministry confirmed that the Honey Gifts and JDate purchases were fraudulent, as was a $295.92 charge to Laska Maria Entertainment, which offers sex-toy parties.

"I think it's very unfortunate the Opposition would bring that up in the house," Falcon said.

The minister declined to answer further Opposition questions during estimate debates about how many frauds his ministry uncovered, and how much money was involved. Instead, he advised the NDP to submit written questions.

The NDP also asked the government about a ministry expenditure of $3,263 at Village Ski Hut Ltd. in Nelson. The ministry said it spent the money legitimately as part of its snow avalanche program.