rempel-winetasting_thumb-1.png
rempel-winetasting_thumb-1.png This article is more than 5 years old

Did taxpayers cover Michelle Rempel’s trip to a Conservative wine tasting fundraiser?

What would Michelle Rempel say pairs well with your tax dollars? A Conservative Party fundraising event?

Taxpayers could be feeling sour grapes after a Conservative cabinet minister was spotted mixing and mingling public and party business.

You might even say Michelle Rempel, Canada’s Minister for Western Diversification (“& sommelier”), sunk to a brand new merlot for pairing official government business with a Conservative Party wine tasting fundraiser for an unelected Edmonton-area Conservative candidate at the end of June.

That’s when Rempel showed up in Edmonton to make an official announcement in her role as Minister: 

The official government event was even attended by Garnett Genuis, the unelected Conservative candidate for the new riding of Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan:

But as it happens, that announcement was only an apéritif – quicker than you can pronounce gewürztraminer, Rempel was at an East Indian buffet house in suburban Edmonton raising money for Genuis, the same unelected Conservative candidate tweeting photos at her official government event.

“Mix and mingle with Michelle Rempel and local Conservative candidate Garnett Genuis,” reads the promo for the $100 per head Conservative fundraising event, adding that attendees “will receive a tax receipt for $75 of the ticket price.”

“Taste some of [Rempel and Genuis’] favourite wines and enjoy a fabulous Indian food buffet”:

rempel-mixandmingle-poster.jpg

And evidently Conservative donors even learned a thing or two about Italian wines at the Genuis #wine fundraiser:

Genuis is formerly an assistant to the Director of Policy in Stephen Harper’s Prime Minister’s Office and ran unsuccessfully for the Wildrose Party in the 2012 Alberta provincial election.

Did Rempel expense taxpayers for the trip to Edmonton? Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford, Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre and several other ministers have been observed blurring the line between public and party business before.

While taxpayers are still waiting for Rempel to disclose her expenses, piggy backing Conservative fundraisers on official government business would keep with the pattern Rempel’s already established.

On the morning of April 16, Rempel spoke at the Western Innovation Forum 2015:

The next morning in Vancouver, before flying to Banff, Rempel hosted a fundraiser for the local Conservative electoral district association:

That trip cost taxpayers $1646.42, including $389 for one night accommodations. 

Later in April, Rempel held a talk with local business leaders in Selkirk, Manitoba:

Later that night, Rempel was spotted at a fundraiser for Conservative MP James Bezan:

How much did that trip cost taxpayers? $2689.10, including $358 for two nights accommodation.

Photo: Caliterra, fir0002. Used under Creative Commons license.

Help us protect Canadians by holding the powerful accountable.

Journalism is an important public service. That’s why PressProgress is prioritizing stories aimed at keeping Canadians safe and holding the powerful accountable during the coronavirus pandemic.

Please consider supporting our award-winning non-profit news organization so we can keep making a positive impact for Canadians.

 

Support Our Journalism
PressProgress
PressProgress is an award-winning non-profit news organization focused on uncovering and unpacking the news through original investigative and explanatory journalism.

Most Shared

thumb-2021-06-022 News

Doug Ford’s Government Cut Education By More Than Half a Billion Dollars, New Report Finds

Related Stories

News

Ontario PC MPP Held Shares in Amazon As Government Faced Criticism Over Outbreaks at Amazon Warehouses

View the post
Explainer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
News Brief

Zero Per Cent of Manitobans Say They Are ‘Very Satisfied’ With Brian Pallister’s Handling of COVID-19 Pandemic, Poll Finds

View the post

Explainers

Power and democracy

Andrea Reimer

Why Canadian Politics Does Such a Bad Job at Reflecting Working Class Values

View the post
Politics & strategy

Tom Parkin

Why Jason Kenney is Playing Politics with the Horrific Legacy of Canada’s Residential Schools

View the post
Work & rights

Liz Walker and Shanice Regis-Wilkins

Here is What Everyone in Canada Needs To Know About How Collective Bargaining Really Works

View the post