Polak questions lack of transparency around Education Minister’s European tour

Mary Polak

BC Liberal House Leader Mary Polak is questioning exactly what the NDP Education Minister is doing in Paris, as his office has not released a public itinerary.

“The fact that there is no public schedule for Rob Fleming’s $40,000 European junket is concerning and certainly unusual,” said Polak on Tuesday. “It’s customary for ministers to release information on their travel plans and meetings while conducting government business abroad. If British Columbians are expected to foot the bill, they should at least be able to see where their Education Minister is going and what he’s doing with their money.”

Polak notes there also appears to be discrepancies between who is paying for whom on this trip. The NDP says the costs are being covered separately by each party, but the Vancouver School Board says the government is actually paying for Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman, even though the VSB has an existing recruitment budget.

“There is no doubt we want British Columbia to have a world-class education system,” said Polak. “But once again, this trip looks like the classic NDP approach to governing which is to spend first and answer questions later.”