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Minister's hotel stay on Hydro tab raises questions: union

The union representing B.C. Hydro workers is calling on energy, mines and petroleum resources minister Blair Lekstrom to explain why the public utility paid for his stay at a luxury hotel during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

"There are some pretty significant questions that need to be asked here, first and foremost: why are BC Hydro ratepayers paying for Lekstrom to live it up at a luxury hotel during the Olympics?" asked Andy Ross, president of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378, in a news release.

The Tyee reported yesterday that B.C. Hydro invoiced the government on March 4 for five nights Lekstrom spent at the Fairmont Waterfront hotel in Vancouver in February. Nine days earlier spokespeople for both B.C. Hydro and the ministry had told the Tyee that the Crown corporation was not paying for Lekstrom's stay.

"The follow up question, of course, is why were Lekstrom and BC Hydro only dealing with this issue after The Tyee found out about the hotel tab?" said Ross. "Why was he there, what was he doing, and why didn't the Minister just use his government expense account if he was in Vancouver on government business, or why didn't he just pay for it himself?"

Lekstrom was in Hudson's Hope yesterday participating in the announcement that the province is proceeding towards building the Site C hydroelectric dam on the Peace River.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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