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CBC PEI - 15 April 2004

Brown defends use of government car

WebPosted Apr 14 2004 06:23 PM ADT

CHARLOTTETOWN — A moonlighting minister is taking some heat over using his government car to get to his second job. Tourism minister Phillip Brown helps his wife clean post offices in the westrn end of Prince Edward Island.

Oppostion member Ron MacKinley brought the issue to the floor of Province House on Wednesday.

He told the house the Liberal office has been getting phone calls from people who see Brown driving to his second job with his taxpayer funded vehicle.

MacKinley went straight to the point. " A question to the minister of tourism," he told the house. "Last week were you cleaning the post office up in your own area?"

"I was mopping the floor at the post office in Wellington," responded a clearly uncomfortable Brown.

The tourism minister said he and his wife have held the cleaning contracts for years.

When MacKinley refused to relent, Brown became upset.

"This is a personal situation," he said. "And I'm quite taken aback that the member thinks this is some kind of issue that he wants to bring to the floor of the legislature."

"He doesn't understand it, he's been at the trough so long," countered MacKinley. "The question is why would he have the government car there? "You're the minister, why take the government car to do this work?"

Brown told the legislature that as a MLA and minister he is always on the job. Therefore he has a right to use his government car all the time.