Webster pays back $40 hotel movie charge

Teresa Wright
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Deputy Premier George Webster

Deputy Premier George Webster says he has paid back $40 charged to taxpayers for an in-room movie during a hotel stay in Texas.

Webster says he still does not remember watching any movie in his room, but after reviewing the receipts he acknowledged the amount should not have been expensed to taxpayers.

“One has to always scrutinize their invoices that they receive and it was an oversight on my behalf,” Webster said.

“I did not pick it up and nor did my staff actually pick that up on my account bill, and as a result we reviewed it and I was only too glad to repay it, and I did.”

The issue was raised in the legislature Thursday when the Opposition Tories tabled a detailed invoice for a hotel expense claimed by Webster in 2011 when he was in Texas for an agriculture conference.

The hotel invoice included a $38.77 charge for a movie.

Webster said Thursday he did not recall ordering or watching any movies in his room, suggesting a staffer may have done so unbeknownst to him.

On Friday, he continued to deny any knowledge or memory of an in-room movie.

“Maybe I came in and sat on the remote, I don’t know,” he said.

“I did not watch a movie, I don’t watch movies, I very rarely go to a movie on Prince Edward Island. If that happened, the charges on your room, what can you do about it? The only thing I can do about it is pay it personally.”

He says he reimbursed the $40 on Friday morning.

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Geographic location: Texas, Prince Edward Island

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Recent comments

  • brian
    April 13, 2014 - 16:19

    Really, forty dollars?? Go report on how the taxpayer is getting ripped off in big ways it shouldn't be that hard.

  • don
    April 13, 2014 - 14:56

    i think it is time the books of this so called honest mla's be checked and NOT by the government but an HONEST PERSON. i wonder how many times is our cars and credit cards used for trips off island for example the speaker of the house any car that we the tax payers pay for they should be forced to prove every mile was for work. but we know they can not do it.

  • yolanda
    April 13, 2014 - 10:36

    What a forgiving lot Islanders are, - but there is an interesting tread in all this, --- everybody is missing the real issue of honestly, accountability, and integrity in the system taxpayers support. Would not someone have caught this mistake? There are financial officers in every department, that are supposed to watch that these things don't happen. If there is an attitude that $ 40.- is not worth looked at, there are serious problems, many $ 40.- items passing as o.k. can make a big amount. Everybody should be asking, where is the fault, - and we want it stopped. Are there greater amounts being billed to the taxpayers, because the 'watchdogs' are inept? It is too bad that it appears most folks are too poorly educated to understand this.

  • Liberal Dong
    April 12, 2014 - 20:18

    To all to whom it might concern who sits in our legislature building, stop the petty stuff and pat the sweaty stuff, stop wasting our taxpayers dollars on child's play, get on to the real issues that are affecting our island.

  • Johnny Cash
    April 12, 2014 - 11:20

    Big Deal, you obviously belong to the " It must be Great Club" ; people who resent anyone for anything they have that they don't have and therefore often say, it must be great to have nice trips, etc., etc. The Tories finally got rid of Crane partly because of her need to seek and shovel as much dirt as she could on her opponents. It seems that the rest of you Tories are doing the same thing, digging, digging , hopefully, into a big hole where you belong. You are petty , small minded and embarrassing to yourselves . I feel embarrassed for you! To think you would waste so much time on such trivial things just goes to show how trivial your minds are. If this is how you run your party, I pity us if you ever get elected. Hey, did you investigate if Docherty or Webster may have had a piece of cherry cheesecake with extra cherries or heaven forbid a cocktail with an extra lemon twist? Why not put security cameras in every Liberal's back pocket in case they purchase a roll of toilet paper on government money!!! And if the toilet paper is extra soft, well , bingo you really got them!!!!! Keep up your petty garbage so we will be assured you will never get in.

    • Jeff
      April 12, 2014 - 14:14

      Your comment is the biggest one here. If you want to push your political preferences on everyone else, maybe YOU should get come out from behind your computer where it's so anonymous and do something instead of doing exactly what everyone else here is doing; flapping your gums. The point that's trying to be made here by the opposition is that this type of thing is happening. Its all to do with principle, not amount... which may be a good thing for some of the politicians...

  • Walt
    April 12, 2014 - 09:52

    Seriously, this fuss about a movie or probably not a movie maybe a meal. Who cares? It is less than $40. Mr Webster be more careful and Conservatives grow up. If this is the biggest scandal you can find fold up you tents and go home. If you want a scandal! Ask Wes The HST how he is going to fix a house building industry he has destroyed.

  • Big Deal
    April 12, 2014 - 09:33

    Big deal : When something like this pop's up . One has to wonder just how much of this fleecing the taxpayer is going on . Let's face it , they get high pay , all expenses paid , nice trips all over the world & still they abuse their credit cards . Multiply this by the number of MLA's & Civil servants we have on PEI doing the same thing . One doesn't have to wonder very hard to understand why we are 2 billion in the RED & paying $130,000 in interest payments per year . Sure makes us taxpayers look like real SUCKERS .

  • rob gray
    April 12, 2014 - 08:12

    how much did it cost to find out about the $40.00?

  • EPIC
    April 12, 2014 - 08:02

    This is the best news ever! I wonder what he watched!

  • Juanita winslow
    April 12, 2014 - 08:01

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people are worked up over George Webster's $40 from several years ago and Valerie Docherty's $16, yet they let go of the $8.5 MILLION dollar road that we did not need between New Haven and Bonshaw??? Seriously $56 dollars vs. $8.5 Million? No wonder the rest of Canada thinks we are "small potatoes" that continue to feed off the Federal Momma and can't support ourselves.

  • David Cahill
    April 12, 2014 - 07:28

    its just wonderful that they solved the case of the 37.00$ and change. Now can they look at there own expenditures and "BRING DOWN THE BUDGIT" with some of there own spending "mishaps an misfortunes"!!!!Humm.

  • Ya right
    April 12, 2014 - 06:34

    "Maybe I came in and sat on the remote, I don't know", says Mr. Webster. Not all Islanders fell off a turnip truck, George. Me thinks George might have been watching Little Red Riding Hood but not the cartoon version...hahaha!

  • Jim
    April 12, 2014 - 05:53

    Have to agree with Sean Matheson on this one . Really sad state of affairs when this is all our PC party can blabber on about. I travel quite a bit and have been charged for services I had not recieved also. It happens. Time they sat down and did something that will make them look like a party worthy of support. And this isn`t doing it nit picking over a movie or a room upgrade. Please (GROW UP ) .Make a party worthy of respect ! Not the PC party I have lost all respect for . Sorry you have lost my vote ,but it won`t be a Liberal vote either. Time for a change to NDP

  • Mike Roberts
    Mike Roberts
    April 11, 2014 - 23:44

    Wow, this is news...

  • rob
    April 11, 2014 - 20:51

    its not about the amount!! its that they think they are entitled to spend tax payers dollars on such foolishness,,you do understand that they get an annual salary ( a damn good one), that the tax payer also pays for!! and whats with these damn texts below,NO ONE GOT TIME FOR DAT!!

  • fed up with it all
    April 11, 2014 - 20:23

    what is sad is that he didn't realize there was an extra $40 on his bill. This man is an elected official and is supposed to be running our province, no wonder we are in the state we are in. How many fiscally responsible people would not notice $40 on their bill

  • jimbob
    April 11, 2014 - 20:13

    There can't be very many pressing issues in Parlaiment these days when the opposition has nothing better to do than quibble over a $40 dollar movie charge so what if he did watch a movie iy's not the end of the world. I've been a tax payer all my life and if that is all the extras a polition charged besides lodging and meals while on a trip such as that. I think the tax payer got off pretty cheap. The rest of the world must be laughing themselves silly over this stupidity..

  • something
    April 11, 2014 - 20:11

    Were the movies general audience rating ?

  • Yikes
    April 11, 2014 - 20:07

    No government minister should be abusing tax dollars like that. Shameful.

  • Sunnyroadz
    April 11, 2014 - 20:05

    Sad indeed. They are embarrassing themselves with this nitpicking when there is more important issues to be dealing with.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    April 11, 2014 - 19:32

    If Webster is telling the truth about not watching a movie why isn't he asking the hotel to investigate and adjust his bill if necessary or checking to see who on his staff was responsible? That's what I or any other hotel guest would do when we see a questionable charge on our tab. However I have to agree with Sean. This incident is too minor for the PEI cons to wasting so much time on. Get back to the real business of the house please.

    • huh
      April 13, 2014 - 07:36

      Its been three years! What could possibly be accomplished by calling a hotel about a charge from 2011?

  • WayneDrops
    April 11, 2014 - 19:13

    Wow... Yet they won't criticize Duffy ... Quite a bunch

  • Sean Matheson
    April 11, 2014 - 19:11

    Are you serious ? Really this is what the PEI cons have been reduced to. What a sad, sad little group they have become.

  • Sean Matheson
    April 11, 2014 - 19:09

    Are you serious ? Really this is what the PEI cons have been reduced to. What a sad, sad little group they have become.

    • Adam Baldwin
      April 12, 2014 - 01:34

      This is Absolutely Hillarious! First of all, anybody who knows this man could verify that he is about the most genunine, honest, reputable man that they ever met! Knowing this man I assure you he doesn't watch movies and hasn't for as long as i have known him. This is clearly a political tactic to discredit one of the most honest politicians this province has ever had. Honestly folks it is sickening to watch a bunch of grown adults get on with this childish behaviour and know that they are the ones that are looking to lead our province! With all the major issues this place is faced with these days i'm sure that the salaries wasted discussing this $40 has added up to alot more then that. Stop wasting tax payers time on minor trivial issues. Start acting like professionals and all play nice in the sandbox to achieve a common goal, which would be to run this place as effectively as possible.

    • SlyFox
      April 12, 2014 - 08:48

      Myer's is using this expense to show the mindset of some politicians.It tells the taxpayers that the politician's do not mind wasting taxpayers dollars for their own benefit. Sure it might not be much on one bill but how many times has this been done over the course of their term? But this is still not the real issue,the real issue is some politicians feel they are entitled to this. Think back o a certain MLA and his food expense and his reply for his actions and you will see Myer's point.

    • huh
      April 12, 2014 - 10:24

      @SlyFox. Trouble is, one charge, from 2011 no less, doesn't show anything.