Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley yesterday pinned a $3,400 tab in limousine rides on a rare disease that affects her vision and prevents her from driving her own car.
"At this point in time, my doctors have advised against it," she told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons.
Ms. Finley has a genetic condition called Graves disease that requires her to wear sunglasses indoors.
Yesterday, she scrambled to respond to accusations from Opposition critics that she had frivolously spent taxpayers' money.
The Liberal Party made public several invoices that show Ms. Finley hired a limousine company several times last year to travel to and from public events.
According to the documents, Ms. Finley's House of Commons office was billed $861.35 for a limousine ride to attend a luncheon meeting last April.
In July, Ms. Finley's office received another invoice -- $752.60 for limousine rides to and from Winnipeg airport to attend a Universal Child Care Benefit cheque presentation.
And in September, documents show, Ms. Finley travelled in a limo for three consecutive days at a total cost of $1,849.50.
"The minister spent more on one four-hour limo ride than her Conservative government gives to parents in one year," said Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, possibly referring to a Conservative initiative to give parents $100-a-month child-care allocation.
Ms. Finley was Human Resources Minister when her office received those invoices.
Yesterday, she insisted the word "limousine" was a misnomer, although the company that invoiced her office is Canada Limousine Inc.
"It's, I believe the model is a Crown Victoria but it's not a limousine, no."