Two New Yorkers who travelled on an all-expenses-paid trip to Quebec City to testify in favour of four-year-old kindergarten at a parliamentary committee rendered “a service to the nation of Quebec,” declared Education Minister Jean-François Roberge Wednesday.
The minister said the $4,825 expense was justified spending to cover the travel, accommodation and food expenses of Carlyn A. Rahynes and Rafael Alvarez.
The two are responsible for implementing a universal four-year-old pre-kindergarten network in New York. They testified on June 5 in favour of the minister’s Bill 5.
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Normally, groups travelling to Quebec City to present a dissertation are expected to cover their own expenses.
Wednesday, opposition parties at the national assembly joined forces to denounce the situation.
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They argue it is unacceptable to use public funds to reimburse the expenses of allies — but refuse to do so for all other groups.
Roberge’s reply: that the two New Yorkers rendered “a service to the nation of Quebec.”
He is refusing to reimburse Quebec taxpayers, saying they will get “a return on their exceptional investment.”
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