The government says it will pay David Dingwall as little as it can get away with in a severance package following his departure as head of the Royal Canadian Mint.
Revenue Minister John McCallum also promised today that, if a forthcoming audit shows any impropriety in Dingwall's expense accounts, the money in question will be clawed back.
"The government will pay to Mr. Dingwall only what it is legally required to pay and not a penny more," McCallum said under questioning in the Commons.
"If the independent investigator finds that any of his expenses were inappropriate, the government will retrieve those expenses dollar for dollar."
The comments appeared to mark the first crack in the Liberal defence of Dingwall, who resigned as president of the mint last week after it was disclosed that he and his top aides ran up more than $740,000 in expenses last year.
He went on to announce that the mint's board of directors has appointed the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper to examine Dingwall's expenses.
McCallum gave the former president something less than a full vote of confidence pending the outcome of the review.
"`I am confident Price Waterhouse will do a good job," he said. ``And we shall see whether Mr. Dingwall, according to Price Waterhouse, has indeed obeyed the rules."
David Dingwall might have to scrape by on his $77,000 a year parliamentary pension for a while, until the bean counters have finished putting the screws to one of the last Chretien holdovers in high patronage office.
Paul Martin's neverending leadership contest is a gift that keeps on giving.
Source: Toronto Star