Red River Rip. The New Aristocrats socialize and you pay.
You paid for the food. But you weren't invited.
That's because you're a troll and Forsyth and her guests are the New Aristocrats.
Forsyth, during her Golf Shoe phone blitz on Friday, declared that people should be grateful to her for hosting a dinner party at home. After all, she sniffed, she could have gone to a restaurant. See, she actually saved you money.
This is the mind-set of the New Aristocracy. The idea that the public shouldn't cover the cost of a restaurant get-together either didn't even rate a thought. To people of her ilk the fact that her evenings out are paid for by the hoi polloi is a given and not up for debate.
We repeat ourselves: Stephanie Forsyth has an office. Her guest at dinner was NDP cabinet minister Kerri Irwin-Ross. She has an office. Business is conducted during business hours and could, and should, be conducted in either business office. Everything else is socializing. It's something you do on your own time and at your own expense.
A bus driver hosting a barbeque at which he discusses bus routes with a city councillor can't go running to Winnipeg Transit and get his steaks and weenies paid for.
But when the New Aristocrats want to have dinner at home they call it 'business' and get the students of Red River and the taxpayer to subsidize their chowdown.
Forsyth is defended by people like Margo Goodhand, the former editor of the Winnipeg Free Press.
Of course Goodhand is a closet friend of Stephanie Forsyth's. When Goodhand wanted a talk show killed on the radio station hosted by Red River College, she made a clandestine phone call to Forsyth and it was done. (Unfortunately, so was the entire radio station once the CRTC discovered it was being run illegally by Forsyth in violation of broadcasting regulations.)
In fact, we wonder if Goodhand was the beneficiary of any of Forsyth's socializing under the guise of business. We can't find out because the Red River College President is refusing to release the details of the $78,000 in expenses she piled up in her first 16 months on the job.
Too much paperwork, and people don't want that, she said Friday.
The Board of Governors promised a whitewash review of her expenses. "Whitewash" because Board chairman Richard Lennon outright said Friday that her expenses were within college guidelines even without looking at them item by item.
Of course, we can't trust the Board.
And he approved repaying Stephanie Forsyth $2 for parking. Yes, that's right. She gets paid more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, charges almost $5000 a month for expenses, and expected to be paid back for spending $2 on parking.
So whitewash it will be.
Which brings us back to the dinner party at Stephanie Forsyth's house.
On Aug. 3, somebody spent $107 at Superstore buying food for the homecooked meal for NDP Housing Minister Kerri Irwin-Ross and unknown others. On Sept. 26, Forsyth submitted an expense claim for reimbursement of the $107. The receipt for the food, she noted, was lost.
You see, Richard Lennon stated Friday when defending Forsyth's extravagances, that he was satisfied she had followed college guidelines on her $78,000 in expenses.
You guessed it. We looked up the college policy and reimbursing expenses which they call Best Practices guidelines.
Words have meaning. "Must" is defined by Webster's as compulsion, obligation or necessity.
In the words of the little people---no receipt, no repayment. Not to mention she filed 54 days later.
Then there's the requirement that the claimant file reports on what was discussed at the alleged business meeting and the persons present.
We're interested in who got to eat on our dime. There was Stephanie Forsyth and Kerri Irwin-Ross, whose portfolio doesn't appear to cover Red River College. We're guessing Forsyth's girlfriend Deborah Scarborough was at the table, after all she lives there. So now we're paying for the meals of the college president and her 'spouse'. Kerri Irwin-Ross may have had an escort, who ate at our expense. And two mystery guests.
Don't you think we deserve at least the names of who we're feeding?
Oh, and there's still the question of who prepared the meal. Stephanie Forsyth in an apron? Or ... Let's say a little birdie has been singing even before spring has sprung.
Question of the Day: Why did CTV not report on the Forsyth spending scandal? Not a word on Thursday when the story broke, and on Friday when she hit the phone to deflect the heat. Curious.