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Tory minister denies demanding compensation for lost $5,000 coat

Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Oct. 21, 2010.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis is denying allegations made before a parliamentary committee that he directly or indirectly asked the owner of a construction firm to compensate him for the loss of a $5,400 cashmere coat.

Mr. Paradis's spokesman said Tuesday the minister's coat was indeed stolen at a 2009 fundraiser organized by Paul Sauvé, the president of construction firm LM Sauvé. However, spokesman Richard Walker provided a receipt for a coat that cost $600 (after a $150 discount), which Mr. Paradis bought in 2006 at a store in his riding.

In the police report that was filed after the theft by another one of Mr. Paradis's aides, the coat and accompanying keys are listed as being worth an estimated $900.

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Mr. Walker said that after the event, Mr. Paradis simply asked the Conservative riding association if he could be compensated $400 for the theft of the coat at the event where he had been the guest of honour.

The request for the compensation was made by one of Mr. Paradis's staffers, who spoke about the matter to Gilles Prud'Homme, a senior official in the Conservative riding association of Bourassa.

Mr. Prud'Homme would have then directed the request to Mr. Sauvé, who said at a committee hearing on Tuesday morning that he was deeply "insulted" by the request.

Mr. Sauvé said that he was told at the time that the coat was worth $5,400 and could be found at Holt Renfrew.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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