Canadian taxpayers paid $93,471 in 1992 to furnish a house in suburban Washington for L. Ian MacDonald, author of a favorable biography of former prime minister Brian Mulroney. Expense accounts obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act showed that MacDonald—who was appointed by Mulroney as Canada’s minister of public affairs in Washington in September, 1992— moved into a four-bedroom house in Bethesda, Md., that rents for about $7,000 a month. The $93,471 worth of purchases included $7,158.80 for two sofas upholstered in Italian damask, $5,706.03 for a hand-knotted, pure wool Oriental mg and an area mg, and $3,125.03 for an entertainment unit.
MacDonald, author of the 1984 book Mulroney: the Making of the Prime Minister issued a statement saying that the foreign affairs department “has decided its representatives are afforded the necessary tools to represent the country.” But Terry Colli, a spokesman for Canada’s public affairs bureau in Washington, told Maclean’s that MacDonald’s successor, Paul Frazer, wants to reduce the personal costs
of his posting. Frazer, a 25-year veteran of the foreign affairs department and former ambassador to Czechoslovakia, takes over the post on Labor Day. Colli said Frazer will live in more modest digs—the government has terminated the three-year lease on MacDonald’s house— and intends to use his own furniture. As for the sofas and mgs, they will go into general storage.
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