"The Old Port has agreed to put in place a third-party, independent member to oversee all expenditures going forward," Ambrose told the Commons during question period on Tuesday.
The auditor general is already conducting a special review of spending at the Old Port, a subsidiary of the Crown-owned Canada Lands Corp.
Both government and opposition MPs reviewing president Claude Benoit's spending said Tuesday that her justification for a $10,000 South Pacific trip did not pass scrutiny.
And members of the Commons ethics committee decided to ignore Benoit's request to keep her official report on the trip private.
"I don't see anything here that is confidential and in my view this was a personal vacation that was largely, or in part, paid for by taxpayers and I'd like Canadians and others to have a look at it and make that determination for themselves," said Dean Del Mastro, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister.
Benoit billed the Old Port for $10,000 in expenses related to 12 days of work during a 29-day personal vacation to Australia and New Zealand in late 2008 and early 2009.
She said she was gathering information of benefit to the corporation regarding other waterfront institutions, although she has conceded she did not meet any local officials.
For example, she visited a Star Wars exhibit in Sydney that the Old Port was negotiating to bring to Montreal.
Benoit produced a 115-page report upon her return, which she says was designed to help inspire the Crown corporation or serve as a reference point in their own planning.
That report, designed in a presentation-type format, is photo-heavy. Benoit zeros in on various ports, wharfs and institutions in Australia and New Zealand, providing observations on choices those cities have made for their waterfronts — such as public spaces and services for pleasure boaters.
For example, in a section entitled "Direction signs, signage and lighting," Benoit's comments attached to photos of Sydney's Darling Harbour indicate it lacked a "unified or harmonious approach."
She visited a giant ferris wheel in Melbourne, noting that a British company had approached the Old Port of Montreal with a similar idea.
But MPs in committee said they were not impressed.
NDP MP Charlie Angus produced a spoof report, asking an intern to pull photos of the places Benoit had visited from Google and Flickr.
"It seems to me we're being asked to use confidentiality in what is almost a cover-up," Angus said of Benoit's request the report be kept secret.
"I think that's not the role of our committee. I think the public should be able to see it and the public ought to be able to make up their minds."
Old Port of Montreal spokeswoman Nadia Paquet said the agency would not have any comment until after the auditor general completed his report.
Benoit told the committee earlier this month that she has followed all spending rules. Old Port of Montreal board chairman Gerry Weiner also defended Benoit, saying he had full confidence in her.
Weiner and his predecessor Bernard Roy have said they had not seen the report Benoit produced following the South Pacific trip.Suggest a correction