POLITICS

Refugee health care fight cost feds $1.4 million in legal fees

01/28/2015 10:19 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT
The federal government is refusing to reveal the full price tag for its ongoing legal battle over the interim refugee health program.

But so far, the tally exceeds $1.4 million.

Last December, Toronto New Democrat MP Andrew Cash filed a written request seeking the total amount spent on legal fees and related costs to date.

He also requested the estimated tab for the appeal of last year's decision by the Federal Court, which ruled that the decision to cancel the program was unconstitutional.

In a response tabled on Monday, Justice Minister Peter MacKay stated that the total legal cost is "approximately" $1,431,148.83

That, however, doesn't include the money spent by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which also was asked to reply to the question.

In his response, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander acknowledged that his department would also have "incurred costs" as a result of the litigation, including responding to information requests from opposing counsel, preparing affidavits and related activities.

"However, it is not possible to define these costs with any reasonable degree of accuracy," his reply continues.

"Departmental financial systems do not track such activity, nor do they record time expended by litigation file."

Mobile users: Read the full response here.