08/02/2012 09:55 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. premier's office defends hefty credit card bill

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark's office tallied up a credit card bill pushing half a million dollars last year, but her office says there are good reasons behind the tab.

The province's final books for the last fiscal year show the B.C. premier's office put $475,015 on credit cards, more than twice what Clark's predecessor Gordon Campbell racked up.

But Clark's spokesman Mike Morton says Clark conducted two trips to Asia, including one that was the biggest in the province's history, and hosted two important premier's conferences.

The credit card bills include meals in some of Vancouver and Victoria's most posh restaurants.

At Vancouver's Bishop's, her office dropped $2,279 and at Victoria's Ferris Oyster Bar, some $3,267 was spent.

The credit card statements also detail flights and lists other odd bits such as $433 spent at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

"These are all audited; these are a part of the public accounts," said Morton.

He pointed out that the credit card bills are "a totally separate matter" from the auditor general's review of spending by legislature members.

That audit prompted the committee that manages the legislature to pledge that all operational costs would be posted online every quarter in future. (News1130)