05/07/2013 04:56 EDT | Updated 07/07/2013 05:12 EDT

James Moore, Heritage Minister, Miffed Taxpayers Paid For Archivist's Spanish Lessons


OTTAWA - The head of Library and Archives Canada has landed in agua caliente — hot water — after billing taxpayers almost $4,500 for personal Spanish lessons.

Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore says he intends to speak "very soon" to Daniel Caron about the inappropriate spending.

And judging from Moore's clipped responses in the House of Commons, the conversation won't be a pleasant one.

Moore says Caron's spending on Spanish lessons is outside Library and Archives Canada's mandate to preserve the country's documentary heritage.

The issue arose after QMI Agency reported that Caron spent $4,482 in 2011-12 to learn Spanish.

He also signed up for another $10,000 worth of lessons the following year but apparently did not spend any further money brushing up on his espanol.

"Spending at Library and Archives Canada must be directed at serving Canadians, not serving one's self and I'll be having that conversation with the head of Library and Archives Canada," Moore told the Commons on Tuesday.

Liberal MP Scott Simms said he hoped the conversation would be "a nasty one."

And New Democrat MP Andrew Cash urged Moore to "say adios to this kind of waste under his watch."

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