The top five Yukon Liquor Corporation executives spent more than $80,000 in travel expenses in the last two years.
The bulk of the money was for two major liquor regulator meetings in Canada, said Virginia Labelle, vice-president of the corporation.
The corporation usually sends three people to each of the meetings, which are held in winter and summer. Labelle and president Ron MacMillan attend and are usually accompanied by the director of licensing and social responsibility.
The winter meeting rotates between Montreal and Toronto, she said. It consists of two separate meetings. One is purely about licensing and is held by the Association of Liquor Licensing Jurisdictions of Canada. The second focuses on all other aspects of selling booze, and is hosted by the Canadian Association of Liquor Jurisdictions.
“We really benefit from hearing what other jurisdictions are doing,” said Labelle.
The Yukon adapted a recent awareness campaign booklet from a Quebec version, she said.
And provinces share their policies on teaching wait staff to serve people responsibly, she added.
The summer meeting is held in different parts of Canada every year.
Subcommittees of the two organizations meet during the year, too. The Yukon sends two executives to the operational and administrative subcommittee, said Labelle.
The only trade show to be frequented by management is the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival in April, she said.
But executives are never paid to go on trips by liquor companies, she said.
“Some other jurisdictions have supplier-paid trips to other countries,” she said. The Yukon orders all its imported alcohol from a list provided by British Columbia.
The liquor corporation’s board charged taxpayers much less for expenses since they can only claim travel within the Yukon.
Only one board member travels from outside Whitehorse, said Labelle. Darlene Sillery has claimed over $6,000 for travelling from Haines Junction for 28 meetings over the last two years.
The total honoraria paid to the five board members over the same period was $25,650.
The liquor corporation’s president, Ron MacMillan, also books several trips a year as president of another territorial Crown corporation, the Yukon Housing Corporation.
In total, the six top executives at housing charged taxpayers $45,067 in two years for travel, said Dale Kozmen, the corporation’s vice-president.
Each trip breaks down to between $2,000 to $3,000, he said.
MacMillan and Kozmen travelled several times last year to negotiate a grant in economic stimulus funding. There is usually a Canada-wide meeting of management from housing corporations once a year, said Kozmen.
Some of the corporation’s engineers also log travel expenses.
Juergen Korn, the research and development project manager at housing, travelled to Texas earlier this year for a speaking engagement.
“Yukon is leading North America in many respects with ventilation and supergreen construction and ventilation,” said Kozmen.
MacMillan also went on the speaking circuit to tout the Yukon’s accomplishments, he said.
There are also annual meetings with territorial counterparts. Once a year, management from across the North meet. The Yukon sends two executives.
And at another meeting, the engineers from all three territories get together. That’s another two flights.
The housing board has a much steeper travel bill than the liquor corporation because members travel into Whitehorse from Faro, Teslin and Judas Creek. Those expenses totalled just over $18,000 in two years.
The board meets every six weeks and holds at least one meeting in the communities a year.
“It’s not a big expense for us,” said Kozmen.
In terms of honoraria, Yukon Housing paid its six-person board $28,450 in the last two years.
Contact James Munson at