Praise flowed in from politicians of all stripes when former governor general Michaelle Jean was named the first woman leader of la Francophonie four years ago, but her support appears less unanimous as she prepares to seek another term.
Jean was named secretary general of the French-speaking nations’ organization in 2014, with a promise to promote economic development, gender equality and dialogue, especially among the developing African nations.
But in recent months she has been dogged by questions about her expenses, leading one Conservative MP to suggest she has become an embarrassment to Canada.
The expenses, which were reported by Quebecor media outlets, include a $500,000 renovation to her rented Paris residence and a $20,000 piano.
Quebec MP Alupa Clarke recently asked Francophonie Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau how the Liberal party could justify supporting Jean for a second term given her “total lack of transparence” in refusing to publicly explain the expenses.
Clarke’s colleague, Gerard Deltell, also piled on, claiming that “only Liberals” could be proud of Jean’s reign.