Ignatieff rents Taj Mahal of toilets

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff appeared to be flush with cash when he held a garden party...

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff appeared to be flush with cash when he held a garden party Wednesday, renting Ottawa's most luxurious porta-potty for the occasion. Pictured here is a glimpse of the granite sink inside. (QMI Agency)

Elizabeth Thompson, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 7:42 PM ET

OTTAWA – He has been dumping on the government, accusing it of extravagance and waste.

However, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff appears to be flush with cash this week, renting Ottawa’s most luxurious porta-potty.

Instead of the usual hold-your-nose plastic cubicles, members of the media and Ignatieff’s caucus attending a garden party Wednesday were surprised to find the Taj Mahal of portable toilets with granite countertops, wood paneling and almond-scented hand soap.

Renting a regular portable toilet costs $150. The two cabin Lux2 will set you back $1,500.

“There’s a dramatic price difference but a dramatic quality difference as well,” said Tim Wiesner, sales manager for Lacombe Toilet Rentals.

Wiesner said the Lux2 has just arrived in Ottawa and is the most luxurious loo in town. The Stornoway garden party was the first time it has been used.

Michael O’Shaunessy, spokesman for Ignatieff, pooh-poohed critics.

He said the tab for the toilet is $1,600 and the Liberal Party has rented it for a week to accommodate three garden parties the Liberal leader is hosting – one for the media and caucus, one for Laurier Club donors and one for the staff.

“We had complaints last year from people at our garden parties saying (the toilets) weren’t very clean.”

It’s not the most palatial porta-potty available, he said, pointing out there is a portable toilet on the market that features a fireplace.

O’Shaunessy said the party also economized by having Stornoway’s resident chef prepare the food rather than having the event catered.

The Lux2 was in sharp contrast to the view that greeted guests when they arrived for the garden party.

Poking fun at the $1.1 billion the government is spending on the upcoming G8 and G20 leaders summits and the Muskoka-like backdrop the government has planned for the media centre in Toronto, the Liberals set up their own $19.95 version of “Fake Lake” consisting of a children’s wading pool and plastic ducks surrounded by plastic Muskoka chairs and a picture of a lake.

NDP MP Thomas Mulcair was quick to point out the contradiction.

“On the one hand he’s lecturing the government on extravagant spending. On the other hand he’s going out and renting a gold-plated loo.”

elizabeth.thompson@sunmedia.ca


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