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Sarah-Maude Lefebvre July 10, 2012
Original French Text: http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2012/07/09/une-lexus-aux-frais-de-luniversite
A vice-president of Concordia will drive around in a luxurious Lexus at the university’s expense, courtesy of a generous benefits program for executives.
Le Journal had confirmation of the granting of a negotiated contract between the university and a Montreal Lexus distributor for a value of $37 155.22 for the rental of an RX 350 model car.
The university, which has made headlines multiple times in the past, notably for the severance packages given out to its executives, offers a generous benefits program for the rental of a car for its six vice-presidents. They see themselves given $900 each month for the rental and maintenance of a car of their choice.
According to the university’s spokesperson, Cléa Desjardins, the majority of vice-presidents don’t use this sum to rent a car but collect it every month all the same.
This advantage is in addition to the vice-presidents’ salaries, which vary between $150 000 and $275 000 each year.
As for him, Bram Freedman, vice-president of institutional relations and secretary-general, set his heart on a Lexus RX 350, a deluxe car with a sale price of more than $45 000, without options.
French-speakers more modest
This practice seems to have spread very little in the university environment. As for the French-speaking universities, only the University of Montreal offers a grant of $1 600 per year to its high-level managers for their car. At UQAM, the president Claude Corbo renounced this benefit when he took over the position.
Only the other large English-speaking university, McGill, has a similar practice. Three years ago, Le Journal discovered that the president Heather Munroe-Blum benefits from a grant of $16 000 per year for the use of her vehicle.
Outraged, the league of Quebec’s taxpayers (Ligue des contribuables du Québec) demands that the University of Concordia publishes on its web site the total of all the advantages that the establishment’s executives benefit from as quickly a possible.
“In the current context, for the students as for the taxpayers, it’s a flagrant lack of respect. It’s clearly an indirect means to inflate the vice-president’s salaries”, believes the spokes person Claire Joly.
The president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, Martine Desjardins, confirms that millions of additional dollars could be invested in research and teaching if expenses of this type were abolished in universities.
“This shows to what point the management of universities is faulty. It is unacceptable that our money is spent all over the place”, she says.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.