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Non-profit extravagance

The non-profit group that looks after some of Canada's poorest citizens blew thousands of dollars on lavish hotels, limousine rides, expensive dinners and even a trip to a Disney resort.

Separate financial reviews examining expenses by the Portland Hotel Society -- which runs Canada's only safe-injection site -- have uncovered misuse of corporate credit cards, unsupported expenses and inadequate criminal record checks.

A B.C. government review and an external financial audit reveal what the province says are significant concerns over the practices of the society that operates numerous programs in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

The audit detailed over $8,600 spent on limousine rides last year, a stay in a United Kingdom hotel that cost almost $900 per night, and a trip for two adults and two children to the Disney resort in Anaheim at a cost of more than $2,600.

The audit also revealed the non-profit society is in weak financial shape, is more than $130,000 into it's bank overdraft and drew $1.2 million from lines of credit and a business loan.

A joint news release from the ministries of health and housing says the board and senior managers of the society have been fired and an interim board has been appointed to oversee a restructuring of society operations.


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