MLAs question children's hospital officials on finances after expenses scandal

Officials from Atlantic Canada's largest children's hospital were peppered with questions about its financial management at a legislature committee hearing today, but opposition politicians say they didn't get all the answers they were seeking.

The Nova Scotia auditor general slammed the lack of oversight and financial management at the IWK Health Centre in a December report, months after two former IWK executives were charged with fraud and breach of trust.

An independent review had concluded former CEO Tracy Kitch owed tens of thousands of dollars for "potentially personal" expenses charged to her corporate credit card.

The hospital's new CEO and board chair faced questions today at the public accounts committee, noting half the auditor general's recommendations have been implemented, another four will be implemented by next month and the last recommendation will be in place by March 2020.

But the IWK's chief operating officer was unable to attend the meeting because of a medical issue, so Progressive Conservative politician Tim Halman asked that the matter return at a later date to allow Amanda Whitewood to appear before the committee.

Halman said he felt his questions today about the IWK's finances were not adequately answered because of her absence.

Also today, Liberal members moved to reduce the number of public accounts meetings from weekly to once a month, sparking outrage from opposition politicians who characterized it as an affront to democracy.