Supreme Court appointee claimed $205Gs clothes expenses while a lawyer
Suzanne Cote in Quebec City, Sept. 13, 2010. (Jean-Francois Desgagnes/QMI Agency, file)
The Harper government is standing by its latest Supreme Court appointee after QMI Agency reported Justice Suzanne Cote had a three-year court battle with Revenu Quebec for claiming nearly $205,000 worth of clothes and personal care items on three tax returns.
In each of 2004, 2005, 2006, Cote claimed at least $50,000 worth of clothes as business expenses while a lawyer at the Montreal firm Stikeman Elliott.
Revenu Quebec rejected the deductions, which led to a court showdown that began in 2009.
The tax agency claimed Cote failed to demonstrate she didn't benefit from the clothes and personal care items outside the workplace.
The two sides settled out of court in 2012. The details of the settlement aren't public.
The Harper government says the issue was resolved years ago and in no way tarnishes Cote's appointment.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's press secretary Carl Vallee said Cote was one of the most experienced lawyers in the country and chosen following extensive consultations, including with the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the Quebec government.