Canadian official racks up $20,000 in data charges while in another country

canadian official racks 20000 data charges another country thomas lukaszuk
Source: Flickr
In October 2012, Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk was vacationing in Poland when the Canadian premier’s office gave him work to do. Unfortunately, that work resulted in $20,000 of data roaming charges for using 2GB of data. The story recently resurfaced when the bill was leaked online.

“When the premier assigns me a job as deputy premier, and tells me you have to handle this file, it’s government business,” said Lukaszuk to the Calgary Herald. “I don’t handle files on vacation for pleasure. As deputy premier you’re at the service of the premier’s office. I was given an assignment to carry out.”

Related: Europe cuts roaming rates in half, may eliminate charges altogether

The exact nature of the assignment is hidden behind a court order, though Lukaszuk did say he had documents transferred to and from an Edmonton law firm. He also chatted with others on Skype. Even though he and the premier’s office tried to fight the charges, they failed and the bill was paid, according to Lukaszuk.

Related: T-Mobile offers free, unlimited data roaming in 100+ countries

This is Canada’s second run-in with enormous data roaming charges. Last fall, Energy Minister Diana McQueen racked up data bills worth $14,577. Unlike Lukaszuk, McQueen managed to get her charges reversed and only ended up paying $191.

At least Lukaszuk learned something from the ordeal. “I was on vacation so I didn’t buy a data plan,” he said. “I should have. I apologize for that. I’m sorry.”

Product Review

Equal parts fresh and familiar, Canon's EOS R gives pros the best of both

While the EOS R is Canon’s first foray into full-frame mirrorless cameras, the EOS R feels like anything but a first-generation product.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Mobile

The Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof, so now you can read it in the tub

Amazon released a new version of the Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader, boasting improved software, more storage, and a feature that customers have been asking for: Waterproofing.
Deals

Verizon’s buy one, get one offer is the best deal on the new Google Pixel 3

If you need a new smartphone and want the best (without shelling out a grand or more), the new Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are fantastic options. Verizon's BOGO offer is the best way to score a deal, letting you snag a free phone and save…
Social Media

YouTube is back after crashing for users around the world

It's rare to see YouTube suffer serious issues, but the site went down around the world for a period of time on October 16. It's back now, and we can confirm it's loading normally on desktop and mobile.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Flagship fight

When it comes to stunning flagships, Samsung and Huawei are often the first names the come to mind. And the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro is no exception. So how does it compare to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9? We put the two to the test to find out.
Mobile

Here’s how Google’s Call Screening A.I. works, and how to use it

Google's Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones can take excellent photos, but there are a few artificial intelligence features that steal the show. Call Screening uses Google Assistant to answer the phone for spam calls.
Mobile

Key settings you need to change on your Sony Xperia XZ3

The first thing you need to do when you buy a new phone is dig into the settings and customize it to your liking. We’ve got step-by-step instructions for tweaking key settings on your Sony Xperia XZ3 right here.
Photography

Adobe MAX 2018: What it is, why it matters, and what to expect

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.
Gaming

Huawei thinks its Mate 20 X is better than the Nintendo Switch

Huawei positioned its Mate 20 X, a gaming-centric smartphone, as a Nintendo Switch killer, calling it "the best portable gaming machine." The Mate 20 X has better design specs than the Switch, but it also comes with a steep price.
Mobile

These are the best LG V40 ThinQ cases to stop unsightly damage

The LG V40 ThinQ is the latest entry in LG's long line of great V series phones, but it's not invincible. The best way to protect it from potential damage is with one of the best LG V40 ThinQ cases.
Mobile

With Spotify for WearOS, you no longer need your phone to stream music

A Spotify app will soon be available for download on Wear OS smartwatches. Whether you're working out or lounging at home, you'll soon be able to access and control your music straight from your wrist.