A local Conservative MPP is accusing Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid of mailing thousands of Christmas cards without paying for the postage.

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton has filed a complaint with the federal government, claiming Duguid used ‘frank postage,’ a free mailing service for MPs, senators and some federal employees.

“It’s just something that our office hasn’t seen and I’ve never seen as well – this postal frank…as a provincial Member of the Ontario Legislature, the rules clearly state that we have to pay for postage.” McNaughton says.

While the cost of a stamp is only 61 cents per card, opposition MPPs are suggesting thousands of cards were sent by Duguid using the free postage, and that adds up.

“I would only guess that he would send out thousands and thousands of cards, probably more than most MPPs at Queen’s Park. We spend about $3,500 at Christmas, sending out Christmas cards.”

Duguid’s office has provided conflicting accounts of how the cards were sent.

A spokesperson told CTV News the cards were mailed through the Queen’s Park mailroom, which doesn’t have that type of postage. Later, it was suggested the cards were sent using a courier though they bear the markings Canada Post.

Duguid has declined requests for an interview, and his office will not say how many cards were sent or provide receipts for postage expenses.

Canada Post and the federal government are now investigating the allegations.

In a statement, the Minister of State Steven Fletcher said “These are very serious allegations of fraud that we expect Canada Post to fully investigate and cooperate with law enforcement if necessary.”