B.C. Legislature receipts and expense forms raise big questions for taxpayers
VANCOUVER, BC: After examining hundreds of actual receipts and expense statements attributed to the offices of Legislature’s Clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is raising serious concerns.
“It’s hard to imagine a justification for spending taxpayers’ money on luggage, but it’s even more baffling to see a receipt that describes an expensive watch as ‘luggage,’” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director for the CTF. “Now that we’ve looked at the actual receipts, we have even more questions about taxpayers being stuck with bills for everything from high-end headphones to whiskey cakes and chauffeur services.”
One receipt, dated June 17, 2018, shows a purchase for $714.55 (CDN) with a handwritten note stating “luggage.” However, the product number shows the item to be a Maverick Large Black Edition Victorinox watch. Photos of the watch seem to appear in subsequent media accounts of spending issues at the Legislature.
“An independent, outside auditor needs to get to the bottom of these expenses,” said Sims. “And going forward, the Legislature needs to be subject to freedom-of-information laws and officers of the Legislature need to publish every receipt and expense just like MLAs.”
Here are examples of the hundreds of receipts and expenses the CTF examined:
- $714.55 – Victorinox watch described as “luggage”
- $368.76 – Brooks Brothers clothing (including a tie described as a “tab”)
- $58.95 – British Parliament Gift Shop, including whiskey cake and book of insults
- $504.44 – Bose noise-cancelling headphones
- $2,540.31 – Sony Camcorder
- $771.42 – Griffin Transportation Worldwide Chauffeured Service
- $753.50 – Luggage at Heathrow Airport
- $182.93 and $212.93 – Spot Adventure service for outdoor tracker
- $1,380.31 – Seattle Mariners
- $5,084.62 – B.C. Liquor (July 31, 2012)
All of these receipts and expenses are available at the Legislature website.
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Kris Sims, B.C. Director, CTF