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B.C. Legislature Takes Step Towards Accountability

Author: Kris Sims 2020/02/17
  • B.C. Legislature staff posting travel expenses on website
  • Transparency move comes more than a year after spending scandal

 

VICTORIA: More than one year after the British Columbia Legislature spending scandal, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has learned that the travel expenses of the Clerk, the Sergeant-at-arms and the Speaker are now being posted on the legislature website for the first time.

“This is a baby step because so far we are only seeing some receipts for the acting clerk to attend a conference in Halifax, but it is progress,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “This is the first time the officers of the legislature have posted their expenses publicly online and it’s important for B.C. taxpayers to go and take a look.”

The CTF is calling for further transparency by making all employees at the legislature subject to freedom of information requests and requiring all expenditures using taxpayers’ money to be publicly posted online.

“Every nickel of taxpayers’ money needs to be accounted for and these records should all be posted publicly,” said Sims.

In January of 2019, Speaker Darryl Plecas released a report uncovering years of astonishing waste, including:

 

  • $714 on a man’s luxury wristwatch with the receipt marked “luggage” during a Hong Kong trip
  • $1,380 on Seattle Mariners Baseball tickets billed as emergency preparedness training
  • $1,024 on a whale watching trip billed as tsunami awareness training

 

The report also disclosed the purchase of a $3,200 deluxe firewood splitter that’s still sitting in the rear parking lot of the B.C. legislature building, exposed to the elements.

“The wood splitter symbolizes the respect for taxpayers’ money at the B.C. legislature: largely forgotten and neglected,” said Sims. “We brought Woody the Wood Splitter a tarp to show we haven’t forgotten about this massive waste of tax dollars and to remind politicians to do better with their expenses.”

To review the current travel expenses by the Officers of the Legislature, click HERE.

 

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