VANCOUVER, B.C.: In the wake of the spending scandal plaguing the Thompson Nicola Regional District, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on Premier John Horgan to create a robust and effective office of the Municipal Auditor General for the province of British Columbia.
“It’s deeply concerning that the RCMP needs to use its special federal investigation unit to look at the spending at the Thompson Nicola Regional District,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “If we had an effective auditing watchdog for cities in B.C., this behaviour could have been nipped in the bud years ago.
“Taxpayers should not be paying for champagne rooms, diamond necklaces and booze.”
Kamloops RCMP were asked to review potential spending irregularities and the local Mounties have now called in the Federal Serious and Organized Crime Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit to examine the situation.
Reports in the Kamloops This Week newspaper showed that former Chief Administrative Officer for the reginal district, Sukh Gill, spent more than $500,000 in taxpayers money over five years. The bills included things such as steakhouse dinners, jewellery, alcohol and a $7,000 champagne room in Whistler.
Local whistle blowers have said they were aware of the questionable spending for years, but feared losing their jobs if they came forward.
“We do have an auditor that is supposed to watch over our town halls, but it exists in name only and the Horgan government is mothballing it,” said Sims. “We need to do the exactly opposite. We need more accountability and transparency, not less.”
Sign the Canadian Taxpayers Federation petition calling for a Municipal Auditor General HERE:
For interviews, call or text Kris Sims at 1-604-997-1798