Maple Ridge MLAs travel expenses released

The Liberal, the NDPer in the middle of the pack of politician spending

Moderate describes the travel tabs for both local MLAs in the past six months, following release of their expenses this week.

NDP Michael Sather and Liberal Marc Dalton spent less than half the highest tab wracked up in the last six months. The distinction of spending the most went to the NDP’s Robin Austin, from the remote Skeena region, who spent $53,606 between April and September.

MLAs representing districts farthest from Victoria generally run up the highest expenses.  Austin’s total includes $19,486 in “Speaker approved travel,” including a trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka in September to attend a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference.

By comparison, Sather (Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows) spent $17,585.

The amount includes a $6,000 accommodation allowance for staying in Victoria, daily meal allowances and general travel costs of $8,211.

When it comes to meals, politicians get an allowance for any breakfast, lunch or dinners they have in restaurants outside their ridings. That’s capped at $61 day, but receipts aren’t required.

Dalton, who represents Maple Ridge-Mission, spent $19,551 in that period. Maple Ridge-Mission is considered semi-urban and has a higher in-constituency travel allowance. That includes travel for the independent schools committee.

By comparison, Randy Hawes, (Abbotsford-Mission) spent almost $5,000 less than Dalton. Hawes’s total expenses rang in at $14,956.

At the low end of the scale, Advanced Education Minister John Yap (Richmond-Steveson), spent only $3,954, plus his expenses as a cabinet minister.

See Expenses, p5

Expenses from p4

The figures, however, didn’t show the details of where MLAs dined or stayed.

The impetus for revealing the expenses came from Audior-Gen. John Doyle’s report earlier this year, showing gaps in financial accountability of legislature expenses.

Doyle said in his audit of the legislature’s finances that the legislature is mired in “poor governance” with “substantial irregularities” in financial reporting, such as not preparing proper monthly bank statements.

When it comes to paying MLAs for their travel expenses, the legislature was “consistently unable” to give documentation supporting MLA travel expense claims, the auditor said.

But Dalton said previously that he has to submit all travel expenses before he gets reimbursed.

“You don’t get your payment unless you submit the forms.”

 

MLA salaries and expenses for fiscal year ending March 31:

• Marc Dalton, Maple Ridge-Mission:

Salary: $102,138, Victoria living allowance: $16,372, Travel expenses: $19,573

• Michael Sather, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows:

Salary: $102,138, Victoria living allowance: $14,121, Travel expenses: $18,236

Just Posted

Burrards named to Warriors opening roster

Five Maple Ridge WLA players make the Vancouver NLL team

Pitt Meadows approves hiring two more career firefighters

Will fit into 5.75 per cent tax increase, says CAO

Attempt to speed access to treatment in Maple Ridge

Alouette Addictions will be central referral agency.

Albion Community Centre tab almost doubles

Site costs add $5 million to Maple Ridge building

UPDATED: Absolute discharge for mischief charge against Sagmoen

Trial starts at 9:30 a.m. in Vernon Law Courts

Ridge hospital foundation helps with mental health

Donates a possible $500k for youth wellness

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Metro Vancouver mayors vote to ‘develop’ $1.65B in Fraser Highway SkyTrain plans

Surrey will have to ‘compensate’ for the $56 million already spent on light rail

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Most Read