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Councillor wants city expense accounts made public

Ever wonder where city councillors are when they go away on business? What hotels they stay in? Where they’re eating? Or how much public money they’re spending?

Well, it’s possible that information may be publicly available in the near future.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Coun. Andy Adams served notice that at the May 27 council meeting he will put forth a motion asking city staff to look into making expense reports public.

Adams took his cue from the B.C. government, which will post MLAs’ expense receipts on a public provincial government website starting this fall.

“Following up on finance minister Mike De Jong’s initiative that all provincial politicians publish their expense receipts – including (for) food, travel and accommodations – online, I’ll be making a notice of motion for staff to investigate the city of Campbell River doing the same,” Adams said.

An all-party committee voted last week to publish itemized MLA expenses in the interest of full disclosure to B.C. taxpayers.

Currently, MLA expenses are released on a monthly and quarterly basis but they do not go in-depth and are not listed item by item.

De Jong argued there needs to be more transparency when it comes to MLAs spending public money, after questionable spending by Linda Reid, the speaker of the B.C. legislature.

Reid issued an apology in March and re-paid more than $5,500 she billed the government to take her husband on a business trip to South Africa last year as well as for the purchase of a new desk.

 

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