Strathcona Regional District Chair calls for greater transparency

The chair of the Strathcona Regional District board wants directors to be more transparent when it comes to travel expenses

The chair of the Strathcona Regional District board wants directors to be more transparent when it comes to travel expenses.

Board Chair and Sayward Mayor John MacDonald suggested the regional district start posting directors’ travel claims on its website for the public to see.

“It’s my opinion it would increase transparency of what we’re doing and it would just be on the website and people would be able to read it,” MacDonald said. “I would like to be transparent and I think everybody on this board would like to be transparent.”

MacDonald said that should also extend to regional district employees.

“I wouldn’t only be including the board, I’d be including staff’s travel claims also,” he said. “I think it’s really something we should be taking a look at.”

MacDonald threw it out to the board for consideration at last week’s Wednesday meeting, and suggested it could be further discussed at a board governance workshop that is scheduled for Oct. 6 at Oyster Bay Resorts.

MacDonald said he was prompted by an editorial that ran in the Mirror earlier this month titled, ‘Government expenses at whose expense?’

The editorial discussed inappropriate travel claims by elected officials in recent years and suggested that making expenses public on an ongoing basis may cause politicians to think twice before incurring “an exorbitant expense.”

MacDonald said the editorial made a fair point.

“I thought it was very interesting and I think it’s the right thing and I think it would be nice if, on this board, we could have all our travel claims put on the website.”