Canindia News

MPs charge $4.5mn for trips by spouses, partners over last 4 years

Over the past four years, taxpayer dollars to the tune of $4.5 million has gone toward paying for trips by spouses of Canadian MPs.

These are allowable expenses that come under what is called designated travellers which covers individuals with whom MPs can share their privilege of expenses-paid travel at events or when family re-unification is involved.

A news outlet pored over Members’ Expenditure Reports, these expenses do not include allowances for transporting children, who are classified as dependents.

Todd Doherty, the Conservative MP for Cariboo–Prince George in northern B.C. claimed a total of $142,236 in travel expenses for his wife over the last four years.

In second place was Conservative MP David Yurdigan, who represents Fort McMurray–Cold Lake. He claimed $137,422 for the cost of his wife’s travel.

Wilson-Raybould came in third, claiming $125,754 for trips by her husband between Vancouver and Ottawa.

The MP with the fourth-highest claim for designated traveller expenses was Mel Arnold, Conservative MP for North Okanagan–Shuswap. He claimed $121,138 for his wife, while Conservative Cathy McLeod, who represents Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo, claimed $110,035 and sits in fifth place.

Mark Warawa, the late Conservative MP for Langley–Aldergrove, ranked sixth.

All other total claims by members of Parliament fell below $100,000 over four years.

Eleven MPs claimed designated traveller expenses between $50,000 and $99,000.

Six of those were Conservatives, four were Liberals and one was an NDP.

Among them were Liberal MP Yvonne Jones from Labrador, who claimed $92,579, as well as the late Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn MP Deepak Obhrai, who claimed $83,108, and Conservative MP Cathy Wagantall, who claimed $81,631 in travel for her husband from Yorkton–Melville in Saskatchewan.

The vast majority claimed under $50,000, while a total of 57 claimed no expenses at all for designated travellers.

In most cases, this is the member of Parliament’s spouse or another relative (though it does not have to be a family member) and designating the person as such lets the person use some of those points to expense the cost of their own travel. -CINEWS

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