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May 26, 2021

Time to make MP expenses public: Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Almost daily it seems someone is squawking about how elected officials squander taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

Witness the scandal in the UK where MP Eric Illsley is the latest politician to be charged in an expense-padding scheme. Illsley is alleged to have falsely claimed more than £20,000 in expenses on his second home in London.

Here at home, social media crusades have sprung up demanding the Board of Internal Economy (nine MPs from the four major parties) which oversees parliamentary spending, allow the public to review House of Commons expense accounts. 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation's Facebook page, for instance, is the most popular gathering place where thousands have signed a petition urging Auditor General Sheila Fraser to throw open MPs’ books – something she’s been trying to do for over a year now. 

"I don't think MPs have anything to fear,” Fraser told CBC recently. “They've certainly indicated that they have strong systems and practices in place. If that's the case, I would be very happy to report that."

After hearing from constituents in their ridings over the past few days, there seems to be a greater interest among some members to at least have further discussions with Fraser about just what areas she sees as being at issue. 

That should please more than a few voters. A recent survey suggests that 88% of Canadians think detailed expense accounts of elected officials should be open for deeper scrutiny.

Sound off : If federal politicians have nothing to hide, do you think they should submit to an audit of their expenses?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...