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BCCLA calls for transparency in MP expenses

(Vancouver) The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is calling for Member of Parliament expense accounts to be opened to the Federal Auditor General. The call comes in the wake of news that an all party committee refused to allow Ms. Fraser to audit those expenses.

“Members of Parliament must be transparent in their activities on our behalf so that voters may be fully informed and can meaningfully exercise their democratic rights,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA. “If we don’t have all the information, how can we be expected to be able to vote in a manner that holds our politicians accountable?”

Media reports suggest that the Federal Auditor General has requested access to MP expense accounts. That request was considered by the House of Commons Board of Internal Economy and rejected. Similar audits in the United Kingdom led to criminal charges against four Members of Parliament. In Nova Scotia a similar audit led to criminal investigations against four former members and one current member of the Nova Scotia provincial parliament.

“The serious allegations coming from other jurisdictions are a compelling argument for holding such an audit,” said Holmes. “Given the need the public has for accountability, these results cry out for our federal politicians to be as transparent and accommodating of the federal auditor general’s requests as possible.”

The BCCLA has written a letter to each of the leaders of the federal political parties, asking them to cooperate with the federal auditor general’s request and permit access to MP expense accounts.

Letter requesting federal parties to open their expense accounts

Robert Holmes, President, 604-838-6856
David Eby, Executive Director, 778-865-7997