Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Canada: Cabinet ministers' expenses go public

Cabinet ministers' expenses go public

Published Tuesday March 9th, 2010

Expenses for all N.B. cabinet ministers in the month of October totaled $44,754.07

Times & Transcript Staff

FREDERICTON - The latest set of expenses filed for by New Brunswick cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and their executive assistants have been released. The expenses filed cover the last three months of 2009.

Listed expenses cover travel to and from Fredericton, national and international trips carried out for work, food and lodging, as well as living accommodations (cable, phone and cleaning included) for ministers who live away from the provincial capital.

The expenses listed do not include constituency office costs for MLAs. Those costs are covered by the Legislative Assembly.

A breakdown of expenses for New Brunswick's government ministers, deputy ministers and their executive assistants/special assistants can be found on each individual department's homepage linked to The link marked 'Expenses' can be found on the left-side column of each department's homepage.

Before this information was first posted online in late August, such expense information was only available after filling out and paying for a request under the Right to Information Act. The provincial government said the move to post the information online was made in an effort to be more transparent.

Expenses filed by government cabinet members and MLAs has become a hot topic in this region as of late.

In Nova Scotia, the province's auditor general released a report showing that some MLAs and former cabinet minister used public money to purchase items such as home-installed generators and big screen televisions.

In the wake Nova Scotia's spending scandal, resignations have been offered and a commitment has been made to post government member expenses online.

Aside from New Brunswick, only Manitoba and Alberta post their government member expenses online. In New Brunswick, the expenses for all cabinet ministers in the month of October totaled $44,754.07 (an average total of $2,237 between all 20 members).


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