B.C. Speaker's spending includes wheelchair ramps, furniture, free muffins | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. Speaker's spending includes wheelchair ramps, furniture, free muffins

VICTORIA - The Opposition New Democrat house leader is defending the Speaker of the B.C. legislature for racking up tens of thousands of dollars in expenses.

The expenses include $48,412 for constructing and equipping Linda Reid's desk in the legislative chamber, and $13,449 on building a new members' lounge, which includes a $734 food-display case for coffee, muffins and other free snacks.

Money was also spent on new wheelchair ramps, drapes and furniture.

The Legislative Assembly Management Committee approves the total budget for the Speaker and other offices of the legislature, but it did not vote on these expenditures.

Still, NDP house leader John Horgan, a member of the committee, says he stands behind some of the expenses because upgrades in the chamber and improvements to accessibility are important.

Horgan says perks such as free muffins and coffee are probably uncalled for, but he says Reid is the first Speaker to ever release expenses.

Horgan says he understands British Columbians may question the spending in a time of fiscal austerity, so Reid will be expected to provide answers at a meeting next week.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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