THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Cathy McLeod of Kamloops spent the most of the five MPs in the Thompson-Okanagan on expenses in the first quarter of the federal government's fiscal year, while Kelowna's claimed the least.
Members of Parliament in the Thompson-Okanagan spent nearly $500,000 on expenses between April 1 and June 30, according to the federal government's member's expenditure report.
The five MPs representing the ridings of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, South Okanagan-West Kootenay, Kelowna-Lake Country, North Okanagan-Shuswap, Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola spent $492,004.58 of taxpayers money on costs associated with their political positions including employees' salaries, travel and office supplies.
Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr spent the least with $74,246 in expenses, while Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod spent the most at $116,584.
McLeod’s expenses were higher for a couple reasons, including almost $8,500 in advertising and nearly $10,000 in printed material sent to households, outspending all the other local MPs combined in both categories.
South Okanagan-West Kootenay Richard Cannings had the second highest bill, with the majority of his costs associated with travel. Cannings spent $22,369 on travel supporting his parliamentary functions, and another $6,000 on employee travel.
North Okanagan-Shuswap Mel Arnold’s total travel budget came close to Canning’s because Arnold spent more than $11,500 in travel expenses for his wife Linda Arnold.
Conversely, travel was a category Fuhr saved the most relative to the other local MPs, spending $3,974, less than a quarter of the next lowest total. He also spent nothing on printing and was near the lowest on employee and office costs.
The average spent by the five MPs was $98,400.
Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola MP Dan Albas spent somewhat less than the average with $91,467 in expenses, while Canning was somewhat more at $109,994. Arnold was the closest to average with $99,711.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.