Thompson-Okanagan MPs spent nearly $500,000 on expenses in first quarter - InfoNews

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Thompson-Okanagan MPs spent nearly $500,000 on expenses in first quarter

The House of Commons
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
October 13, 2016 - 6:30 PM

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.

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