Doherty Defends Travel Expenses
Prince George, B.C. – The Parliament of Canada has released the 2016-2017 first quarter (April 1, 2016 – June 30, 2016) member expenditures report, and no surprise here, western MPs travel expenses are among the highest in the country.
Among the trio of northern British Columbia MPs, Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer’s costs were the lowest at $38,861.194. Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen was around $5,000 higher at $43,604.96 while Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty’s expenses were highest at $48,686.43.
So what put Doherty on top? A designated travellers expense of $12,364.37. The expense allows MPs to designate one person – usually their spouse – to fly to and from Ottawa.
Doherty makes no excuses for the expense though, claiming it was a conscious decision on his part.
“Yeah, western MPs have the highest rate of divorce,” says Doherty. “And I spent a lifetime away from my family when I was in aviation and I left aviation to focus on my family.”
In politics he says it commonly means family “gets left on the backburner” – something he decided he wouldn’t be doing.
“I think it’s very important that my wife and my family are part of this process because I’ll be very clear – I have no intention of working on another marriage.”
He adds his expenses are also high because he wants to be highly visible in his riding.
“I’ve said it right from the beginning I would likely be one of the highest in travelling expenses because when we were campaigning, we heard that people wanted to see their member of parliament,” says Doherty.
“They wanted to see their member of parliament to remember that they don’t live in Ottawa, they live in our riding and they are present, they are visible, and I heard that loud and clear.”