NDP min­is­ter Estabrooks low man on ex­pense ac­count pole

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER -

HAL­I­FAX (CP) — Walk into Bill Estabrooks’s “ home away from home” and you’ll find a prized hockey stick coat rack made by a daugh­ter, a sec­ond-hand desk and a fil­ing cab­i­net from an Army Sur­plus store.

Maybe the lack of bling in­side the Tim­ber­lea-Prospect mem­ber’s of­fice is what helped him ring in the low­est ex­pense claim fig­ures in the au­di­tor gen­eral’s re­cent re­port, which has stung other cur­rent and past elected of­fi­cials.

“It’s bare bones. It’s warm. It’s safe. It’s se­cure. It’s got a com­puter that works,” said Estabrooks, also the prov­ince’s en­ergy min­is­ter and min­is­ter of trans­porta­tion and in­fra­struc­ture re­newal. “Peo­ple joke about my of­fice.” Estabrooks’ ex­pense claims for the years 2006, 2007, and 2008, con­tained in a list re­leased Wed­nes­day by the Speaker’s of­fice, tal­lied up to $2,043.96 be­fore taxes. With taxes it was $2,325.01.

The vet­eran New Demo­crat said Wed­nes­day he re­ally scored a deal on his of­fice rent at a recre­ation cen­tre at $207 per month.

Estabrooks said he means no dis­re­spect to the other politi­cians named in the au­di­tor gen­eral’s re­port, which ig­nited pub­lic ire over ex­pen­sive power gen­er­a­tors, com­put­ers, cof­fee mak­ers and the like.

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