Prov­ince asks for in­terim re­port on mem­bers’ex­penses within two-three weeks

Cape Breton Post - - Atlantic - BY KEITH DOUCETTE

He also called for a “com­pre­hen­sive ex­am­i­na­tion” of the en­tire fund­ing sys­tem for mem­bers given that “a sig­nif­i­cant amount” is un­re­ceipt­able.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Gra­ham Steele, who is a mem­ber of the in­ter­nal econ­omy board, said Thurs­day it could im­me­di­ately con­sider mak­ing mem­bers sub­mit re­ceipts for all fu­ture ex­penses.

“Ab­so­lutely, it is some­thing that could be con­sid­ered right away,” said Steele.

Parker said re­quir­ing the manda­tory sub­mis­sion of re­ceipts was not on the agenda for the next meet­ing, though he wouldn’t rule it out.

“ That’s in the purview of the for­mer Speaker Mr. Don­a­hoe and I don’t want to pre-empt what he’s go­ing to rec­om­mend,” said Parker. “He’s go­ing to have an in­terim re­port ... that will be help­ful to us as a board and to a gov­ern­ment that’s pre­par­ing leg­is­la­tion.”

On Wed­nes­day, Parker re­leased a detailed ac­count­ing of all mem­bers’ ex­pense claims be­tween July 2006 and June 2009.

The doc­u­ments showed that mem­bers used tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars for a range of items and ser­vices in­clud­ing mul­ti­ple cam­era and com­puter pur­chases, gen­er­a­tors and ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions to con­stituency offices.

Premier Dar­rell Dex­ter said Thurs­day he saw no need to call an in­quiry de­spite the rev­e­la­tions of ques­tion­able spending.

Dex­ter said the pur­pose of an in­quiry would be to pro­vide the gov­ern­ment with rec­om­men­da­tions, some­thing the au­di­tor gen­eral had al­ready done fol­low­ing a “thor­ough re­view.”

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