Taxpayers group says constituency allowances shouldn’t fund sport, charities
Hennig added that he has no problem with politicians promoting their work through the distribution of Canadian or provincial flags or similar souvenirs.
“It’s a bit more appropriate than something that has the member’s name or picture or something they are going to have direct electoral benefit from,” he said.
Hennig added that as the practice becomes “entrenched,” an entitlement is created that becomes difficult to eliminate.
Although not condemned outright, the practice was singled out as part of the problem around questionable spending and murky expense guidelines in a recent report by Nova Scotia’s auditor general.
Jacques Lapointe found that the amounts spent on advertising from members’ receiptable constituency expenditures ranged from as low as 13 per cent to as high as 85 per cent.
He said methods used for advertising varied from the use of traditional media such as newspapers to donations to organizations and individuals.
Lapointe concluded that current practices in Nova Scotia allowed “unlimited flexibility” in how money was spent and he recommended bringing in tighter rules.
At $52,066 in total receipts, Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks was among the higher spenders with $44,424 of that amount going towards media advertising, donations and gifts.
Estabrooks sees no problem using his money to fund school programs and sports teams in exchange for seeing some players run around with “Bill MLA” on their backs.