No trans­parency; no ac­count­abil­ity

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDI­TO­RIAL -

Gen­er­ally the base salary of MLAs in­creases ev­ery year on P.E.I. with the same ex­pla­na­tion; they are un­der­paid and de­serve par­ity with other pro­vin­cial MLAs. The base salary for a P.E.I. MLA will rise to $70,095 April 1st, and in­clude a host of other perks un­known to tax­pay­ers.

A TC me­dia in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed a se­cret slush fund long used by the Lib­eral and Con­ser­va­tive par­ties. Pos­si­bly ev­ery elected mem­ber knew all about this un­eth­i­cal use of tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars within their sanc­ti­mo­nious back­room. Con­ser­va­tive non-cab­i­net MLAs can re­ceive $200 per month on top of their salaries and Lib­er­als $300 per month. Re­ceipts are not re­quired for mileage ac­cord­ing to Op­po­si­tion leader Jamie Fox. Re­ceipts are not re­quired for ex­penses.

No one, ex­cept Peter Be­van-Baker has been trans­par­ent about this prac­tice of spend­ing tax­pay­ers’ money with­out proof of re­ceipts.

The Con­ser­va­tives abused the sys­tem, spend­ing all of their of­fice money by giv­ing their chief of staff $18,463 in cheques which he cashed months after be­ing laid off. Mr. My­ers begged Pre­mier Ghiz for more op­er­at­ing cash which the Con­ser­va­tives re­quired to keep their of­fice run­ning, which he re­ceived. Where and how did the Lib­eral pre­mier of the day pro­cure those funds?

Mike Duffy and other sen­a­tors were la­belled as cheaters but they pale in com­par­i­son to P.E.I. politi­cians who are sup­posed to be guardians of the pub­lic purse.

Our new pre­mier’s slo­gan was and is “trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity.” How is he go­ing to ad­dress this bla­tant dis­re­spect by politi­cians? Want par­ity with other prov­inces? Fol­low their lead, by au­dit­ing and lay­ing charges where war­ranted, and get rid of the loop­holes. Gary A.O. MacKay, Birch Hill

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