EDITORIAL: Food fight breaks out in B.C. Legislature

Private members bill would eliminate $61-a-day per diem for local MLAs in Greater Victoria

A rookie Liberal MLA is starting a food fight in the B.C. Legislature.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar introduced a private member’s bill that would eliminate the per diem that some MLAs who live nearby the legislature can claim. The reason it is some, is that Milobar’s bill would strip the $61-a-day per diem for the seven MLA who represent ridings in the Capital Region, but it would exempt the two dozen or so B.C. Liberals who have homes (or other living arrangements) in the area but represent a different region of the province.

It’s clear it hasn’t taken Milobar long to learn the political ropes – being able to come across as holier-than-thou while saving a place at the trough for his political colleagues is no easy feat.

If the B.C. Liberals were serious about cutting back on expenses, the bill should target all MLAs who have accommodations in the region. Or better yet, simply ask all MLAs to pay for their meals on their own dime – the $105,882 basic salary, along with an out-of-town living allowance of between $12,000 and $17,000, should be more than enough to keep them in Happy Meals.

To suggest an MLA who represents the Capital Region has time to pack themselves a peanut butter sandwich lunch before work, but those renting a home possibly even closer to the Legislature do not, simply defies logic.

And it really is peanuts that we’re talking here. Premier John Horgan has claimed $1,684.50 for meals, Finance Minister Carole James has eaten up $1,587, Education Minister Rob Fleming has chowed down to the tune of $1,462.50 and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has claimed $1,221. Saanich South’s MLA Lana Popham has not submitted any per diem claims.

While we are impressed by the agriculture minister’s frugality, we question the need for legislation making home cooking mandatory for MLAs. Is a bill designed to save taxpayers some $6,000 worth having our elected representatives be forced to cut an evening meeting short so they can rush home to throw a Lean Cuisine into the oven?

Of course not. But that was never the purpose. The bill was meant to score some cheap political points while keeping a space for himself and his colleagues on the gravy train.

– Saanich News


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Nelson cyclist run over by truck

Driver ticketed for failing to yield right of way on left turn

Flooding at Castlegar’s Millennium Park delays opening of swimming ponds

The park’s third pond rose after BC Hydro increased its discharge rates at the Keenleyside Dam

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Most Read