MLAs from outside Greater Victoria receive accommodation and meal allowances while in Victoria on legislature business.

North Coast MLA Gary Coons comments on travel expense report

When it comes to travel expenses paid to MLAs, North Coast MLA Gary Coons had among the highest for the period from April 1 to September 30.

When it comes to travel expenses paid to MLAs, North Coast MLA Gary Coons had among the highest for the period from April 1 to September 30.

Of all of the sitting MLAs, only five had higher travel expenses than Coons. Coons’ total bill for the period was $37,514 with $5,790 for in-constituency travel and $20,574 for travel within the province – also the fifth highest out of all MLAs.

Unlike several other MLAs Coons had no Speaker Approved travel expenses, those expenses associated with out-of-province or out-of-country travel in connection with certain duties, and when those expenses are removed Coons actually sits at number five among MLAs for travel.

It comes down to distance…There are 57 other MLAs who can walk, drive or take a ferry and they are here. There are another 22 who could get here without much challenge,” said Coons, who also noted that much of the information from provincial ministers is missing citing the $70 in general travel recorded for Justice Minister Shirley Bond and the zero dollars in travel recorded for Jobs Minister Pat Bell.

To some degree it’s nice to have this information, but to some degree it’s pretty insignificant…There are 23 MLAs missing information because they are Ministers

In comparison to nearby MLAs, however, Coons is below those in the northwest. Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson had travel expenses totaling $42,678 and Skeena MLA Robin Austin topped the list with expenses totaling $53,606 of which $19,486 was Speaker Approved travel. The other MLAs higher than Coons were Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff at $46,410, Columbia River -Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald at $45,332 and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad.

Routine expenses include the “capital city allowance,” for which most MLAs who live outside Greater Victoria claim $1,000 a month without receipts. With receipts, out-of-town MLAs can claim up to $19,000 a year for rent, mortgage or hotel accommodation while in Victoria on Legislature business. MLAs are also eligible for $61 a day for meals while in Victoria on legislature business.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 16 is open with delays due to avalanche control

DriveBC has opened the highway between Prince Rupert and Terrace but expect delays

Rampage beat Ice Demons at home

Prince Rupert scored a late goal to win 3-2

Friends, Facebook and fundraising

Ellen Christinson started an auction on Facebook to help cancer-striken friend Cody

MVP of the Week — Amy Leighton is making waves

Prince Rupert swimmer Amy Leighton won the Premier’s Award for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in sport

2017 Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

One hundred tables displayed the arts and crafts of the local community.

2017 Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

One hundred tables displayed the arts and crafts of the local community.

CONTEST: Send us your Hammy photos to win a free T-shirt

Submit your best Hammy the deer photo by Nov. 30 to be entered to win

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

LIVE: BC Liberals kick off leadership debate in Nanaimo

Candidates’ forum is at noon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre

WATCH: Thousands gathering in Abbotsford for Const. John Davidson funeral procession

Celebration of life to follow at Abbotsford Centre at 1 p.m.

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Most Read