Taxpayers score a win on transparency

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To the editor,
Taxpayers just scored a win for financial transparency: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has raised the bar by securing support from all parties for new measures to uphold Canadians’ right to know how their money is being spent.

From now on, all Members of Parliament’s travel and hospitality expenses will be publicly disclosed on the Parliamentary website. It’s an important step to restore Canadians’ faith in politics and politicians after it was seriously shaken last spring.

And it happened because Justin didn’t just talk the talk, he did something about it – and now the other parties have followed suit.

Back in June, Canadians were alarmed by expense abuses of Conservative Senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau, and a secret $90,000 payment by the prime minister’s chief of staff to cover it up. Trudeau proposed a plan to open up Parliament that would have MPs proactively disclose their travel and hospitality expenses regularly online.

But when Justin rose in the House of Commons to seek consent for the proposals, the NDP blocked him.

So he decided to go it alone, and Liberal MPs began posting their travel and hospitality expenses online. Then last fall the Conservative started posting their MPs’ expenses as well.

Nine months later Liberals have secured support from the entire House of Commons to take this to the next level. Now the non-partisan professional administrative staff of the House Commons will create a uniform, standardized system that puts the expenses of all MPs together in one spot for anyone to see.

It’s an important first step to reversing the corrosive culture of secrecy and intimidation that has grown under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Trudeau is committed to opening up government and restoring Canadians’ trust in our democracy. And he’s just getting started.

Scott Simms, MP

Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor

Liberal Party Democratic Reform Critic

Organizations: House of Commons, NDP, Liberal Party

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Recent comments

  • Kenda T
    March 30, 2014 - 01:11

    I always love the Liberlal's short selective memories when it comes to their letters to The Evening News. He seems to have left out Liberal senator's Mac Harb's expense claim fraud of $231,000? More than the combined total of the other 3 charged. The Liberal's are in the history books as the most corrupt, scandalous, boondoggled secretive government in the history of Canada.' I have kept lists of each that would fill the news end to end many times over. Take a look at the Onatrio Liberal governments of mcGuinty and Wynn, they have run up the debt more than twice that of California! Again, scandal and corruption everywhere, the hudro rates for example have more than doubled, with another raise coming soon. That is youre true liberal record. Kiss Canada goodbye if you put Trudeau in the driver's seat with his part time drama teacher experience and huge appearance fees. His father left Canada with the biggest debt in history to the tune of $206 billion! An increase of 5000 times from when he took, to left office. Canada is in pretty darn good and steady shape now, but we have a lot of the mess to clean up yet the Liberals left.