John Horgan slams Christy Clark for 'camera crew' travel expenses
Clark says her staff work hard to find most cost-efficient ways to travel
B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan is slamming Premier Christy Clark for bringing a videographer with her on private planes and charging taxpayers for the bill.
Documents obtained by freelance journalist Bob Mackin show Clark spent more than half a million dollars on private planes over the past five years.
Many of the flights were between Clark's riding in Kelowna and her home in Vancouver — a route serviced by WestJet and Air Canada.
"What possible value is there to taxpayers to bring your own camera crew when you're visiting your own constituency?" Horgan said during question period on Tuesday.
The premier didn't directly respond to Horgan's accusations about traveling with a videographer. However, she said it's her responsibility to travel across the province to "make sure that I'm staying in touch with the people of the province."
She quoted former B.C. NDP President Moe Sihota who, in an interview on CBC's The Early Edition, said the criticism over her travel expenses is "overstated" given her need to travel across the province to run an effective government.
"My staff work as hard as they can to make sure that we find the most cost-efficient ways to travel," she said.
Change in expense reporting coming
Christy Clark's travel bills will soon become more readily accessible as Finance Minister Mike de Jong says expense reporting will change.
"For MLAs, the receipts are there in lots of detail, and that is what we are seeking to achieve for members of the executive branch," said de Jong.
NDP MLA Mike Farnworth said it's about time there was more transparency around expenses for the premier and cabinet ministers.
"I think it is long overdue that the premier's and cabinet ministers' travel is subject to the same scrutiny as MLA's travel," Farnworth said.
Ministers usually spend more money than MLAs, often because of cross-country or international travel requirements. MLAs' travel expenses are released every quarter.