Prince George politician seeks $1M spending details

A Prince George, B.C., city councillor says he's having a hard time finding out how the city is spending taxpayer dollars and hopes to rally city politicians to help him deal with the local bureaucracy.
Prince George councillor Brian Skakun says he's struggling to get to the bottom of nearly $1M in city spending. ((City of Prince George))

Prince George, B.C., city councillor Brian Skakun says doing business with the city shouldn't be a secret and he is pushing for greater access to information about how and why the city pays private companies.

Skakun said he went to the  city’s administration with questions about payments to several businesses in 2011 totalling just under $1 million that were made to engineering and consulting firms and some numbered companies.

"What I wanted was some clarification, some simple clarification on why they spent the money with these different businesses. I mean, we're spending tax dollars, we're using people's money that really isn't ours."

But Skakun said bureaucrats told him his request requires too much work and he would have to get consensus from his fellow councillors to have the information released.

"I don't think it's fair that I have to go through the whole notice-of-motion process, try to convince all of council to direct administration to respond to me, when I've been elected by the people of this community to represent them on a number of fronts," he said.

Skakun will bring a motion to council on Monday, calling for a more streamlined process for releasing information.

With files from the CBC's Marissa Harvey