The Canadian Taxpayers Federation wants the government of Nova Scotia to pull the pin on pension payments for MLAs convicted of illegally dipping into the public purse.
"If you’re convicted, we should have no pensions for politicians," said Kevin Lacey, a spokesperson for the group.
Former Liberal MLA Russell MacKinnon is the latest to be convicted in the expense scandal. MacKinnon was handed a conditional sentence and probation after pleading guilty to breach of trust.
Lacey said his group has heard from hundreds of Nova Scotians who believe it’s wrong that MacKinnon will be allowed to collect his MLA pension while serving his sentence.
"We don’t think that MLAs deserve the generosity of the public through their pensions at a time when they abuse the public trust while they’re in office."
‘Offensive’ to taxpayers
Lacey said the Taxpayers Federation has repeatedly asked the government to change the rules. He said he’s received no support from the province’s three political parties.
He called the current system offensive.
"The big difference in the MLA pensions and say – public service pensions – are that the pensions are not invested. They’re just payouts from the treasury."
In the past, Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil has said he agrees with the suggestion to cut pensions to politicians who steal from taxpayers.
In a statement, McNeil told CBC News that, "Elected officials, civil servants or employees of Crown Corporations who are convicted of ... crimes against the taxpayer should lose the right to draw a publicly-funded pension."
Two other MLAs have been convicted in the scandal, a fourth is awaiting trial.
Dave Wilson, the former Liberal MLA for Glace Bay, pleaded guilty to defrauding taxpayers to support a gambling addiction. According to a report by the Legislature, Wilson qualifies for a pension of $40,549.12.
Richard Hulburt, who was a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, also pleaded guilty to fraud and breach of trust.
Trevor Zinck, who faces fraud charges, has a trial date set for June.