Liberal senators are including "designated travellers" for the first time in their expense disclosure statements.
"It is our responsibility to provide this information to the public. We are committed to full transparency and adding designated travellers expenses' is an important step for us," wrote Senator Paul Massicotte in a release today. Massicotte has been co-ordinating this initiative for the Senate's Liberal caucus.
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A designated traveller is someone other than a senator's employee, usually their spouse or a child, who travels with a senator on Senate business and is covered by the senator's expense account.
The Senate Liberals began quarterly proactive disclosures of their travel and hospitality expenses in September 2013. It was only for the two weeks from Sept. 16 to Sept. 30. The first full quarter of disclosure was October to December of 2013.
The quarter that includes designated travellers' expenses covers April to June of 2014.
The decision to include the expenses of designated travellers came out of a Liberal House of Commons motion in March that instructed the House of Commons to publicly disclose all taxpayer-funded travel and hospitality expenses. After the motion's passage, Senate Liberals decided to review the format of their disclosures and decided designated travellers should be added.
Liberals began pushing for this type of disclosure in the spring of 2013 but didn't get the necessary unanimous support in the House at the time. Regardless, the Liberals and the Conservatives both began a program of proactive disclosure before the Liberals passed a motion this year.