From $0* to $23,160: How much each MLA claims for living expenses in Edmonton
Many claim the maximum allowed amount while others opt to spend less of taxpayers' dollars
United Conservative Party MLA Derek Fildebrandt made headlines this week for renting out his taxpayer-funded apartment on AirBnB.
Like all MLAs who don't live in Edmonton or the nearby area, Fildebrandt is eligible to claim up to $23,160 annually to put toward the purchase or rental of a home in the capital.
And, like many MLAs, he claimed that full amount in the last fiscal year.
But others manage to get by with less expensive accommodations.
- Scroll down to see how much your MLA claims in capital city living expenses.
Of 63 MLAs who made claims last year or were eligible to, 31 claimed the maximum amount, while 32 claimed less than the limit.
The average claim was $18,831.
Liberal Leader David Swann claimed the least — zero dollars — but that comes with an asterisk.
"The reason is that I haven't submitted my expenses for this year yet," he said Friday. "I intend to submit those shortly."
Swann, who represents the constituency of Calgary–Mountain View, said he has a paid-off condo in Edmonton so all he plans to claim are his condo fees, which total about $450 per month or roughly $5,400 for the year.
Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark, who represents Calgary–Elbow, claimed $11,781.
Finance Minister Joe Ceci, the highest-ranking government MLA who doesn't live in Edmonton, claimed $15,400.
Eligible NDP MLAs, on average, claimed $18,725 while eligible UCP MLAs claimed $19,722.
Richard Starke — the lone Progessive Conservative MLA left in the legislature after the rest of the party's caucus merged with the Wildrose to become the UCP — claimed the maximum $23,160.
Another asterisk on the Speaker's claims
The highest claim came from Medicine Hat MLA Robert Wanner, but that one, too, comes with an asterisk.
Wanner serves as Speaker in the legislature and, as such, is in charge of the Legislative Assembly Office, which oversees all MLA expense claims.
Wanner's chief of staff Alex McCuaig said the $25,090 claimed by the Speaker includes a missed payment from the previous fiscal year that was tacked on to the 2016/17 claims.
Wondering how much your MLA claimed last year? Look him or her up in the interactive table below.
(Having trouble seeing the table on mobile? Click here for a direct link to it.)
- An earlier version of this story included a different explanation of the Speaker's 2016/17 expense claims being over the maximum amount. His chief of staff had provided incorrect information initially but later clarified that it was due to a missed payment from the previous fiscal year.Aug 10, 2017 4:38 PM MT
- This story was updated on Aug. 11 after David Swann explained that he has not yet submitted housing expense claims for the 2016/17 fiscal year.Aug 11, 2017 11:38 AM MT