Corbett spent $18K on travel
Nova Scotia deputy premier Frank Corbett has billed taxpayers more than $18,000 for air flights and taxis for trips to and from his riding of Cape Breton Centre over the past seven months.
Every MLA is reimbursed for their travel between Halifax and their constituency, and all of them drive their own cars — except Corbett, who is NDP MLA for Cape Breton Centre.
He prefers to fly from Halifax to his home in New Waterford.
Since last December, Corbett has billed taxpayers $15,100 for Air Canada flight passes, according to MLA expense report online for June 2011.
Corbett billed another $250 for flight cancellation charges.
He also expensed another $2,874.78 to a company called Crystal Cab and Limo to get to the airport
Corbett said Wednesday that he is simply too busy to drive between Halifax and his home in New Waterford.
Besides being the deputy premier, he is also deputy president of the executive council, chairman of the treasury board, minister of the Public Service Commission, and minister of Communications Nova Scotia.
"I think the issues here are that I can get work done in the airport and get it done on the airplane," he said.
"I'm edging on 60 [years old]. Five hours in a car ain't fun to roll out and try to be bright and fresh to do a meeting."
Corbett said his vehicle is six years old and is in for repairs this week after he drove it to Halifax last week in order to save some money.
When he was in Opposition, Corbett said he always drove his own car back and forth. But, he said, with the time pressures he is now under, he plans to continue flying between Halifax and his constituency.
Corbett also said that he believes Air Canada is ripping off Nova Scotians with the high fares charged to fly between Halifax and Sydney.
Since the MLA expense scandal in 2010, the province posts all expenses claimed by MLAs online.