Low-level Ontario PC politicians have been living like royalty on the party dime
An election is just around the corner in Ontario, which means it's officially the season of digging up dirt on politicians.
And it looks like a handful of Ontario Progressive Conservative MPPs have been living large at the expense of their party, with reports emerging that even low-level PC MPPs have been living rockstar lifestyles and racking up excessive expenses on things like food and housing in the process.
In a damning report published by Global News on Tuesday, the expenses of eight PC MPPs are being placed under the microscope after the issue of spending was noted by the Ontario NDP.
Delving deep into publicly available Elections Ontario data of expenses incurred by the 124 sitting MPPs, the outlet uncovered many payments made to politicians by their party riding associations — sourced from donations and tax subsidies — from 2018 to 2021 that fell well beyond routine expenses.
In addition to their taxpayer-supported salaries, MPPs received allowances from riding associations to cover a wide range of expenses that included entertainment and food, and some of the figures stated are unbelievably high.
In Global's deep dive on elections data, the outlet focused on eight PC MPPs alleged to have accepted so-called "expense allowances" that run into the tens of thousands of dollars per year.
Racking up the biggest bills of the eight politicians singled out, Don Valley North MPP Vincent Ke has reportedly charged his riding association almost $55,000 since 2018. The largest share of this massive bill came from the almost $30,000 expensed on "meals, food and drink" in 2018, with another $12K on dining the following year.
It begs the question, what the hell is this guy eating?
How does a backbench MPP in the City of Toronto get to expense $13,000 on parking and gas in less than four years? And $30,000 on food and drink in one year?— Sean Marshall (@Sean_YYZ) May 11, 2022
Don Valley North is on the subway, with only a transfer at Sheppard-Yonge to Queen’s Park. https://t.co/OfdaAgmgye pic.twitter.com/Giak5jjMLT
He also charged the riding association over $13K on gas, parking, and auto expenses since 2018, which is a heck of a lot of road trips for an almost four-year period that included two travel-restricted pandemic years, and quite a bit of spending in general at a time when much of the province was experiencing economic hardship.
Laughing all the way to the bank. Once again, at the Ontario taxpayers expense.— D #IStandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 (@DougQuantz) May 10, 2022
Countering the arguments of those criticizing the spending (if whataboutism is even a counterargument), a few voices have pointed out that Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath has also been accused of spending exorbitant sums out of party coffers.
This is no different, of course, than the NDP paying Andrea Horwath an extra $43,000 for a clothing allowance so she can shop at Holt Renfrew. I assume our journalists will cover this fairly. https://t.co/iRGLKIUeEi— Chris (@SimcoeLaker) May 10, 2022
Other called out in Global's report on expenses include Nepean MPP Lisa Macleod, who earned almost $166K in 2021 in her former role of minister of Children, Community and Social Service and Tourism Culture and Sport.
Not surprised, reminds me of the “special” funding Andrew Scheer received from the Conservativearty to send his kids to private school, which apparently no one knew about and party members were livid their donations used for Sheer’s expenses— LesMB (@LesMB1) May 10, 2022
MacLeod has been earning over $100K per year for a very long time, as evidenced by her annual appearances on the Sunshine List, but that didn't stop her from accepting expense and housing allowances in the tens of thousands of dollars from 2017 to 2020, a period where she earned over $760K in annual salary.
Join the conversation Load comments