ontario pc mpp spending

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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