EDITORIAL: Food fight breaks out in B.C. Legislature

Private members bill would eliminate $61-a-day per diem for local MLAs in Greater Victoria

A rookie Liberal MLA is starting a food fight in the B.C. Legislature.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar introduced a private member’s bill that would eliminate the per diem that some MLAs who live nearby the legislature can claim. The reason it is some, is that Milobar’s bill would strip the $61-a-day per diem for the seven MLA who represent ridings in the Capital Region, but it would exempt the two dozen or so B.C. Liberals who have homes (or other living arrangements) in the area but represent a different region of the province.

It’s clear it hasn’t taken Milobar long to learn the political ropes – being able to come across as holier-than-thou while saving a place at the trough for his political colleagues is no easy feat.

If the B.C. Liberals were serious about cutting back on expenses, the bill should target all MLAs who have accommodations in the region. Or better yet, simply ask all MLAs to pay for their meals on their own dime – the $105,882 basic salary, along with an out-of-town living allowance of between $12,000 and $17,000, should be more than enough to keep them in Happy Meals.

To suggest an MLA who represents the Capital Region has time to pack themselves a peanut butter sandwich lunch before work, but those renting a home possibly even closer to the Legislature do not, simply defies logic.

And it really is peanuts that we’re talking here. Premier John Horgan has claimed $1,684.50 for meals, Finance Minister Carole James has eaten up $1,587, Education Minister Rob Fleming has chowed down to the tune of $1,462.50 and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver has claimed $1,221. Saanich South’s MLA Lana Popham has not submitted any per diem claims.

While we are impressed by the agriculture minister’s frugality, we question the need for legislation making home cooking mandatory for MLAs. Is a bill designed to save taxpayers some $6,000 worth having our elected representatives be forced to cut an evening meeting short so they can rush home to throw a Lean Cuisine into the oven?

Of course not. But that was never the purpose. The bill was meant to score some cheap political points while keeping a space for himself and his colleagues on the gravy train.

– Saanich News


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

Kitamaat women complete the three-peat at All Native

Haisla team unstoppable in final as they rout Hazelton; Adelia Paul back to back MVP

No injuries reported following Kitimat Scotiabank robbery

RCMP release image of man wanted in connection with robbery

Northern Health recommends self-quarantine for people returning from Hubei

The healthcare provider said it isn’t neccessary for healthy children to wear face masks

Wet’suwet’en return to camps near Houston, Coastal GasLink workers move through: First Nation

Opponents of a pipeline who support the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have reoccupied camps at centre of arrests

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Most Read