Linda Reid defends legislature expenses

Richmond East MLA Linda Reid defended her recent expenses as Speaker in the legislature in a two-page statement late Wednesday after a report in the Vancouver Sun questioned the spending.

“As Speaker, I take full responsibility for these expenditures, The legislative assembly is the people’s building, it should be open and transparent and the public must have absolute confidence that we are managing the taxpayers money appropriately,” she said.

The spending in the heritage building included a $48,412 “Speaker’s Console” desk. Reid said the new equipment allows the Speaker to know when MLAs wish to address the house. It also allows three politicians who use a wheelchair to easily inform the Speaker their intention to speak.

Reid said the spending is part of her “accessibility agenda,” which includes new wheelchair access, automatic doors and improvements to elevators, sidewalks and parking.

Reid also spent $13,965 on new drapes for the legislative dining room. Reid called the expense “routine maintenance,” which permits repairs every 18 to 20 years. The drapes in the dining room were last replaced in 1996.

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