News

Speaker repays husband's South Africa airfare

Richmond East MLA Linda Reid was elected speaker of the B.C. legislature last summer. - Black Press files
Richmond East MLA Linda Reid was elected speaker of the B.C. legislature last summer.
— image credit: Black Press files

VICTORIA – Legislature Speaker Linda Reid has paid back the $5,528 cost of her husband's flight to a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in South Africa.

Reid said Tuesday there is a long-standing practice of spouses accompanying B.C. officials on such trips, but the B.C. legislature's internal financial standards are evolving in light of public expectations.

"I traveled in my capacity as speaker," Reid told reporters Tuesday after being questioned about the trip. "I attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference. It is important work on behalf of democracy."

Reid and her husband flew business class to Johannesburg in August. NDP MLA Raj Chouhan, the assistant deputy speaker, was also on the trip with his wife.

NDP caucus chair Shane Simpson said the Chouhans flew economy and stayed at a budget hotel in Johannesburg, so their combined cost to taxpayers was about $6,300. Chouhan offered to pay for his wife but was told by Reid spouses were invited on such trips, Simpson said.

When MLAs began reporting their expenses in 2012, Skeena MLA Robin Austin briefly rose to the top of the list thanks to a $19,000 trip to a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Speakers, deputy speakers and legislative clerks typically attend these conferences, aimed at strengthening parliamentary practices around the world.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

UPDATE: Delta dog walker to be sentenced next week in death of six dogs
 
Cross-border trips dive with loonie
 
MLA John Yap on medical leave after heart surgery
Richmond man wins an Academy Award
 
Float planes top airport complaints again
 
Bhullar helping to shape wrestling’s future
Richmond tests new way to slow down traffic
 
Kiang shares the official story
 
Legal marijuana in Blaine now short walk from B.C.

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.