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

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

Oak Bay clinic opens virtual classes to public for fundraiser

Patient activity is up for cancer-supporting clinic during COVID-19 crisis

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read