Speaker repays husband’s South Africa airfare

Legislature Speaker Linda Reid has paid back the $5,528 cost of her husband's flight to South Africa

Richmond East MLA Linda Reid was elected speaker of the B.C. legislature last summer.

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.

 

Just Posted

BCHL: Mackenzie Wight returns to Bulldogs lineup

Forward returns following a Memorial Cup run with WHL’s Swift Current Broncos

Mixed golf tourney ends in thrilling playoff at Alberni Golf Course

29th Annual Mixed Tournament took place in August

Melissa Hazel Lowe named Portal Players’ volunteer of the year

Lowe enjoys acting and stage managing with the Portal Players Dramatic Society

ELECTION 2018: ‘Too soon’ to talk pool replacement in ACRD

Should rural taxpayers shoulder some of the price tag?

BIZ BEAT: Bosley’s expands in Pacific Rim Centre

Flagship Tim Hortons undergoes first big reno since 2009

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

Man holds newborn son for first time after devastating B.C. racetrack crash

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

Commercial diver drowns in Hecate Strait

WorkSafeBC and BC Coroners Service are investigating the diving incident south of Dewdney Island

Conservation officers investigate four elk shot and abandoned on Vancouver Island

Leaving harvestable game meat in the field is a punishable offence

Most Read