Maple Ridge MP gets message, slashes budget

MPs have heard the message and are trimming some of the fat from their own expenses, to do their part to cut the $26-billion federal deficit

Last year

Last year

MPs have heard the message and are trimming some of the fat from their own expenses, to do their part to cut the $26-billion federal deficit.

It’s a trend that’s caught on with all MPs across party lines, says local representative Randy Kamp, who’s slashed his own spending by more than a quarter.

Last year, the MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission spent an overall amount of $494,000, for office salaries and expenses, travel and advertising.

That compares to $360,969 for the fiscal year ending this March 31.

The figures come from Members Expenditures Reports, recently released on the House of Commons website.

“My total is quite a bit lower than last year. Everybody is doing things a little bit differently.”

MPs now use flight passes, books of tickets which can be bought in advance, instead of buying tickets individually.

“I think I’ve probably flown a bit less than I did in other years, maybe stayed in Ottawa a few more weekends instead of coming back every weekend. We tried to spend less on printing than we did in other years, sending out fewer mailings.”

Kamp said he’s compared his expenses with other New Democratic MPs in the area and says his numbers look good.

“I think I’m in pretty good shape compared to them.

“In my case, it was down considerably from last year.”

With the government trying to reduce its $26-billion deficit, MPs felt they should do the same.

According to the Members Expenditure Reports, which covers the fiscal year which ends March 31, Kamp’s total expenses rang in at $360,969. That’s about $133,000 less than the year before.

MPs have agreed to try to pare their spending are part of an attempt to reduce the overall House of Commons budget.

“I think that’s good news for taxpayers.

“We kind of made the effort to do it. It’s good news for taxpayers.”

Kamp spent $19,445 in travel, with another $13,835 spent on his wife’s travel, with both amounts totalling $33,280. Kamp’s wife Ruth occasionally accompanies him to Ottawa.

On the other side of the Pitt River however, NDP MP Fin Donnelly’s (New Westminster-Coquitlam) overall expenses are ringing in almost 25 per cent higher than Kamp’s.

Donnelly, who is fishery critic for the West Coast, had a total expense bill of $446,553, compared to Kamp’s total expenses of $360,969.

Donnelly spent almost three times what Kamp spent on travel, $91,798. The amount includes that for a designated traveller, someone who can accompany an MP.

(In Burnaby-New Westminster, NDP MP Peter Julian, shadow critic for Energy and Natural Resources, spent $120,633 on travel.)

Kamp’s total office expenses rang in at $293,741, which added to the $67,227 covered by the House of Commons budget, produced a total expense of $360,969.

Kamp said we’d welcome closer scrutiny of politicians’ spending, such as itemizing individual expense amounts. “Federally, if they decide to do that, I’m OK with that.”

Both MPs spent similar amounts on hospitality and events, with Kamp spending $5,122 and Donnelly spending $7,866.

Donnelly says though that his spending is about average for an MP. “If you compare to other B.C. MPs, I think I come out in the middle of the pack, so I’m not spending the highest and I’m not spending the lowest.

“I think it’s important that we scrutinize members’ expenses. You want to see them doing a good job and not spending excessively.”

While Donnelly spent more on advertising ($19,730) than Kamp ($2,661), Donnelly says his advertising is about average for an MP, adding that most of that is spent on local newspapers.

“I feel confident I’m doing a good job getting the word out.”

As an MP, Kamp makes $160,200 a year, plus another $16,000 as parliamentary secretary.

But Donnelly questioned about the amout of expenses Kamp would incur as parliamentary secretary to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea. Those would be reported separately under the Fisheries budget.

But a spokesman for Kamp’s office said those expenditures would be a small percentage of an MP’s expenses.

“We’re certainly going to become more transparent with our expenses as the years goes on. I expect the provincial MLAs to follow that as well,” Kamp said.

 

Members Expenditures Reports: http://www.parl.gc.ca/PublicDisclosure/MemberExpenditures.aspx

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

Just Posted

On Nov. 20, the Mission Healthcare Auxiliary presented a cheque for $100,000 to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation to go towards new lab equipment at Mission Regional Hospital. / Submitted Photo
Mission Healthcare Auxiliary presents $100,000 for lab equipment

Volunteers wanted to put the funds to work in a way that would benefit as many patients as possible

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

This home at 32228 Buffalo Drive in Mission was all lit up for the holidays in 2019. / Submitted Photo
Tell us about your Christmas light displays in Mission

Holiday-light list to be published online and in newspaper

A vehicle incident is blocking all lanes west of 216th Street on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley on Nov. 27, 2020. Traffic is getting by only on the shoulder. (DriveBC photo)
UPDATE: New incident on Highway 1 in Langley, crashes involving 10 cars cleared

New incident is reported eastbound underneath the 216th Street overpass

Students at the Chilliwack campus of the University of the Fraser Valley. (Darren MacDonald/ UFV)
UFV asking students to voluntarily report COVID cases and exposures to the school

With COVID cases rising and Fraser Health struggling to keep up, students are asked to help

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)
COVID-19 tickets: No, RCMP aren’t checking vehicle occupancies, restaurant tables

Enforcement about education, not punishment says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

File
LETTER: Public should provide feedback on Mission’s proposed budget

Writer feels more community push back is needed to stop annual property tax increases

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read