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Dozens of MPs invoice Canadian taxpayers for value of residence web

Conservatives took essentially the most benefit of the profit, with 27 members billing for residence web service, whereas 16 Liberal MPs claimed the profit

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OTTAWA — Dozens of MPs working from residence did not have to fret in regards to the additional value of downloads and Zoom calls through the pandemic as a result of they shifted the price of their residence web onto taxpayers.

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MPs from a lot of the main events billed taxpayers for the web at their main residences, whereas others additionally lined the price of their staff’ web payments, in line with expense reviews the Nationwide Submit reviewed.

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The Submit reviewed the expense reviews of all 338 MPs from July 1 to Sept. 30, 2022, the newest time-frame publicly out there. The reporting interval additionally covers the Home of Commons summer season break, with MPs having solely returned to Ottawa within the final two weeks of September. The Commons had additionally lifted its obligatory vaccine coverage throughout that point and whereas hybrid sitting guidelines stay in place, most MPs attended in particular person throughout that time-frame.

Amélie Crosson, a spokeswoman for the Home of Commons, mentioned members of Parliament are allowed to invoice for his or her residence web service, a coverage that predates the pandemic.

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“Members might purchase web service for his or her main residence and cost the associated connection and month-to-month service charges to their member’s workplace price range,” she mentioned in an e-mail.

Among the many expense reviews, 49 MPs charged the web invoice for his or her main residence. An MP’s main residence is normally their residence de ella of their constituency, however it may be wherever they spend nearly all of the yr. All 338 MPs billed for web service at their constituency places of work.

The payments for residence web service ranged significantly, with some MPs paying lower than $70 per 30 days, whereas others, particularly MPs in rural places, paid greater than $200. In complete, taxpayers paid simply over $15,000 for these three summer season months to supply web service to the properties of 49 MPs.

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Conservatives took essentially the most benefit of the profit, with 27 members billing for residence web service, together with the celebration’s then interim chief Candice Bergen, in addition to MPs James Bezan, Mark Strahl and Rachel Thomas.

The Submit contacted most of the MPs and present Conservative Chief Pierre Polievre’s workplace however acquired no response earlier than press time.

The Liberals had 16 MPs who claimed the profit, together with celebration whip Steven MacKinnon, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc and veteran MP Hedy Fry.

Fry identified that Parliament covers the expense and due to well being issues she has to do all the pieces by way of Zoom and on-line.

“I work very extensively nearly as a result of I am immunocompromised, and my doctor doesn’t need me to be ready the place I might catch COVID or the flu,” the 81-year-old Vancouver MP mentioned.

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The Bloc Québécois had six MPs submitting their residence web bills. No New Democrats claimed the profit for themselves, however in lots of circumstances MPs lined web bills for his or her staff.

Liberal, Conservative and Bloc MPs additionally lined residence web bills for his or her staff.

The federal authorities does not have a blanket coverage to cowl web prices for civil servants working from residence.

Franco Terrazzano with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation mentioned working from residence for MPs should not come at further value to taxpayers.

“We dwell in a brand new world, however that does not imply taxpayers ought to be paying extra,” he mentioned. “Many individuals work at home, so if politicians need to expense taxpayers for residence web, then they should discover different methods to save cash.”

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Terrazzano mentioned MPs might reduce on flyers they mail to constituents or search for different methods, but it surely should not be a mounting perk for MPs, who make a base wage of $185,800, with bonuses for cupboard ministers, committee chairs or different particular roles .

“If they do not need to discover different bills to chop, then they will use the pay raises they took during the last couple years to pay for brand new bills.”

– with further reporting by Christopher Nardi

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Electronic mail: rtumilty@postmedia.com

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