High travel costs for Northwest MLAs a reality of rural living

Doug Donaldson talks about high travel expenses.

  • Aug. 26, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson tops the expenses out of the three Northwest MLAs in the area, from here to Prince Rupert.

In the provincial public accounts 2010/11 documents just  recently released by the government, Donaldson had $44,442 in travel expenses.

That was higher than Skeena MLA Robin Austin’s travel budget of $42,773, and North Coast’s Gary Coons at $43,084.

MLAs outside of the Victoria area also receive a Capital City Living Allowance. Donaldson was allotted $20,405 out of that account.

Austin had $15,683 and Coons is reported at $15,673.

“It does cost a lot to get … representation in Victoria from northern rural areas,” said Donaldson. “As anyone knows who has traveled at all from Smithers … the airfares are definitely something that are very, very high.”

He added that coming from the private sector before entering politics he is very aware and conscious of the fact that it is public money he is spending.

“[I] look for opportunities I can to take advantage of ways to decrease those costs.”

As for the Capital City allowance, he noted they are set rates and the rental bills for him are sent directly to the legislative comptroller’s office from the rental companies.

“Some MLAs have purchased places to live in Victoria and they receive a stipend for that as well,” he said but noted that a property purchase is not something he’s considering at this time.

The Skeena MLA,  Austin, told The Terrace Standard much of the same, that the expenses are a result of living in this remote area.

“So if you look at it and see that the three of us in the northwest, Gary Coons, myself and Doug Donaldson have substantially higher figures than say Jenny Kwan, who lives in the Lower Mainland,” Austin said.

Just Posted

CN train derailment cleared between Terrace and Prince Rupert

The CN mainline is now open, following a train derailment mid-way between… Continue reading

President and CEO leaving Coast Mountain College

Burt will say goodbye to CMNT come September

UPDATE: Downed power pole shuts down Petro-Canada

Business operator says Waste Management was responsible for the incident

Fire burns down barn and workshop near Tyhee Lake

Owner Martin Hennig estimates around $200,000 in uninsured losses after the buildings burned down.

Portugese national concertmaster headlines classical music festival

Spirit of the North festival will feature internationally-renowned musicians to local kids

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read