Traveller checks

Shirley Bond was flying high in government's most recent fiscal year, booking $103,082 in travel expenses - more than any other provincial cabinet minister. It's the first time Minister Bond, who billed $76,443 the year prior, has been in the top spot. Asked about the increase, Minister Bond told Public Eye, "Simply put, I made more trips back and forth to Prince George which, for me as an MLA, is absolutely critical."

"My job is to be a great constituency MLA," she continued. "So I work in Victoria and fly home every week - that's what my constituents expect."

But she said that uptick had nothing to do with the election.

"My election results would indicate that I had a very significant win" - coming in 13 percentage points ahead of her New Democrat challenger Julie Carew.

"And people recognize what a hard worker I am. So that for me is an eight year process not a run-up to an election process," said the MLA.

Minister Bond said her responsibilities as education minister - which include extra visits to school districts and a $5,000 overseas trip to attract more Chinese students to British Columbia - also added to her travel expenses.

Top travelling cabinet ministers

Fiscal 2008/09

#1 - Shirley Bond ($103,082)
#2 - Pat Bell ($93,873)
#3 - Kevin Krueger ($82,733)

Fiscal 2007/08

#1 - Richard Neufeld ($116,490)
#2 - Gordon Campbell ($97,198)
#3 - Kevin Falcon ($81,744)
#4 - Shirley Bond ($76,443)

Fiscal 2006/07

#1 - Richard Neufeld ($94,451)
#2 - Gordon Campbell ($80,972)
#3 - Shirley Bond ($77,568)

Fiscal 2005/06

#1 - Richard Neufeld ($73,172)
#2 - Pat Bell ($68,730)
#3 - Kevin Falcon ($58,573)
#9 - Shirley Bond ($42,416)

Fiscal 2004/05

#1 - Richard Neufeld ($98,130)
#2 - John Les ($73,484)
#3 - Mike de Jong ($71,790)
#9 - Shirley Bond ($54,279)

1 Comment

With due respect to Bond, she was the Minister of Education in 2005/06 when her travel expenses were $42k. And she was still the Education Minister in 2008/09, just three years later, when her travel claims had shot up by almost 150 percent to over $100,000.

It's not good enough for Bond to in effect say, "My constituents re-elected me by a healthy margin, so it's okay." They're not the only ones paying Bond's expenses; all BC taxpayers are.

Why is it too much to expect that politicians with Bond's cavalier attitude towards taxpayer-paid expenses should be few and far between?

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