Michelle Simson learned a simple lesson as assistant branch manager at a Scarborough bank: When handling other people’s money, account for every penny spent.

The Liberal MP for Scarborough Southwest joins a club of one this week when she becomes the first federal politician to post all of the expenses that she claimed for the 2008-09 fiscal year on her website.


There is about $95,000 to set up and run an office for five months, 75 per cent of what she was entitled to use; a negligible amount to wine and dine officials and constituents; and close to the maximum of about $25,000 that MPs are granted to rent and maintain a second home in Ottawa.

In choosing to reveal how she has spent taxpayers’ money since the October federal election, she is bucking a trend of secrecy that crosses party lines and is fiercely guarded.