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Politicians disclosing, repaying expenses - Metro US

Politicians disclosing, repaying expenses

Premier Darrell Dexter is among the politicians who are repaying the public purse after his expenses were fingered as inappropriate by the auditor general yesterday.

The premier expensed $2,150 for a digital camera and $5,500 for two laptop computers for his office. A spokesman said while those charges are within regulations, the premier still plans to repay them in full.

Disclosure from other members has steadily trickled in. Yarmouth MLA Richard Hurlburt spent $8,000 to have a generator installed in his house. He said the generator was purchased to assist search-and-rescue groups and is just in his home to keep it charged.

Agriculture Minister John MacDonell repayed $13,445 in locally made office furniture.

Preston MLA Keith Colwell and Halifax Citadel MLA Leonard Preyra have also repaid inappropriate expenses.

The man who runs the board controlling the purse strings has also been implicated. Speaker Charlie Parker expensed $790 for a model of the Ship Hector for his constituency office. He has since reimbursed the government.

“It was purchased from a local craftsman,” Parker said. “The Ship Hector is a large tourist attraction in Pictou. I have it displayed in my office to tourists and locals … it’s really to encourage them to go down to the waterfront to see the actual Ship Hector.”

Parker chairs the legislature’s Internal Economy Board, which sets rules for political expenses. He said he will not release the names of MLAs mentioned in the report.

“I don’t think it’s my role to embarrass individual members or single people out … If they wish to disclose where they’re at in the report, that’s their prerogative.”

Under repeated questioning about releasing the names, Parker repeated his goal is now to fix the system to make it more accountable.

“We’re going to focus on fixing the system and making it as responsible to taxpayers as we can,” he said.

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