Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin spent $25,708 on travel costs over the last six months, according to MLA expense documents posted on the provincial legislature’s website Oct. 29.
Paid between April 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, Austin’s travel costs are slightly less than the amounts spent by other northwest area MLA’s, and close to the amounts spent by other MLA’s around the province representing semi-rural ridings.
New Democrat Jennifer Rice, representing the North Coast, spent $26,702, while Stikine NDP MLA Doug Donaldson spent $33,202, the most out of any MLA, just slightly up from Liberal health minister and representative for Kamloops-North Thompson Terry Lake’s $33,147.
For his Capitol City Allowance, Austin claimed $6,000 for accommodations while in Victoria. MLA’s are also paid a daily per diem, which can be up to $61 depending how various factors – like if a lunch was provided, or if they were only in town for a portion of the day – for days they are in the provincial capitol on legislature business, with Austin claiming $1,059 in that category.
For travel within the Skeena riding Austin claimed $2,672.
General travel costs came out to $12,743, with an additional $1,356 per diem.
On two trips Austin had an accompanying person, costing $1,879.
Austin did not spend any money on speaker approved travel, or out of province/out of country (ministerial) travel.
The NDP began posting monthly travel expense details on their website in July, providing a more specific breakdown of their expenses. Those can be found at www.bcndpcaucus.ca/expense-reports.