EDITORIAL: Open up the MLAs' books

Transparency and openness have been promised by an all-party committee responsible for B.C. MLAs’ expenses after auditor general John Doyle was critical of their sloppy bookkeeping.

Beginning this fall, the Tri-Cities’ four MLAs and their 81 colleagues will provide more detailed accounts of their expenses every four months instead of annual totals, and in August will open up their meetings to the public.

Anyone who is interested will be able to sort through a range of expenses, including receipts for goods and services, and while it doesn’t mean less money will be spent, more scrutiny could curb wasteful practices.

Still, it’s shocking that it has taken so long — and required a public shaming — for the MLAs to open their books to the public. There appears to be an all-party sense of entitlement about MLA expenses that can no longer be tolerated, not to mention concern about what might have been missed if Doyle hadn’t raised the alarm.

Will you make an effort to go through MLA expense reports when they are made public? Vote in our online poll.

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