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Loophole leaves taxpayers picking up tab for MP travel

A loophole in the House of Commons' spending rules has allowed MPs travelling to party conventions to bill taxpayers for more than half a million dollars over the past year — even though House of Commons rules normally prohibit MPs from charging expenses linked to partisan political activity.

Since May 2023, MPs have charged to the House of Commons $538,314 in travel, accommodation, meals and incidental costs associated with attending caucus meetings held in connection with party conventions — including more than $84,000 for travel by «designated travellers,» often MPs' spouses.

Expense claims filed to the Senate by seven Conservative senators for travel, accommodation and per diems added another $26,293 to the total.

Conservative MPs racked up 79 per cent of the spending by MPs. They billed the House of Commons $426,283 to attend a caucus meeting associated with the Conservative Party's policy convention in Quebec City in September 2023, including $331,699 for travel, $71,408 for accommodations and $21,053 for meals and incidentals.

Conservative MPs were the only ones to bill Parliament for spouses' travel to a caucus meeting.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre did not file an expense claim to the House of Commons from his MP's budget for travel to Quebec City.

New Democratic Party MPs collectively filed the second highest total in expenses; they billed Parliament $83,087 to send MPs and a dozen of their employees to a caucus meeting associated with the party's convention in Hamilton in October 2023.

One of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's employees charged an expense claim to Singh's House of Commons MP's budget, but Singh himself did not.

The Bloc Québécois, whose MPs are all located in Quebec, billed the House of Commons $28,943

Read more on cbc.ca