Time for government to release travel expenses, says NDP

The NDP is reminding the government that Saskatchewan people want to see all ministerial travel expenses, along with the expenses of entourages that travel with ministers, posted online starting this month.

The call for expenses to be posted online came after the NDP revealed then-minister of Social Services June Draude took a trip with a friend as well as a member of her family on the taxpayers’ tab. Draude and her companions visited another friend in Ghana, then travelled to London. Minimal government business was arranged to justify the trips, but Draude billed taxpayers for a chauffeured limo that was, in part, used for sightseeing in London, as well as a high-end luxury hotel for the three. Draude has repayed a small portion of the $19,000 cost for that trip.

The NDP also revealed Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz hired the same luxury limo service while he was in the United Kingdom earlier that year, including paying for the service to be at the ready even when he wasn’t using it.

In both cases, the limo was expensed by a staff person, and not to the minister.

“It’s time we see travel expenses, including for staff and the entourage travelling with ministers,” said Warren McCall, NDP house leader. “We've seen too many abuses by members of this government to just keep trusting them. The growing sense of entitlement within this government needs to stop, and more transparency should help with that.”

The government conceded to post the expenses online semi-annually, so expenses from April to September would be posted in October.

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