Wednesday, August 9, 2017

BBQing the Fildebrandt --Post #1

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The United Conservative Party MLA says there’s nothing wrong with him subletting his downtown Edmonton apartment while claiming thousands of dollars in rent from the public purse.
United Conservative Party MLA Derek Fildebrandt says there’s nothing wrong with him subletting his downtown Edmonton apartment while claiming thousands of…
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM
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Andrew Robert Francis 'Although he said he’s done nothing wrong, Fildebrandt accused former Wildrose leader Brian Jean’s “backroom operators” of “personal smears” over the apartment on the day after he was critical of his former boss.'

So much for the United right!
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Julie Ali The Wildrose should never have merged with the PCs. There is no united right. There is just a group of folks hoping to become the next government.
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This comment will also be posted to edmontonjournal.com.
Julie Ali I have to admit that I find this situation rather odd. Here we have Mr. Fildebrandt who I seem to recall was an avid defender of the public purse when he wasn't a politician as noted here:

http://www.derekfildebrandt.ca/about

Fildebrandt served as both the Alberta Director and National Research Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Federally, he fought to end the Liberal long-gun registry, scrap gold-plated MP pensions, and require First Nation Chiefs to publicly disclose their salaries to band members. In Alberta, he led the fight against the Redford government’s deficit budgets and abuse of taxpayers’ money.
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So he was all about "abuse of the taxpayers' money" before he got to be an MLA.
Now he is an MLA and he has a subsidy for housing that is rather plush in my opinion:

http://edmontonjournal.com/.../finance-critic-derek...
Members of the Legislative Assembly from outside the capital region are entitled to a maximum of $23,160 in a fiscal year to own or lease a property in Edmonton, or $193 per night for a hotel while in the city on official business.
**
Not satisfied with the generous outlay of cash by taxpayers he parleys this allowance into a business venture where he makes a profitable sum of cash. He sublets this apartment to gain a nice income besides the public subsidy. This sure seems like double dipping to me. If there are no rules against this practice there sure as heck should be.

I encourage the NDP folks to take full advantage of this revelation of how fiscally unsound the Finance Critic for the UCP is and put in legislation stat to prevent the rental of any property that is financed by the housing allowance. While I sympathize with Mr. Fildebrandt's canny use of other peoples' money to make a profit I somehow don't think he should be doing this while telling us that it is a waste of housing. That is besides the point. He either gets the housing allowance or he gets the rent that someone else pays him. He should not be getting both the housing allowance and a rental income simultaneousl.

In my opinion, if the Finance Critic for the UCP is so bad at preventing the abuse of public monies, he should simply retire from politics and start a private business where he can use other peoples' money without such impediments to his ingenuity.
Derek Fildebrandt is the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Strathmore-Brooks and serves as…
DEREKFILDEBRANDT.CA
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Tricia Layden Rumbles He could buy a house and use that allowance toward the mortgage - he can do what he wants with that property. It's the same, since the lease is in his name. Sorry, no biggie. And I would be willing I bet there are MANY mla's in all parties that do this.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Nicole Wetsch Nicole Wetsch he HAS incurred the cost because he is still paying rent for the months that he is not there... and it is an allowance. They all get the same allowable amount. The only other option would be a hotel for 6 mos and that would not benefit taxpayers either.
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Torch Rankin His renters are paying the rent when he's not there. He's not out of pocket. That's what renting it out means. He's making 6 months of income equivalent to rent on the deal. It's totally unethical for a person in public office.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Brian Sulz the mla's who buy homes are STILL claiming the months that they are not in session as well. So if that is the issue you have, address that- and ask them to change the rules. but he is doing nothing. Wrong with the rules the way they are....See More
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Brian Sulz Tricia Layden Rumbles MLAs aren't just given 23k and told to spend it on housing, they're given an allowed amount to cover their costs. The 23k is a max limit, not just a free pool of money to take from.

"Alex McCuaig, Speaker Robert Wanner’s chief of
...See More
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Nicole Wetsch They all get the same amount maximum, but they cannot claim expenses they did not incur. This is not rocket science. If two MLA's both rent places for $1000 dollars a month, but one gets a roommate who pays half, that MLA cannot claim the full amount, ...See More
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Kelly Wolfert Tricia Layden Rumbles why are you having a hard time figuring out that this is not about a business? Stop comparing it to that. This is a government policy (recently changed so the max is not automatic) and taxpayers dollars. 
As an MLA, you serve the
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Sean Michael The mental gymnastics required to justify this as an acceptable practice and prudent use of taxpayer dollars is astounding. 

Especially as he's the outspoken finance critic and former member of the CTF.
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Brian Sulz Tricia Layden Rumbles First, I'll ask you to provide proof of your claims if you're going to make them. So far only Fildebrandt has been proven to be renting his place and also claiming expenses.

Second, if the MLAs have their own place and are **occu
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Jocelyn Loken Tricia Layden Rumbles But that's not what he is doing. He is double-dipping by making money off of it.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles The people that aren't buying homes are most likely NOT leaving them empty half the year... and their "allowable" amount equates to $1930 max per month.. so what does that get you in Edmonton, near the leg? Good luck. Pretty sure they all have to claim he max. 

And I compare it to a business from the perspective that it is part of their compensatoon package.
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Julie Ali Tricia Layden Rumbles I don't think this is fiscally prudent. But I do think he's making a fast buck on the side.
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Torch Rankin ... you don't think you can find a downtown Edmonton 1 bedroom for less than two grand?
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Tricia Layden Rumbles He has a family
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Troy Runzer Tricia, give your head a shake. Derek is entitled to claim actual costs. Unless he deducts airbnb payments from his claim he is conducting questionable accounting (IMO). If indeed this practise is widespread, then it is time for a general review. Your logic is questionable when it comes to excusing his actions because others do it.
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Laurel Jackson Tricia Layden Rumbles he has to claim the actual expense. There is a maximum amount.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Considering the outrage in response to this issue- yes a review should be conducted. And I can guarantee you that there are many others doing similar things to save/make a buck. I think the only way it can be proven is if the government (NDP) does n...See More
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Tricia Layden Rumbles And don't forget, he could just do a hotel for 6 months and cost us closer to 35k if you'd all be more accepting of that.
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Troy Runzer Tricia, wow you are a tenacious defender. Did the articlw not refer to a bachelor suite? This looks bad for all concerned, MLA's in general, but the UCP on particular. My employer allows me to claim actual costs for accomodation - if I claimed for acco...See More
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Just watch. I predict the NDP will do nothing.. and you will all know why.
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Torch Rankin They literally aren't employees. They're elected officials. It's a wholly different legal category. This isn't a compensation element, it's a claimable allowance based on actual costs. The guy is politically wrecked, Jean did him in. And rightfully so.
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Julie Ali Sean Michael Ain't this the truth. The Finance Critic having to explain his double dipping.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Last time i checked they got a pay check and benefits - and therefore have compensation packages. 

If this is all they had to throw at him, I wouldn't be too worried about Derek.
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Sean Michael "I am a fiscal conservative"

Also Tricia: "Totally cool for a MLA to profit off of tax payer funded housing subsidy while loudly screaming about the other side being dippers".


I especially like that you reposted a FB Post calling out Trudeau for ethics violations and misuse of taxpayer dollars for his vacation not too long ago. I guess we should all only be upset when we think the left is breaking the rules, hey Tricia?
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Julie Ali Tricia Layden Rumbles If the NDP do nothing to close this loophole and if the Auditor General does not investigate this must indicate to the public that Mr. Fildebrandt may not be the only one taking advantage of this loophole. Then it gets interesting for all taxpayers. How many MLAs are partaking of this profit making scheme?
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Julie Ali it seems to be a "scheme" that is allowed by the current rules, so it should definitely be interesting to see how it pans out.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Sean Michael you may not have noticed but I haven't made any partisan comments on this thread.. I believe there are similar situations happening in all
Parties, on this one.
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Sean Michael Literally what Tricia reposted in January as she sits here and tries to defend DF's actions right now:

"Warning,* political post*. For anyone not interested in that, please pass by with my blessing, lol.
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Bill Adams he he ha ha sure sure being corrupt is no big deal to you
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Bill Adams Julie Ali I see it ok cause the pcs wrote these rules, wow
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Sean Michael How can you post garbage like that while sitting here defending DF actions? What an absolutely hypocritical move, Tricia.
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Bill Adams Tricia Layden Rumbles naw he's busy collecting his money and yapping bout the nanny state wow how dishonest and corrupt do you have to be in the united corrupt party
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Bill Adams Tricia Layden Rumbles wow the whole party and followers are so corrupt
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Bill Adams Julie Ali all the tories
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Pat Chemago Tricia Layden Rumbles it's only financially prudent if while he is renting it out he DOESNT claim the subsidy from the government. Just because he can doesn't mean he should.
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Bill Adams Tricia Layden Rumbles wow i hope your employer know how corrupt you are
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Bill Adams Tricia Layden Rumbles O i get it he has a family that makes it ok wow what a joke you are, are you a lawyer
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John Baptist If he pays rent of $1000 per month, he is entitled to claim $1000 per month. Every single dollar her takes in from Airbnb rentals should be deducted from the $1000 rent claim. If he is not doing so, he is double dipping. This really isn't hard to understand people. As I read it in the article he expensed over $7K for a period of time that the unit was rented out by 8 Airbnb clients. I don't know what a bachelor suite in downtown Edmonton usually goes for, but it must be pretty pricey of he rented it out 8 times over 3 months and still incurred over $7000 in costs over an above the Airbnb income he collected. And having used Airbnb quite a bit, I doubt he was charging less than $200/night considering his add. Sadly, there simply isn't enough info to determine if he was actually double dipping or not which is why, I assume, they are still looking into the matter.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles The difference here is that it appears to be allowable under the current rules. JT broke several rules. 

And thanks for taking the time to seek out my history on fb, if that helps you out in trying to discredit someone's opinion, all the power to yo
u. 

Like I said, if the NDP don't pursue-- this is an across the board occurrence. I don't think it's a partisan issue. 

And if people feel the rules need to be changed - that mla's have to report subletting- then let's focus on that instead. 

So there actually is no hypocrisy here. There is no rule against what he has done. If you don't like it-- get the rules changed.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Again folks- there are no rules against subletting. 

If you feel

It should be changed, petition the govt.
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Julie Ali Bill Adams Where do get that I said this is OK because the PCs wrote these rules? I am saying the NDP are now in charge. They have been appraised of the problem. They need to fix the problem. If they do not fix the problem, they are simply continuing the problem created by the PCs. Really you need to get over brand identification to realize all political parties are identical in their operations and that the NDP folks are no different from the PC folks. And as this case illustrates very aptly, the UCP folks are no different from the PCs or the NDPCs.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Julie Ali agreed, we should look at it as an "mla" issue, not a partisan issue.
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Julie Ali Tricia Layden Rumbles You are correct. This is the best thing to do. Let me go write to the NDP folks and maybe three months down the road there will be a response. Or not.
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Julie Ali yeah.. regardless of which party was in office, I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Julie Ali Tricia Layden Rumbles You're nice. The real problem is that citizens are being used as generators of cash for the public bank that all political parties party on. Shame. But there you go.
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Aaron Lemke Tricia Layden Rumbles don't bother they don't get it.
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Julie Ali Aaron Lemke We do get it. We're being fiscally abused by the fiscally conservative politician who is telling us that he is being fiscally sound to rent out his empty place and earn extra cash while still getting a housing allowance from us. We get it.
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Julie Ali Bill Adams And all the NDP. And all the UCPs. They're all the same.
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Julie Ali Bill Adams This is not true. Most citizens are nice folks. They may be a tad naive about politicians but I think we are learning. Maybe don't insult voters. We're doing the best we can.
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Julie Ali Tricia Layden Rumbles Classy answer. I think Mr. Trudeau should not have accepted free holidays and he should pay back the people for the expenses incurred. The elite however, are different from ordinary folks.
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Julie Ali Sean Michael Mr. Trudeau should not have accepted a free holiday and we should be paid back for expenses. I see no problem with criticizing him for this venture.
ReplyJust now

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