Wednesday, August 9, 2017

-Darren Bell So basically thing's have not changed?------------Nathan Mah Cmon guys!!! This is what Alberta wants ... future entitled mla's Love Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry · Reply · 1 · 37 mins---------------In a statement, Kenney said he was disappointed that Fildebrandt wasn't running and called him a "principled young conservative."----------------Fildebrandt, one of the UCP’s two finance critics, said he puts the extra cash toward rent, cleaning and maintenance. -----











http://www.calgarysun.com/2017/08/08/fildebrandt-blasts-jean-but-wont-run-to-lead-ucp
http://www.calgarysun.com/2017/08/08/fildebrandt-blasts-jean-but-wont-run-to-lead-ucp

Fildebrandt blasts Jean, but won't run to lead UCP


BY JAMES WOOD, POSTMEDIA
FIRST POSTED: TUESDAY, AUGUST 08, 2017 12:08 PM MDT | UPDATED: TUESDAY, AUGUST 08, 2017 12:17 PM MDT
fildebrandtDerek Fildebrandt - Postmedia
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Outspoken MLA Derek Fildebrandt took himself out of the running for the leadership of the United Conservative Party Tuesday but launched a broadside against another candidate, former Wildrose Leader Brian Jean.
The Strathmore-Brooks MLA had been flirting with a run for the UCP's top job but at a news conference in front of McDougall Centre said he will instead push the fledgling party and the candidates running for the top job to adopt libertarian-tinged policies.
Fildebrandt, first elected under the Wildrose banner in 2015, said he won't endorse anyone in the leadership race right now but reaffirmed his comments last month that under no circumstances would he support his former leader, Jean, in the contest.
"I've had two-and-a-half years to work with him and seen his leadership up close and I've got more than enough experience to make a very confident decision that he is not the best man to lead the party and lead Alberta," he told reporters.
"I've seen a leadership style that focused more on making the party about a single individual than a greater collective. I want a leader who is going to focus on building a party and building a team and not just promoting themselves and their own personal brand."
While Fildebrandt endorsed Jean for the Wildrose leadership in 2015, the two have had a frosty relationship since taking office. Last year, Fildebrandt was suspended from the Wildrose caucus for what he said was an inadvertent endorsement of a homophobic social media post, though the suspension was quickly reversed.
The race for the leadership of the UCP, a vehicle to unite Alberta's right created last month by the overwhelming vote of members of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties, is widely viewed as a showdown between Jean and former PC Leader Jason Kenney, with Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer also in the race.
Jean's campaign declined to respond to Fildebrandt's remarks.
In a statement, Kenney said he was disappointed that Fildebrandt wasn't running and called him a "principled young conservative."
"I look forward to his ongoing participation in the debate about the future of our province."
Fildebrandt said he believed he would have run a competitive race but acknowledged that Jean and Kenney have a significant advantage in terms of resources.
He did not rule out endorsing one of the other leadership contenders in the future.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said that even if Fildebrandt doesn't formally endorse Kenney he will help the former federal cabinet minister as a "pit bull" against Jean.
"I think he will continue to have significance," Bratt said of Fildebrandt's role in the leadership battle, which will conclude with an October 28 vote of UCP members.
"He is entertaining, he is flamboyant, so he is going to get coverage. He has a very large social media platform, which has sometimes got him into trouble, but it gives him a very good vehicle."
Kenney has been endorsed by four UCP MLAs first elected as Wildrosers: Rick Strankman, Mark Smith, Drew Barnes and Grant Hunter.
Jean's backers include Wildrosers-turned-UCP MLAs Dave Hanson, Angela Pitt, Don MacIntyre, Leela Aheer, Ron Orr, Glenn van Dijken, Todd Loewen and Tany Yao.
jwood@postmedia.com


http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/finance-critic-derek-fildebrandt-rents-downtown-digs-on-airbnb-while-claiming-housing-allowance

Finance critic Derek Fildebrandt rents downtown digs on Airbnb while claiming housing allowance

Published on: August 9, 2017 | Last Updated: August 9, 2017 8:24 PM MDT
Derek Fildebrandt announces he will not be running for UCP leadership in Calgary on Tuesday August 8, 2017 outside the McDougall Centre.
United Conservative Party MLA Derek Fildebrandt says there's nothing wrong with him subletting his downtown Edmonton apartment while claiming thousands of dollars in rent from the public purse. LEAH HENNEL / POSTMEDIA
A 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.
Derek Fildebrandt, MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, advertises his downtown bachelor suite for rent online as “newly renovated, modernly furnished and very well-kept.”
“It has a sweeping view of the city and is in the thick of the action on Jasper Ave.,” the Airbnb listing says.
Between January and March, eight Airbnb renters reviewed the apartment. Over the same three months, Fildebrandt claimed $7,720 for accommodation in Edmonton.
Fildebrandt denies he’s double-dipping by renting out the same apartment for which he claims an allowance on the taxpayers’ dime.
“Find someone under 35 with a downtown apartment that doesn’t let their apartment if they’re gone half the year,” he told the Journal.
After all, he said, “it’s the 21st century.”
“It would be a waste … to have an apartment that sits empty half of the year and not let it out when I’m gone out of session,” he said.  
Fildebrandt, one of the UCP’s two finance critics, said he puts the extra cash toward rent, cleaning and maintenance.
“Some MLAs rent, some MLAs let a hotel room, some MLAs buy a place and put (their allowance) toward the mortgage,” he said, and there’s no difference between those arrangements.

Expense rules mum on sublets

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.
That cash can go toward accommodation expenses like rent, utilities and parking, but the rules explicitly state that MLAs are only entitled to the actual costs incurred.
Expenses are paid through the Legislative Assembly Office, overseen by the Speaker.
Alex McCuaig, Speaker Robert Wanner’s chief of staff, told the Journal there is no precedent around an Airbnb sublet, but said the system is set up with the intention that members claim actual expenses, not the maximum by default.
“The bottom line is, the member needs to be answerable for their practices and justify their expenses,” McCuaig said.
Fildebrandt said the rental is completely above-board and complies with the rules.
Interim UCP caucus deputy leader Mike Ellis said in a brief statement his caucus is carefully reviewing the matter.
“While it has been explained to be an approved LAO activity, we take fiscal responsibility seriously,” Ellis said.
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.

egraney@postmedia.com
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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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Kris Singh Sorry that would be the definition of double dipping. 1 - claiming the rent as an expense. 2 - collecting additional rent because it is unused. See Derek that's two in case you can't count. Two dips would result in a double dip by definition.
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Andy Conn Math is hard for the alt-right
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Kris Singh I really thought Seinfeld properly defined the double dip. Guess not.
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Lucia Iorio EXACTLY
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Julie Ali I have to agree with you that this sort of business set up stinks. It may not break any current laws or regulations but it still stinks.

Regulations need to be present to ensure that subletting of a property is prohibited when the MLA is getting paid by the public purse for housing. Double payments should be made improper by legislation.
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Kris Singh It's a loop hole. If you expense rent then it has to be a cost to you. I can't go to my employer and expense say parking if I parked for free. It might be allowed but it's still double dipping.
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Susan McNeil Double dipping would be expensing two employers for the same bill.
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Kris Singh No double dipping would be collecting twice on one invoice. Has nothing to do with two employers.
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Nicole Wetsch Umm no Susan McNeil. Double dipping is getting paid twice for the same thing, regardless of where it comes from.
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Cherie Skolney Hope he has competition becuz I won't vote for him!
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Julie Ali Cherie Skolney I don't think he will get rehired.
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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.
***

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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Allan Paquet If the profit was returned to the government then there would be nothing wrong. Instead it goes in his pocket.
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Allan Paquet Doesn't cause you a moment where you step back and have another Look?
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Tricia Layden Rumbles And so if someone uses the money to pay for a mortgage, should they have to pay gains back to Albert govt if the properly increases in value while they are accepting living allowance? Exactly - ridiculous. He is personally on the hook
For that lease, 
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Jamie Biggs-Tillotson Financially prudent for himself doesn't benefit Albertans.
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Den Lars Yeah ok no biggie
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Nicole Wetsch You seem to have missed the part where they can only claim actual expenses, not the maximum amount. So no, he could not sleep on someone's couch and still claim it, it is in fact an allowance that reimburses expenses, not a per diem that he can just cl...See More
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Tricia Layden Rumbles Allan Paquet no- because all large organizations do this. They offer an allowance for a specific purpose to their employees - it's up to the employee how they spend it- period. It is a part of their compensation package. Nobody can tell him what to ...See More
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Torch Rankin The rules allow them to claim "up to" the max. The max is not what they get automatically. This is a decision he is making. It's not a reimbursed expense, but it's not a fixed or guaranteed amount either-it's completely within his control.
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Brian Sulz Sure, renting out your place is fine, but the issue is that he's also claiming public money for his housing expenses. He is effectively taking public money that he knows he doesn't need, and profting from it. Are you okay with just giving him extra money? That's the issue here, not the renting, but that he's claiming more expenses than he actually is occuring.
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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. 

So-- if an mla bought a house, used their allowance towards it, only lived in it 6 mos per year, and got a roommate... that would be ok??? Yes- it would be allowed and I can guarantee you it is happening in all parties.
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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
 staff...said the system is set up with the intention that members claim actual expenses, not the maximum by default."

The rules are to claim the costs you have occured, up to a max of 23k a year. If he's renting out the apartment, then he's not taking on costs. He could claim any rent costs he may occur when he's living there himself, nobody would have an issue with that, but the fact is that he is taking money he doesn't need, while also getting money from subletting out his place (unless he's AirBnB-ing at cost, in which case he still has no expenses and doesn't need taxpayer money for anything.)
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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, only the half they pay. Even if the lease is only in their name. This is exactly what he is doing. It is double dipping, unethical and gross. You are literally the only person in the 100 and some odd comments that doesn't seem to get that.
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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
 people of Alberta. Profiting from that is not ethical. 
And before you bring up the purchase of a house and what it's value becomes, the mortgage payment is what is reembersed to a max. And that is submitted month by month. 
If someone wants to take on a mortgage and they profit from that 25 years later as an MLA, I don't care about that. The mortgage max was what was allowed. 
The moment someone starts charging back for that for their own profit and still collecting the max allowed/subsidized, I have a problem ... no matter what party they are from.
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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 nothing in response to this... then you KNOW there are other mla's doing this. Because they would love an opportunity to roast Derek but won't make an issue out of it if their own are doing it. 

I am a fiscal conservative - I am all for saving taxpayers money. I guess I'm just not so naive to think this isn't going on with other mla's, and that this sort of thing is normally considered part of a compensation package. And they may be public servants, but they are still employees.
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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 accommodation that someone else paid for I would be sitting in front of our treasurer explaining my actions. Stop making excuses for Derek (and many other according to you).
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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.


This is a copy of an email that I have written the to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner for Canada.
This is her email address: CIEC-CCIE@parl.gc.ca

I would encourage anyone else to do the same, that is frustrated or angered by the actions of our Prime Minister. Other people on facebook have asked permission to copy and send this as well, so I thought I would share it with everyone. This is my plea to the commissioner:

Subject: Trudeau MUST be Investigated

Madame Dawson,

As a Canadian citizen, I have been increasingly shocked and disappointed by the actions of our Prime Minister.

I understand that you are probably inundated with emails and communications so I will keep this short and to the point, though I could probably go on for a lengthy period.

1) You, Madame, are the only protection that Canadians have (between elections) to ensure that our elected officials are acting the way they should in accordance with accepted ethical principals, and avoiding conflict of interest. While I understand it may be difficult, as this investigation involves the very person who ultimately controls your employment... we need you to be strong, persevere and do your job.

2) PM Trudeau has sold access to himself at fundraisers that bring money into Liberal coffers, attending functions that active lobbyists are paying to attend, to get some time with the PM and other cabinet ministers. THIS MUST STOP. IT WILL NOT STAND.

3) PM Trudeau is claiming that he and his family went to the Bahamas for a "family trip" that happened to be at the home of an active lobbyist, who receives at Trudeau's discretion millions and millions of OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS every year. While claiming this was a "family vacation" he decided to take along another MP and his partner, and the Liberal Party President..... THIS MUST STOP, IT WILL NOT STAND.

Even-- if we are to believe (and we don't)- that all of these people- the PM, the Aga Khan, Seamus O'Regan and Anna Gainey, are all really truly close friends and that nothing political was discussed on this trip, and that there was no benefit for the liberal party, and no benefit to the Aga Khan's foundation---- they just wanted to be together for the holidays...... as far fetched as that is--- the optics of this situation are deplorable. All I can imagine is that the PM is really unable to see himself tied to the same rules as every other Canadian. Could he honestly say that in the exact same scenario, but a conservative PM doing this-- he would be OK with it??

Our PM should have the integrity and the intelligence to see how this would be perceived by the Canadian people. Friends or not, he should politely decline such invitations, on the basis of it being a conflict of interest as PM. Since they are friends, the Aga Khan would surely understand.

NOW- we hear that he also unethically (illegally?) accepted sponsored travel, by way of the Aga Khan's Helicopter during this same unethical trip.

PLEASE, on behalf of the Canadian people, hold this man to account.. he's just over a year into his mandate, and the Canadian people are frustrated and angry. Please do right by us."
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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 under...See More
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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
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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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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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