Thursday, August 10, 2017

---"Ethics is what you do when no one is looking."---------"The rules are clear," Clark said. "MLAs can only claim an allowance for accommodation reflecting their actual costs, but there are no penalties if the rules are broken.-----------Clark has written to the Speaker asking for an audit of all MLA living expenses, and asking that rule-breakers be financially penalized. "Albertans don't like hypocrisy," Clark said in an interview with CBC News. "Derek Fildebrandt broke the rules. He's using taxpayer dollars to line his own pockets. There is no way he can get out of this."


So odd to have ethics and politics brought up together. While Mr. Clark doesn't believe that most MLAs are behaving this way why not prove this to us? Do an audit of the entire political group at the legislature to find out where the housing allowance is going. The Auditor General of Alberta could do this.
And then end the housing allowance.
Only way to stop the milking of the system completely.
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If there are any other MLAs engaged in such commercial ventures of renting out their abodes to the public while still claiming the housing allowance--then they should all be investigated.
Then the NDP folks need to do the proper thing which is close this loophole.
It's mindboggling that any MLA would do this junk after the Redford Sky Palace debacle, the prince of spending in the Duffy affair plus sundry elitist Senators--but there you go. They are all spending other people's money.
Our money.

A taxpayer advocate-turned Alberta MLA who sublet his Edmonton condo while claiming thousands of dollars in housing allowances should be subject to a formal…
CBC.CA

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Alberta Party leader Greg Clark raises the possibility of an investigation into the business venture of the Fildebrandt but the more interesting request could be --why are taxpayers paying for a housing allowance in the first place?

When private citizens do work in different locations for their own business, we pay for the costs of our housing out of our salaries. In other words, we pay for this business cost. So why don't the MLAs pay for this business cost themselves? Could it be that they make the rules and they make the rules to benefit themselves?

I would also like to know how many other MLAs have used the money from the housing allowance to do investments such as in property in Edmonton that they sold for a profit. If this sort of venture is going on then my feeling is that we should end the housing allowance.

But how?
We don't make the laws.
They do.


While Mr. Clark is asking for an audit of the Fildebrandt, why not get one done of all the MLAs? By the Auditor General of Alberta? Then end this junk.




NEW

Speaker asked to review Fildebrandt's taxpayer-funded condo sublet

'He’s using taxpayer dollars to line his own pockets,' says Alberta Party leader

By Wallis Snowdon, CBC News Posted: Aug 10, 2017 10:53 AM MT Last Updated: Aug 10, 2017 1:09 PM MT
Derek Fildebrandt was renting out his downtown Edmonton apartment while claiming thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded housing allowance.
Derek Fildebrandt was renting out his downtown Edmonton apartment while claiming thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded housing allowance. (CBC)
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A taxpayer advocate-turned Alberta MLA who sublet his Edmonton condo while claiming thousands of dollars in housing allowances should be subject to a formal investigation, says the leader of the Alberta Party.
Derek Fildebrandt should produce all records pertaining to his Edmonton apartment and be investigated for "double dipping," said Greg Clark.
Clark has written to the Speaker asking for an audit of all MLA living expenses, and asking that rule-breakers be financially penalized.
"Albertans don't like hypocrisy," Clark said in an interview with CBC News.
"Derek Fildebrandt broke the rules. He's using taxpayer dollars to line his own pockets. There is no way he can get out of this."
In an emailed statement on Thursday, Fildebrandt confirmed he has been renting his subsidized Edmonton apartment through Airbnb when he isn't using it.
"I confirmed that letting out my Edmonton home while it is not being used is compliant with the rules," Fildebrandt said. "Letting out an unused residence is reasonable and a part of the modern sharing economy."
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Fildebrandt, MLA for Strathmore-Brooks and finance critic for the now-defunct Wildrose party, rented out his Jasper Avenue apartment several times between January and March, while claiming $7,720 in taxpayer-funded accommodation allowance.
MLAs from ridings outside the Edmonton region are allotted a maximum housing budget of $23,160 each fiscal year to buy or lease a property in the city.
However, government rules strictly state that the allowance can be only be used to cover the actual costs incurred by members.
Derek airbnb ad

'The rules are clear'

Clark said the former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, who was elected as a Wildrose MLA in the 2015 provincial election, should be subject to a provincial investigation - there is no loophole in the regulations.
"The rules are clear," Clark said. "MLAs can only claim an allowance for accommodation reflecting their actual costs, but there are no penalties if the rules are broken.
"I believe very much that he has broken the rules. And more than just paying back the money he has gained from breaking the rules, there should also be a penalty.

$2,555 over 8 months letting out my Edmonton home while unused. I won't let smear distract from real issues & donate to the AB debt. #ableg
Fildebrandt's Jasper Avenue unit appears to have been rented out several times between January and March, with eight guest reviews being posted for the apartment.
According to title searches, Fildebrandt does not own the apartment.
The MLA has said he's done nothing wrong and suggested it was completely reasonable to rent out his often-vacant apartment.
He has not responded to CBC News requests for comment but tweeted Thursday morning that he will "donate" $2,555 to help pay off Alberta's debt.
He described the controversy as a political "smear."
When asked to comment on the controversy, an official with the Speaker's office said a Member Services subcommittee is already reviewing MLA expense claims.  
The revelations about the taxpayer funded apartment are especially damning given Fildebrandt's history as finance critic and taxpayer advocate, said Clark.
"His excuses ring hollow," Clark said. "Even if there is some loophole that allows him to do this, it's still wrong."
"I don't think most MLAs behave this way ... this errodes public confidence in the process."
United Conservative Party caucus deputy leader Mike Ellis told CBC News that Fildebrandt's expense claims are under review.
A spokesperson for Jason Kenney's leadership campaign said Fildebrandt has done "the right thing" by agreeing to pay taxpayers back the money he collected from the apartment.

Brian Jean has declined to comment on the controversy.

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