Speaker repays husband’s South Africa airfare

Legislature Speaker Linda Reid has paid back the $5,528 cost of her husband's flight to South Africa

Richmond East MLA Linda Reid was elected speaker of the B.C. legislature last summer.

VICTORIA – Legislature Speaker Linda Reid has paid back the $5,528 cost of her husband’s flight to a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in South Africa.

Reid said Tuesday there is a long-standing practice of spouses accompanying B.C. officials on such trips, but the B.C. legislature’s internal financial standards are evolving in light of public expectations.

“I traveled in my capacity as speaker,” Reid told reporters Tuesday after being questioned about the trip. “I attended the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference. It is important work on behalf of democracy.”

Reid and her husband flew business class to Johannesburg in August. NDP MLA Raj Chouhan, the assistant deputy speaker, was also on the trip with his wife.

NDP caucus chair Shane Simpson said the Chouhans flew economy and stayed at a budget hotel in Johannesburg, so their combined cost to taxpayers was about $6,300. Chouhan offered to pay for his wife but was told by Reid spouses were invited on such trips, Simpson said.

When MLAs began reporting their expenses in 2012, Skeena MLA Robin Austin briefly rose to the top of the list thanks to a $19,000 trip to a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Speakers, deputy speakers and legislative clerks typically attend these conferences, aimed at strengthening parliamentary practices around the world.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors housing in Port Hardy moves ahead with rezoning application

North Island seniors able to “age in place” in new facility, currently getting funding and permits

Port McNeill curling club will be getting a brand new paint job, thanks to residents

‘The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me!’

Vancouver Island grizzlies: moving in, or just passing through?

Lack of data makes seeming increase in grizzly sightings on the North Island an open question

VIDEO: A young Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

North Island students are back in class, sitting six-feet apart

School District 85 schools reopened June 1 for students who want to come in person

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Vancouver Island school principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Considerations made to keep Island community’s drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

Most Read