A politician has to keep tabs on their constituency, but billing taxpayers $39,438 for trips to Dawson City is ridiculous.
That’s what Klondike MLA Steve Nordick ran up for travel back to his riding last year.
Nordick was the clear winner in this year’s travel sweepstakes, surpassing Kluane MLA Gary McRobb, who ran up $38,290.
But McRobb’s total included a parliamentary trip to Malaysia that he was invited to attend. And he had to fork over almost $3,600 in observer fees to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Now, it’s true that Nordick attended a parliamentary conference as well. But it was in Regina. The cost of that trip was $503.
So what gives?
Nordick made 43 trips to the Klondike between April 2008 and March. He logged 22 trips under MLA travel and another 17 trips while the legislature was sitting. The other four trips were for committee work.
To put it in context, Nordick spent more driving to the Klondike than Darius Elias spent flying to Old Crow last year. Elias’ travel expenses totalled just $20,019.
It would be interesting to hear Nordick justify his bloated travel budget.
Of course, he doesn’t have to. We have to trust the expense was justified.
But such a claim coming from the government’s only backbencher stretches credibility.