The members of the national Assembly will now have to disclose their spending each year, has learned our Bureau of investigation.
This decision was adopted in April by the Office of the national Assembly (BAN), the equivalent of the board of directors of the institution, where all political parties are represented.
Our Bureau of investigation has obtained details of the expenses of the deputies who will now have to be published.
In regard to the running costs of constituency offices, twenty items in the budget should be disclosed.
The cost of travel and accommodation of each elected officer will also be presented annually, in a report released by the national Assembly.
In addition, the document will contain the operating costs of the offices of the house leaders, whips and leaders of parties in the opposition.
Until now, this information was inaccessible, even using the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies.
The issues of transparency surrounding the spending of mps have been recurrent in recent years.
The ex-president of the national Assembly, Jacques Chagnon, has found himself on the hot seat when our Bureau of investigation has sought access to the detail of his expenses at missions abroad.
The cost of meals sumptuary at meetings of the BAN have also placed Mr. Chagnon on the defensive, in 2018.
The opposition parties had called for more transparency.
After his arrival to the presidency, in 2018, François Paradis has tightened the rules of expenditure in the context of missions abroad. It has also introduced their disclosure.
Mr. Paradise had also expressed the intention to give more details on the current expenses of the mps.
The member of parliament for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois had already filed a bill on the subject.
The first vice-president of the national Assembly, Marc Picard, had received the mandate to produce a report on the subject.
In an interview with our Office of investigation, Mr. Picard has confirmed that the BAN has decided to go ahead with the publication of the expenses of elected officers.
“The spending will be public now,” he said.
This measure is in force since the 1st April last. Spending the next 12 months will be presented for the first time in a report, the filing of which will occur next year.
Mr. Picard was not able to say whether it will now be possible to get more details about the expenses with a request for access to information.
Will be public
► Costs of travel between the constituency and parliament
► Accommodation expenses in Québec city
► The operating costs of the local district, including
- Subscriptions to newspapers and specialized databases
- Development and relocation of the local constituency
- Furnishing of first term
- Costs of participation in conferences, congresses, symposia
- Maintenance of the premises and of the equipment
- Hospitality, reception and meeting
- Advertising, custom print and promotional material
- Rent, insurance and taxes