MPs taking all-expenses-paid trips -

MPs taking all-expenses-paid trips

54 MPs accepted sponsored trips in 2009


Federal MPs, their spouses, and staff racked up nearly 2 million worth of free travel and gifts from foreign nationals and lobby groups between 2005 and 2009, according to a report by CBC News. The all-expenses trips aren’t audited and are not recorded by the Ethics Commission with great detail. The trips are exempt from federal rules, and since no party opposes them, the public rarely knows how many trips are taken and by who. In 2009, 54 MPs accepted sponsored trips, with Taiwan, Israel and China proving to be popular destinations over the past five years. Critics say the system is a recipe for corruption.

CBC News

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MPs taking all-expenses-paid trips

  1. No one in the government, opposition or anyone in authority should be allowed to accept any of these free junkets as it would possibly influence their way of thinking. It is corruption's first step.

  2. I think that site only discloses trips done under the auspices of parliamentary associations, not those with a trade, commercial or political motive.

  3. Since taxpayers don't want to fund trips abroad ("junkets", they're dismissively labeled), even such travel may contribute to an MP's knowledge or competence on a particular file, maybe they should be compelled to declare their professionally-related foreign trips and to disclose sponsorship of such activities. If nothing else, that transparency requirement would force them to think about the optics of these trips.

    Problem: which MP or party would spoil the party by introducing such a motion?

    • All of them–if we demand it loudly enough.

      Heh. I still remember when democracy worked like that. Of course, I also remember when we citizens weren't such apathetic sheep and did stuff like demand things. (My memories are often of my dreams, though, and may not conform with realities past.)

      • My memories are often of my dreams, though, and may not conform with realities past.

        So then, Jenn, tell us: How is the Green Shift working out?

        • Oh, it's great! The start was rocky as we all had to adjust, and the stimulus funds went more to helping us over the adjustment period and EI benefits, along with infrastructure already on the books to be done, just accelerated. We didn't bail out the car companies, and so Windsor and southwestern Ontario were pretty pissed, but we did give Ford–the last company standing–some much needed retooling loans for their new alternative energy vehicles. Seems they had them ready for production after all, but the oil companies deal with the automakers had kept them on the drawingroom shelves. Once the automakers fell apart, so did that deal. And with the new cars came new parts, so Windsor and southwestern Ontario got over their snit pretty quick when they realized how busy they were.

          Now we are seeing all kinds of new technology startup companies. I'm sure some of them will fail, but some of them won't and we will be well positioned going forward.

          • Splendid! When you join the other advisors in your meeting next week with Prime Minister Dion, please thank him for me — for us, for the outstanding job he is doing for all Canadians.

  4. I could swear CSIS blackmailed Brian Stewart into an interview to get the message out to us about something…

  5. CSIS Fadden was grilled this summer! Stewart forgot to phone the MPs office to find out what the trip was all about. He wasn't able to identify a situation where a vote was influence in Parliament. I found this article was incomplete and unfoundded. September 11 shouldn't be exploited this way by journalist. Business practices in the private sector are often worse: tax evasion, white collar criminality, etc.