Canadian MPs Accused of 'Overspending', Urged to Pay Over $1M Taxpayers’ Money

By @snksounak on
Canada's PM Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Canadian MPs were urged to pay $1.17 million of taxpayers' money after they had been accused of overspending.

The House of Commons Committee said NDP MPs took advantage of their free mailing privileges and broke rules. This was the reason they were asked to pay back the amount they overspent.

According to Conservative John Duncan, those MPs were required to pay $36,000 to the House of Commons and $1.13 million to Canada Post.

Duncan, spokesman for the Board of Internal Economy, said on June 11, "Today the board received and accepted the recommendations."

"The bylaws are clear. Members of Parliament are accountable for any use of House resources. As such the House administration has been directed to seek reimbursement directly from the members."

The board was in charge of investigating the allegations against NDP MPs that they had sent out 1.9 million mails, taking advantage of their parliamentary privileges. They broke rule as the mails had been sent for partisan purposes while they were supposed to take the franking privileges for communicating with constituents, an Ottawa citizen reported.

Duncan did not reveal the names of the MPs who had been found to have breached the rules. Nor did he explain how the breaching had taken place.

He noted the House would inform Canada Post about the ineligible mailings. He insisted it would be obligatory for the MPs to pay off the costs. Also, he cited the Elections Canada would be provided with necessary information by the House so that it would help continue the ongoing investigation of the improper mailings during the elections in November 2013.

The NDP, meanwhile, accused Liberal and Conservative MPs of working together to turn the investigation into a "kangaroo court."

According to NDP House Leader Peter Julian, the Conservatives acted as "judge, jury and executioner." He said the party vowed to fight the decision.

"None of this would stand up in a court of law," Julian said as reaction to Duncan's claims.

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