Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sullivan defends and writes no cheque

Former MHA Loyola Sullivan has seen fit to send a letter to House of Assembly Speaker Harvey Hodder further justifying and explaining how and why it was OK for the IEC to distribute a discretionary, one-time payment of $2,875 made out to the members personally and therefore meaning that members would not need to submit receipts.

According to CBC, Sullivan says that besides all the good deeds committed by the IEC in finding all kinds of efficiencies (wholly irrelevant to the matter at hand but a de rigeur communications defence strategy) the cheques were needed because in March-April 2004 some MHAs reported they had exhausted their constituency allowances but still had incurred expenses.

This begs two important questions. First, how is it these members continued to rack up expenses after their budget was exhausted? Are MHAs not notified when their money is out and why is it OK to reward that sort of fundamental mismanagement of their own MHA budgets?

Second, and more important, why did these members run over their budgets anyway? Was it because there was an election the previous Fall? If so, does this mean MHAs have used their constituency allowances as a hidden election expense subsidy?

These are questions worth asking.

And by the way, isn't this letter really just a justification for not repaying his $2,875? It seems that the only MHAs who received the money, with the notable exception of Jack Harris, are the current members; former MHAs are on their own in deciding that.

Sullivan seems to have declined to do so.

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