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B.C. politicians open expenses to public view

B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong says the tradition of keeping politicians’ expense records private must change.

Chad Hipolito/THE CANADIAN PRESS

British Columbians will soon be able to see the personal spending records of the politicians they send to Victoria.

After several recent spending controversies, an all-party committee voted on Tuesday to allow the public to view the receipt expenses of B.C.'s politicians.

Finance Minister Mike de Jong, a long-time advocate of more open bookkeeping for politicians, says the tradition of keeping expense records private must change.

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The most recent politician spending controversy involved Speaker of the Legislature Linda Reid who charged taxpayers thousands of dollars to fly her husband to South Africa last August while she attended a conference.

Reid later paid for her husband's flight.

Two years ago, former auditor general John Doyle delivered a scathing report on the management of the legislature, revealing a mess in the books that he said made it impossible to conclude if money was being spent or misspent.

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