Politics
Taxpayers' group says new senator should post his expenses

Doug Black

Credits: DAN ILIKA/DAILY HERALD-TRIBUNE/QMI AGENCY

RENATO GANDIA | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY - A tax watchdog has challenged Alberta's newly appointed senator - who was embroiled in a spending controversy at the University of Calgary - to use his new office to promote transparency.

Derek Fildebrandt, Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), said Doug Black can clear up his record if he'd post detailed expenses with receipts online.

"There's a cloud surrounding Doug Black and his suitability for a high office because of what happened when he was the U of C chairman," Fildebrandt said.

"I believe he can lift that cloud ... if he would lead by example and post his expenses online with receipts.

"If he would do so, he would be setting an example for the rest of the House of Commons and the Senate by being the only senator to actually disclose his expenses."

Black resigned as chairman of the university's board governors in October after CTF discovered he claimed $28,030.88 worth of expenses from February 2011 to August 2012.

The expenses included stays at an expensive Toronto hotel and fancy dinners.

Following a public backlash, Black paid back the claimed expenses and then resigned.

Harper appointed Black to fill the seat previously held by Joyce Fairbairn of Lethbridge, AB.

Black was elected Alberta senator-in-waiting last spring with 427,745 votes.

Fildebrandt said Harper did the right thing in appointing an elected senator-in-waiting, but Black has to prove taxpayers can trust him.

As it stands, senators and MPs aren't required to disclose details of their expenditures.

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