10/15/2013 12:38 EDT | Updated 12/15/2013 05:12 EST

Trudeau And Liberals Start Posting Expenses Online Today


Canadians can now go online to read how much Liberal MPs and senators spent on individual airline tickets, what they charged for hotels and meals, and how much each one shelled out for a category called "hospitality"

But anyone scouring through the tallies starting Tuesday will see only a few weeks worth of spending. Liberal politicians only started compiling their expenses and collating the information in mid-September so they could be ready to post en masse by mid-October.

A spokesperson for the Liberal Party says the public can access expense details via a link on each member's personal page on www.liberal.ca/‎.

The Liberals plan to use the same template for posting what cabinet ministers employ. Ministers post quarterly, but there is no detail of, for instance, what hotel was chosen, or, if hospitality money was spent, what exactly was purchased. Cabinet ministers do not scan and post receipts.

Currently, MPs' expenses are posted quarterly on a parliamentary website, but in lump sums describing the totals of money spent in broad categories such as travel or office expenses, with no detail about the destinations of trips, or what event resulted in hospitality charges.

The Liberals are the only political party in the House of Commons that posts more detailed expenses online.

In June, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau proposed a motion in the House of Commons suggesting all MPs' detailed expenses be put up online by the board of internal economy, the secretive all-party body of MPs that self-monitors members' expenses. Trudeau didn't win the unanimous consent of other MPs for his motion.

But the NDP did manage to have a motion passed mandating a parliamentary committee begin a study about how to replace the board of internal economy with an oversight body that would be more accountable. The NDP labelled Trudeau's motion "a stunt."

After Tuesday, Canadians won't see any more detail on Liberals' spending until the next quarter begins on Dec. 1.

The only other MP who posts detailed expenses on her website, including scanned receipts for the cost of an office cleaner, is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.

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