A Charlottetown city councillor is pushing the municipality to release a more detailed breakdown of all expenses.
Danny Redmond applauds the city for recently disclosing travel expenses for the mayor and all 10 councillors but says that list doesn't tell the whole story.
The City of Charlottetown released a list of travel expenses recently that accounted for what Mayor Clifford Lee and each of the councillors has spent on the public dime for the first nine months of this year.
However, while the expense report shows how much was spent at a variety of conferences and meetings all over North America, there is no breakdown of the figures. It doesn't say how much, for example, the mayor and councillors spent on hotel rooms, how much their flights cost, taxi cab fare and what their per diems were.
And the travel expense list is just that, it indicates what the city's elected officials are spending on trips. It does not reflect what the politicians are spending in taxpayers' money here.
"I think when you break those numbers down, at least the taxpayer knows the money is being spent appropriately, which I believe it is,'' Redmond said on Tuesday. "You need to break the numbers down to show exactly what elected officials are spending.''
The issue of disclosing expenses became a big media story recently when it came to light that four Summerside councillors spent $360 a night to stay at a hotel in Vancouver for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual conference.
The provincial government does make public a detailed breakdown of expenses, information that is available on its website.
It should be noted that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it's unusual, especially in Atlantic Canada, for municipalities to publicly disclose expenses.
Redmond said the city's elected officials should also disclose other expenses.
"If an elected official is out having a business meeting with somebody and they're covering the cost then you should show that.''
He said the public should also know when city staff travel on the public dime.
"We have people in the mayor and council office who travel with council so why wouldn't their numbers be up there too?''
The City of Charlottetown says it will be disclosing travel expenses on a quarterly basis. The next list is set to be released on Dec. 31.
"We want to be as transparent as we can be. I think that's the right way to go.''