Charlottetown city councillors spent $110,000 in travel expenses between April 2019 and March 2020.
The big spender was Coun. Mitchell Tweel coming in at $19,861. Tweel, who represents council on the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, made trips to Quebec and Ontario for meetings and travelled to Moncton for a CFL game and to do what is listed as “NFL networking business’’.
At the opposite end of the scale, Coun. Bob Doiron rang up $449 in travel expenses.
Need to know
A look at what each member of the Charlottetown city council spent on travel in 2019-20.
Coun. Mitchell Tweel $19,861
Coun. Terry Bernard $15,368
Coun. Alanna Jankov $14,995
Coun. Mike Duffy $13,029
Mayor Philip Brown $12,663
Coun. Greg Rivard $12,022
Coun. Kevin Ramsay $9,814
Coun. Julie McCabe $5,698
Coun. Terry MacLeod $4,194
Coun. Jason Coady $3,023
Coun. Bob Doiron $449
Doiron said the $110,000 spent was double the previous year and, while he understands councillors need to travel to attend conferences and network, wonders how the total got so high considering councillors are allotted about $5,000 each for travel.
Bernard, who chairs the finance committee, said each of the committees is allotted a certain amount of money each year and none of them went over budget.
Rivard pointed out that while each councillor is only given $5,000 they also have the ability to tap into the mayor’s budget for things like Federation of Canadian Municipalities meetings and can access up to $10,000 each.
Duffy said it should be noted the city’s portion of federal gas tax funding went from $3.3 million to $6.6 million so what is spent on travel pales in comparison to the money coming in.
Brown said the networking opportunities at these conferences is invaluable.
A breakdown of the expenses is available on the city’s website.