Nova Scotia opposition parties release figures on constituency spending

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX - The two opposition parties in Nova Scotia have released figures showing how much their members spent on extra staff and extra pay for their constituency assistants.
All three parties in the legislature have released these figures for the period between 2006 and 2009 in response to an auditor general's report that concluded it was unclear whether staff had paid taxes on bonuses and extra pay.
The biggest spender for the Tories was Cecil Clarke, who offered $7,500 in bonuses, overtime and expenses to his full-time constituency assistant and another $7,800 for part-time staff and other services.
The Liberals released the figures for six of the party's 11 members of the legislature.
Of those who submitted documentation, Dave Wilson spent the most, confirming that he paid his constituency assistant more than $24,000 on top on his regular salary over a year and a half.
He also paid more than $37,000 over the course of three years to other staff.
Wilson said he values the work done by his constituency office in Glace Bay, which handled 800 files last year.
"Most of my budget, I earmark for staff instead of advertising and donations," he said in a statement.
"I appreciate that some may view these numbers as high, but it reflects the volume of work that has been handled by my office."

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, HALIFAX, Glace Bay

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