NDP to Launch Taxpayer Funded Sask. Outpost amid Harsh Criticism

The federal NDP has announced to open up a branch office of leader Thomas Mulcair’s office in Saskatchewan, billing the House of Commons for the cost of an “outreach officer” in Saskatoon despite harsh criticism that the arrangement may violate MP spending rules. The decision to open a Saskatchewan branch has come in light of reports that the NDP is trying to run two similar “satellites” of Mulcair’s Ottawa office, both funded largely by taxpayers, despite a prohibition on using House of Commons money for political party activities.

The NDP’s party website is advertising a full-time position based in Saskatchewan but the job is actually funded through the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition and the NDP Research Office in Ottawa. The job paying $48,929 annually is covered by the collective agreement between the NDP and its House of Commons staff. It was stated that winning job applicant would “Assist Members of Parliament with outreach to their constituents and in organizing outreach opportunities in Saskatchewan.” However, the NDP does not have any MPs or constituents in Saskatchewan and hasn’t since 2004.

In response to the news, Liberal deputy leader, Ralph Goodale, alleged that “it is not a believable scenario that Mr. Mulcair needs the leader’s office and the research office, supporting his functions in Ottawa, based in Saskatoon.” He added that “unless you really believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, it would appear the purpose of these people is building the political base of the NDP in Saskatchewan.”

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