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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 9, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta THE tETHBRIDGE HERAID Wednesday, May 9, 1973 Western MPs quiz government about expenses OTTAWA Western Cana- dian MPs in recent months have placed dozens on of questions on the official House of Commons order and notice paper in an attempt, to find out whether the federal government, has teen wasting taxpayers' money either by carelessness or unnecessarily lavish schemes. By far the most popular sub- ject appears to be the wages and expenses paid to the na- tion's nearly 300.000 federal civil servants. Other favorite subjects are expensive furnish- ings in government offices, bilingualism expenses, money spent on publicity, and various grants to industry. Barry Mather WDP Surrey- White Hock. B.C.) has recently added a new subject to the list. He wants to know how much money it costs to provide writ- ten answers to MPs' questions. Already this year the Liberal government has been asked to provide written replies to more than 2.000 questions. M any members already answers to some written questions. But by asking for a written reply on official Commons paper they can gain favorable publicity for themselves and often embar- rass Prime Minister Pierre El- liott Trudcau's cabinet minis- ters. Big Steve Paproski (PC Ed- monton Centre has led the way with questions on the federal civil service wages bill. He has been followed closely on Hie .same subject by Bill Knight Sask.) Both have found that the government payroll in the majority of de- partments has jumped substan- tially over th past few years. By advancing an increasing number of employees to new sa- larly ranges, particularly in the over and over a year brackets, millions of dol- lars have been added to the government payroll. The only department so far found to have cut its staff within the past few years has been that of Energy Minister Donald Macdonald. In recent weeks a number of other Western Canadian MPs have jumped on the government wages subject. They have been asking questions similar but, in a way more specific, than those already sought by Mr. Paproski and Mr. Knight. Stanley Knowles nipeg North 'Centre, Man.) is shooting at the executive level. He wants to know the amount in fees and salaries paid to the directors of the Canada Devel- opment Corporation since the make-up of the board was an- nounced a little more than a year ago. Liberal Doug Stewart (Okana- gan-Kootenay, B.C.) also wants to know about those executive levels salaries. The sole Liberal MP in the West not to be either a cabinet minister or Parlia- mentary secretary is asking about the average increase in salaries given department heads and deputy ministers for the years 1960-72 inclusive. Randolph Harding Kootenay West) is concerned about the cost of government office furnishings. There has been a number of news reports lately about lavish office fur- nishings. Mr. Harding wants the gov- ernment to tell Canadians how much has been spent to buy and install furniture, carpets, drap- eries and plants in each govern- ment agency over the past five years. There has been some controversy recently concerning expensive and arti- government offices. Dan McKenzie South Centre) is one of those MPs wanting official answers to questions he as likely as not al- ready knows the answer to. The Winnipeg Conservative wants to know how many more trucks and personnel the post office department is now using in a number of urban centres compared to the numbers used when various mail handling op- erations were in the hands of private contractors. Mr. McKenzie knows that in his home city at least the number has increased substantially. Brentwood Electric Can Opener A Powerful Dependable Brentwod Appliance! The 'Cordaway' with 5-Pc. Tool Set (A) Automatic cord rewind. 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