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Taxpayers on hook for MLA Linda Reid’s assistant’s $16K commute

Year-end public accounts reveal figures for Susan Wells' travel between Richmond and Victoria
Linda Reid
Veteran Richmond East MLA Linda Reid

B.C. taxpayers spent $16,173 for Speaker Linda Reid's campaign manager-turned-assistant to commute between Richmond and Victoria last year.

The expenses for Reid's assistant, Susan Wells, were contained in the government's year-end public accounts documents released Tuesday.

Reid, the MLA for Richmond East, cancelled the travel package after it became publicly known in February, amid criticism she was wasting money during a time of fiscal restraint for the rest of government. Other staff in the Speaker's office live and work in Victoria.

Reid had repeatedly refused to make Wells' travel tab public.

The $16,173 included flights for Wells between Richmond and Victoria, as well as hotel and meal per diems. Wells ran Reid's last re-election campaign.

The travel bill was $2,263 higher than that of the executive director of the B.C. Liberal caucus, but $4,051 less than the chief of staff to former Opposition NDP leader Adrian Dix.

The top travel expense among legislature staff was $71,873 for Clerk of the House Craig James.

Wells now works from the Speaker's constituency office in Richmond. Her salary remains undisclosed.

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