Michel Samson – Expenses Update

“There’s absolutely no pattern to the lifestyle of an elected official. Some days, you’re going to come up on a Monday, other days you’ll come up on a Tuesday. It all depends on the week. It depends what obligations you have, and each week is different." - Michel Samson

“There’s absolutely no pattern to the lifestyle of an elected official. Some days, you’re going to come up on a Monday, other days you’ll come up on a Tuesday. It all depends on the week. It depends what obligations you have, and each week is different.” – Michel Samson

The Speaker’s office ruled that Liberal MLA Michel Samson will no longer have his Halifax rent paid for by taxpayers.

For background information, read our post Michel Samson is no Mike Duffy.

MLAs from outside the capital city are given an allowance to rent accommodations in Halifax. It allows MLAs from across Nova Scotia to take part in the governing of the province without 4 to 12 hours of travel each day – something obviously quite necessary.

Under the Legislature’s rules it cannot be an MLA’s principal residence. For the past six years Samson and his wife, who works in Halifax with the Irving Shipyard, have rented a house in the capital’s South End area.

Although Samson owns a home in Arichat, in their review the Speaker’s Office office determined he lives full time in Halifax, spends most of his time in the capital and can therefore no longer bill taxpayers for his monthly rent.

Samson is challenging the ruling.

The ruling does not prevent Samson from running as the MLA for Richmond in the fall provincial election.

We hope for a speedy resolution to this issue.

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In Defense of Michel Samson

“There’s absolutely no pattern to the lifestyle of an elected official. Some days, you’re going to come up on a Monday, other days you’ll come up on a Tuesday. It all depends on the week. It depends what obligations you have, and each week is different." - Michel Samson

“There’s absolutely no pattern to the lifestyle of an elected official. Some days, you’re going to come up on a Monday, other days you’ll come up on a Tuesday. It all depends on the week. It depends what obligations you have, and each week is different.” – Michel Samson

Michel Samson is no Mike Duffy.

In February he asked the Speaker’s Office to review his living situation to ensure that the way he’s been using his living allowance is above board. The Speaker’s Office has yet to issue their report.

People have written us comparing Samson to Senator Mike Duffy. We don’t agree with that comparison. Michel Samson is engaged in debating Nova Scotia politics in Halifax. He asks questions daily in Question Period. He introduces bills. And he does so while some of his Liberal colleagues can’t even be bothered to show up at all.

Duffy lived in the Ottawa suburbs, even before his appointment to the Senate. Senators are required to keep a home in the province they represent. If a senator’s primary residence is more than 100 kilometres away from the National Capital Region, he or she is eligible for an allowance to offset the costs of keeping a second home.

Duffy came under fire last year for claiming $33,000 in housing allowances since 2010 after he reported his primary residence was his cottage in Cavendish, PEI – the province he represents in the Senate.

According to the rules, MLAs from outside the Halifax-Dartmouth area are eligible to claim a $1,499 monthly allowance for apartment rental in Halifax. The rules say that those accommodations cannot be an MLA’s principal residence. Samson represents Richmond, and his family now lives in the South End of Halifax, but his principal residence is in Arichat.

Mike Duffy has not paid back the tens of thousands of dollars in housing expenses he said he’d return almost two months ago. And now when questioned by journalists, he says he isn’t sure he’s “required” to.

Michel Samson, on the other hand, has not dodged questions. In fact, he has asked them.

Michel Samson is no Mike Duffy, and we hope the Speaker’s Office speeds up their review.