Saskatchewan senator fourth in country for highest travel expenses

A recently released financial review placed one Saskatchewan senator fourth in the country for highest travel expenses over the course of three months.

The quarterly review done by the Senate of Canada between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, added up the air, bus and train travel expenses paid by each senator attending the senate sittings.

“I attended every Senate sitting week in person, unlike the rest of the Senate colleagues from Saskatchewan,” said Conservative Senator Denise Batters.

Batters spent $31,733. 42 on travel expenses, including a $4,037.04 round-trip ticket to Ottawa.

“Due to Regina’s very limited flight availability servicing, I ended up having to book at a higher fare level than usual,” Batters said. “Given the frequency of weather and mechanical delays on flights at that time of year (which I did experience on that trip), I needed to ensure I would arrive in Ottawa the night before an important committee meeting.”

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Other senators from the province came in much lower on the charts with Pamela Wallin at $18,411.83, Marty Klyne at $16,545.96, David Arnot at $10,036.34, and Brent Cotter at $8,588.68.

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Marilou McPhedran from Manitoba took the lead by almost $20,000 with three months’ travel expenses costing $54,059.16.

Along with travel expenses, the senators are also scrutinized for costs relating to office, living, and hospitality expenses during their trips to and from Ottawa.

“I take proper stewardship of taxpayers’ dollars very seriously,” said Batters. “I do my best to book my travel at the most reasonable rate available in the circumstances, including frequently using upgrade certificates and booking travel with airline ticket sales.”

During the same period pre-pandemic in 2019, no senator spent more than $35,000. The second highest expense was just over $25,000.

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