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B.C. NDP’s chief of staff, Alan Mullen, who is known for his divisive crusades against frivolous, wasteful government spending has admitted that his “excellent” road trip across Canada went over budget. However, despite this, Darryl Plecas, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, says his chief of staff’s road trip was actually a real “bargain.”
“Earlier this summer, Darryl Plecas told the National Post that Alan Mullen’s road trip to several Canadian provinces and American states was budgeted for $10,000,” reports the National Post. “But this week, Plecas and Mullen confirmed that the total costs came in at just over $13,000.”
“It’s a bargain at half the price,” Plecas said. “It’s still not as though the whole thing leaves us in a budget crisis.”
The purpose of Mullen’s trip was to review legislature security practices across the county. Plecas claims that the price of travel would have been twice the price had they contracted and outside agency, and as such thought it would be better if the government, meaning taxpayers, flipped the bill.
However, as some critics have pointed out, it isn’t even clear if the trip was necessary for anything other than saying that Mullen showed up. He could have consulted in-house experts and experts in other jurisdictions via email to acquire the “rudimentary” details he picked up travelling across the country and crossing into the U.S. without ever leaving Victoria.
This detail has led Jas Johal, a B.C. Liberal opposition member, to don Mullen’s trip across the country Alan’s “excellent summer adventure,” perhaps in reference to the cult-classic Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
When asked why it was necessary to show up in person to acquire such basic information, Mullen told the National Post “you don’t really get a full feeling for it if you get an email … or if it’s over the phone. You have a better opportunity to paint a picture when you’ve gone there yourself, you’ve taken pictures. I can communicate it better in my report.”
We certainly do hope Alan got some good pictures on his totally “excellent” trip.