NDP call out PC incumbent MacLeod for taking MPP allowance from riding association

The Ontario NDP is taking aim at Nepean PC incumbent Lisa MacLeod for taking $44,000 over three years as an MPP allowance from the local riding association.

The New Democrats released the information Monday morning, linking to publicly available financial records on Elections Ontario’s website that show MacLeod received $18,200 as an MPP expense allowance in 2018, $16,727 in 2019 and $9,500 in 2020.

“When so many people are being hit by the housing crisis, it’s alarming that Doug Ford is letting an MPP, who already earns six figures, take funds from their donors to pay for personal housing expenses,” said Catherine Fife, NDP Candidate for Waterloo, in a news release. Fife was the opposition critic of the Finance and Treasury Board prior to dissolution.

MacLeod, as a cabinet minister, is entitled to an annual salary of more than $165,000 per year, along with paid travel, meal and hospitality expenses. She also receives a housing allowance.

The NDP accuse MacLeod of “topping up” with funds from the riding association. Riding associations are funding by party donors, but they also receive some taxpayer funding from the per-vote subsidy given to parties in the legislature.

“That $44,000 is more than a lot of people in her riding bring home, certainly more than minimum wage workers earn and certainly a lot more than autism families stuck on a waitlist of 50,000 who did not see the support when she was the social services minister,” Fife said in a virtual announcement. “I have never heard of an MPP asking for an allowance from the riding association to make her life more comfortable.”

Fife stressed that MacLeod taking an allowance is not illegal, but she called it alarming, surprising and part of “a bigger pattern” among the Progressive Conservative government.

“It’s never been more obvious to us that Doug Ford and his conservative MPPs are working for themselves and their friends and they are not working for you,” she said. “To see an MPP have to top up their living expenses, particularly housing allowance, to the tune of $44,000 is shocking. I have never heard of this happening.” 

MacLeod’s campaign did not reply to a request for comment, but a statement from an Ontario PC campaign spokesperson said riding association expenses are approved and audited.

“All riding association expenses are approved by the local riding association executive, audited by a licensed auditor, and all audited financial statements are reviewed and approved by Elections Ontario.”

MacLeod is running for running for re-election for a fifth time after first being elected in a byelection in 2006 in the riding then known as Nepean—Carleton.

Nepean Candidates 2022

  • Green Party: Kaitlyn Tremblay
  • Liberal Party: Tyler Watt
  • Progressive Conservative Party: Lisa MacLeod (Incumbent)
  • New Blue Party of Ontario: Kathleen Corriveau
  • New Democrats: Brian Double