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CTF says councillor's spending is 'disturbing' and 'deeply concerning'

Last Updated Feb 4, 2020 at 2:37 pm MST

Ward two city councillor Joe Magliocca (CREDIT: Joe Magliocca, Ward2.ca)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A taxpayer watchdog is calling for a deeper dive into the expenses of a Calgary councillor after he expensed double that of his workmates on a trip to Quebec city.

Ward 2’s Joe Magliocca has since apologized for spending $6,400 in expenses during the trip and says he will repay $2,100.

READ MORE: Councillor apologizes for large expense, vows to repay most of it

That, however, is not enough, says Franco Terrazzano with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

“This is disturbing and it’s deeply concerning.”

Magliocca says some of the money spent on the trip went towards food and drink to entertain officials from other cities. However, those people claim they never met Magliocca.

Following the overspending, Terrazzano says a third-party audit to take a look into his past expenses is needed.

“I think this raises a big concern for Calgarians and we need to see an audit of all of the council’s expenses. At the very least, the rest of Councillor Magliocca’s for the past year or so.”

RELATED: Councillor’s bar tab from Quebec trip raising eyebrows

Terrazzano suggests that there must also be a review of the entire councillor expense system to ensure that all the expenses are made public and are for legitimate work purchases.

“There definitely needs to be accountability and we need to remind councillors that they work for the people, not the other way around.”

He doesn’t believe that the overspending is widespread, but says that this is an issue.

“That was a huge expense and that came at a time when councillors are supposed to be showing leadership and the city is supposed to be tightening its belt.”

READ MORE: Three city councillors asking for more cuts to city services

Terrazzano says due to the current economic climate, councillors should be leading by example and limiting spending whenever they can.

“I think the first step is just using some common sense,” said Terrazanno.

“We don’t need nine to ten members of council going on an extended weekend work trip in Quebec.”