Gregor Robertson is taking heat for his discretionary funding, labelled by some as a so-called “slush fund,” which recorded over $264,000 spent in non-essential goods and services last year.
Vancouver’s mayor had reportedly spent double in 2015 than what he did in 2014.
The story was brought to light in an FOI request by freelance journalist Bob Mackin.
Today, Robertson defended the spending.
“I think that money’s well spent. I think taxpayers get good value for money, and they can certainly get a hold of me if they’re concerned about that and if they want more details, we’re very transparent. I report my expenses on a quarterly basis, and I want to be sure I’m very clear with that accountability.”
Robertson says the budget isn’t as bad compared to other big Canadian cities.
“Particularly given we’re trying to land billions of dollars in investments from the provincial and federal government. We have the fastest-growing economy of any city in Canada right now. Our opportunities are huge, and we want to make sure that we’re communicating well, that we’re out, and we’re representing the city of Vancouver everywhere.”
The big-ticket items were travel, which accounted for $69,000 dollars, and almost $9,500 dollars were spent on food and drinks.
Of the total spending, the documents show $175,000 dollars were spent on communications consultants alone.