"For the love of God, please tell me that we, the tax payers, didn't pay for this nonsense." -Anonymous
In fact almost every penny the Bloc Quebecois spends comes directly from taxpayers across the country.
While Quebeckers like to vote for the BQ, they aren't particularly eager to support them financially.
The party manged to raise just a little over $600,000 dollars, a pitiful amount considering that 1.4 million people voted for the party in the last election. In fact, it averages out to just about 44¢ in donation per voter. Compare that to the Conservative party, which received over 5 million votes and collected over $30 million in donations, or about $6 dollars per voter, 15 times more than the Bloc.
It's lucky for the Bloc that the federal government subsidizes each political party to the tune of $2 per vote received, otherwise the party would be broke. And so, the Bloc received a direct subsidy to the tune of $2.75 million, courtesy of Canadian taxpayers.
Each of the forty-nine Bloc Quebecois members of Parliament chalked up close to $300,000 in reimbursed office expenses for an additional $15 million dollars in taxpayer generated funds.
Of course all of this doesn't include free postage or airfare for travel between Ottawa and the members home riding, which is charged to the general House Administration central budget.
The party also benefits from research funds provided by Parliament.
Mr. Duceppe himself, as party leader is entitled to additional perks and when all is said and done, it amounts to something close to $500,000, paid for by you and me.
Gilles, You're welcome!
As for travel to Washington, this is a completely reimbursable expense, including airfare.
(5) TRAVELOf course the taxpayer largess that the Bloc benefits from doesn't stop the party from sniping at the Conservatives. In a case of the 'pot calling the kettle black,' Bloc MP Pierre Paquette blasted the Prime Minister for using taxpayer money for partisan ends;
(a) each Member is allowed a maximum of 64 return trips each fiscal year between Ottawa and their constituency and other parts of Canada (30 return trips on a prorated basis for all Members elected on October 14, 2008) Four (4) of these trips can also be used to travel to Washington, D.C., and the point of departure must be Ottawa, the Member’s constituency or the American border airport closest to their
constituency. Opposition Party Leaders are entitled to an additional 16 return trips for a total of 80 return trips (7 return trips on a prorated basis for Opposition Party Leaders elected on October 14, 2008 for a total of 37 return trips.