Motion to call for limit on number of city councillors who attend future FCM meetings
CALGARY -- Only two members of council should attend future Federation of Canadian Municipality (FCM) conferences and spending on alcohol should be strictly prohibited, reads a notice of motion that will be presented to a city committee this week.
Coun. Jeromy Farkas announced on social media Monday that he will table the motion at Tuesday's priorities and finance committee meeting.
The motion will call for attendance at future FCM meetings to be limited to only one council-appointed representative and one councillor chosen by lottery. Expenses will be capped at a maximum of $2,800 per attendee and those who do go will also be required to give a presentation on what they learned within a month of returning.
The move comes after questions were raised around expenses filed by Coun. Joe Magliocca following last year's FCM meeting in Quebec.
As first reported by Postmedia through a Freedom of Information request, Magliocca expensed $6,400 at the May 30 to June 2 event in Quebec, which was double any of the nine other councillors and mayor who attended.
It was later revealed a number of the politicians from other centres who Magliocca claimed to be dining with said they couldn't recall having met him.
Magliocca rose at the start of the Feb. 3 council meeting and apologized for the errors.
"Immediately, I repaid all the receipts in question from my own personal account," he said. "I personally repaid all the entire meals, food, alcohol from my expense from FCM. I publicly apologize to any elected official who I mistakenly named in those receipts."
Magliocca said he has reached out to those people named on his expense reports to apologize.
"Calgary taxpayers expect better from me and so does this council. That is why, going forward, I will no longer be expensing any alcohol," he said, adding that would be his final statement on the matter.
The city's integrity commissioner, Sal LoVecchio, said he is not investigating Magliocca's expenses as no formal complaint has been made with his office.
Asked about the scandal last week, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who also attended the FCM meeting, said councillors have to be responsible for their own expense reporting.
“It’s incumbent on all of us who are in public life to work hard to make sure that we are operating above any reproach and double and triple check everything," he said.
“To treat these things sort of cavalierly and not to really note who you met with, what you talked about, which I’m very careful about, I think that’s really important.
"It’s not a private sector job here, it’s different. We have an entrusted authority that we have to be very careful with and we have to keep our nose clean on stuff like that all the time.”