Meet Terry Mercer, Canada's most expensive senator
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:14PM AST
It turns out the country’s most expensive senator is from Nova Scotia and racks up almost $1,000 a day in expenses.
Terry Mercer’s district is designated as Halifax North End, but he lives many kilometres from the city’s north end.
Mercer spent nearly $340,000 in expenses in the last year, on top on his $132,000 annual salary.
“Number one that’s accurate, number two it’s indication that I do, I’m a very busy senator,” he says. “I’d say that my expenses are in line with a number of other senators.”
“Really? No wonder, that’s where half my paycheque goes,” says one north end resident.
“It’s ridiculous the money that’s spent,” says another. “Not just him, but all the rest of them.”
Mercer says some of his costs cover bringing staff members to Nova Scotia two or three times a year to meet constituents, but that he tries to keep that to a minimum.
He also says he purposefully named his constituency North End Halifax because it is the area where he grew up, but admits he doesn’t live there anymore.
He now lives about 40 minutes away in Mount Uniacke, and he doesn’t spend a lot of time in the province.
“I haven’t done a breakdown but I suspect it’s between 60 to 65 per cent of the time in Ottawa and the rest in Nova Scotia.
CTV News spoke to several north end community members Thursday and showed them a photo of the Liberal senator.
Most people said they had never heard of Mercer, didn’t recognize him from the photo, and said they had never seen him in the neighbourhood.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Rick Grant