Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about these expense reports. For more information, consult the Rules Governing Members’ Expenses, or contact Scott Turner, Financial Services at 416-325-9469, or sturner@ola.org.

Why are we posting these expenses?

In December 2014, the Assembly passed the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 (external site). This act amended the Legislative Assembly Act (external site) to add section 68, which establishes a duty for the Speaker to post online information respecting payments made to Members of the Assembly for travel, accommodation, meals, and hospitality expenses. Rules Governing Members' Expenses are set by the Speaker.

Posting of travel, meal, and hospitality expenses for Leaders of the Opposition and their staff is governed by Cabinet Ministers’ and Opposition Leaders’ Expenses Review and Accountability Act, 2002 (external site), and Public Sector Expenses Review Act, 2009 (external site). Rules for expense claims by Opposition Leaders are established by the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario (external site)

What expenses are being disclosed in this section?

The “Members’ Expenses” and “Leaders’ Expenses” sections of the website disclose specific expenses claimed by and paid to Members of Provincial Parliament, and Leaders of the Opposition and their staff:

  1. Travel expenses, other than for travel within a Member’s electoral district that relates to his or her constituency work,
  2. Expenses for hotel accommodation related to travel referred to in clause a),
  3. Meal expenses; and
  4. Hospitality expenses.

For more information regarding the rules governing travel, accommodation, meal, and hospitality expenses, please consult the Rules Governing Members’ Expenses.    

What information is disclosed for each payment?

For Members' expenses, disclosure requires the following information to be disclosed for each payment:

  1. The name of the Member and electoral district
  2. The date on which the expense was incurred
  3. The type of expense (i.e. travel, hotel, meals, hospitality)
  4. The amount claimed by and paid to the Member for each category of expenses listed above.
  5. The purpose of the expense
  6. The travel destination or other geographic location where or in respect of which the expense was incurred.

Expense reports for Opposition Leaders and their staff include those same elements, plus the following:

  1. Number of external participants (for hospitality)
  2. Name and job title of staff member (where applicable).
Who is responsible for posting these expense reports?

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly is responsible for posting expense reports online for Members of the Legislative Assembly, and Leaders of the Opposition and their staff.

Before posting online, expenses for Leaders of the Opposition and their staff are reviewed by the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario (external site).

What time period do these reports cover?

For Members' expenses, each report covers expenses paid to an individual Member during a six month period, from April 1st to September 30th, and October 1st to March 31st.

The first available report is shorter than all other reports, covering January 1st to March 31st 2016, because the Public Sector and MPP Accountability Act was not proclaimed until January of 2016.

Expense reports for Leaders of Opposition parties do not cover any specified period, but are posted within 90 days of their review by the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario (external site).

How frequently are the expense reports posted on the website?

Members' expense reports will be published biannually. The reporting period ending September 30th will be posted by December 1st of that same year. The reporting period ending March 31st will be posted by June 1st of that same year.

Expense reports for Opposition Leaders and their staff will be posted on the site within 90 days of their review by the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario (external site)

How long will the expense reports remain on the website?

Each expense report will remain on the website for not less than two years.  

Why are some expenses not posted until months after the transaction date?

An individual may incur an expense on a specific date, but the expense might not be submitted or approved until a later date. Expenses are reported after they are approved and processed in the financial system.

Why might there be no expense information posted under a particular reporting period for some individuals?

If there are no posted expenses during a reporting period for an individual Member, it means that no expense claims were processed for that individual during the reporting period.

Why might an individual Member not appear in the list of MPPs?

If a Member you're looking for does not appear in the list of MPPs, it means that Member has not submitted an expense claim within the past two years.

How does the Annual Report differ from the online reports found in the Members' Expenses section?

The Individual Members’ Expenditures report is tabled in the House before the summer adjournment. It is broken into two sections: Members’ Travel and Toronto Accommodation Expenses, and Members’ Office and Support Staff Expenses. This report differs from the individual reports posted in the Members’ Expenses section of the website, which are governed by changes to the Legislative Assembly Act set out in the Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 (external site).

The Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014 requires the disclosure of travel expenses, hotel accommodation, meals and hospitality expenses only. The annual Individual Members’ Expenditures report includes all expenses attributed to individual Members for many types of claims, including those not reportable under The Public Sector and MPP Accountability and Transparency Act, 2014. (For example, office expenses, rent, support staff, certain other types of travel, and Toronto accommodation.)

What types of travel are being disclosed?

Travel expenses disclosed in the Members' Expenses and Leaders' Expenses reports can be one of the following types:

  • Travel between Queen’s Park and the Member’s residence/riding,
  • Travel outside of the constituency within Ontario for Assembly Business,
  • Family travel, (i.e., travel between the Member’s residence/riding and Queen’s Park by certain members of the MPP’s family or a designated traveller).
  • Special circumstances requiring hotel accommodation in Toronto, for those Members who are not entitled to a Toronto Accommodation Budget, (e.g., during a snowstorm).

For more details on Members’ entitlements regarding travel, please consult the Rules Governing Members’ Expenses. For details on entitlements for Leaders' of Opposition Parties and their staff, view the rules on the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario's website (external site).

What kinds of expenses are included under “Hospitality / Events”?

Expenses disclosed under “Hospitality / Events” include costs that the Member or Opposition Leader incurs hosting events or guests. For example, a Member or Leader may have refreshments for people at their constituency office, or may host guests in the Legislative Assembly dining room. They may also host public events in their constituency, such as a barbeque, New Year’s levee, or skating party.

For more details about Members’ entitlements regarding hospitality and events, please consult the Rules Governing Members’ Expenses. For details on entitlements for Leaders' of Opposition Parties and their staff, view the rules on the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario's website (external site).

How does the Assembly handle payments made on a member’s behalf?

All expenses paid for travel, hospitality, meals and accommodation will be reported if a payment was made out of the Legislative Assembly Fund, excluding Caucus appropriations. This includes payments made on behalf of a member and direct payments to suppliers.

Why do some MPPs have expenses appearing in both the Members’ Expenses report, and the Opposition Leaders’ Expenses report?

Leaders of opposition parties claim expenses in their capacity as both Leaders and as MPPs. Certain travel, meal, accommodation, and hospitality expenses were incurred by the Member in their role of party Leader, while others were incurred in their role of MPP.  As different rules apply to members and Oppostion Leaders, the expenses are tracked separately.

Different rules apply to expenses incurred in their role as Leader of an opposition party. For more details, please consult the Rules Governing Members’ Expenses.

Rules governing Opposition Leaders’ Expenses are detailed on the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario’s website (external site).  

Are ministerial expenses included in the disclosure?

No. The disclosure of expenses made by Members when conducting business on behalf of the Government of Ontario is found at http://www.ontario.ca/government/travel-meal-and-hospitality-expenses.

Who can I contact with questions about the expense reports?

For questions regarding these expense reports please contact Scott Turner, Financial Services at 416-325-9469, or sturner@ola.org.