By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday September 10, 2013
Peter Shurman fired as Tory finance critic over housing allowance
Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak has fired his finance critic, Thornhill MPP Peter Shurman, for taking a $20,719 housing allowance from taxpayers last year.
Shurman, a former talk radio host who represents a suburban riding bordering Toronto’s Steeles Ave., but moved to a $660,000 home in Niagara-on-the-Lake and claimed the allowance for an apartment near Queen’s Park where he stays while working at the legislature.
Hudak said in a statement Sunday night that controversy over the payout — which was not strictly against regulations — was becoming a distraction for his party and its message of respect for taxpayer dollars.
A source said Hudak’s meeting with Shurman to discuss the allowance Sunday turned into “a very heated exchange” with the leader asking his MPP to repay the housing allowance, which Shurman refused.
The source said Hudak was aware Shurman was moving to Niagara-on-the-Lake but did not know the Thornhill MPP was claiming the housing allowance.
Shurman declined to comment when asked about repayment.
The Conservatives — and in particular, Shurman, as finance critic — have been slamming the Liberal government for its $11.7-billion deficit and for spending $585 million to scrap power plants in Oakville and Mississauga before the 2011 election.
“While the current rules were followed, it is clear taxpayers hold elected officials to a higher standard and those rules need to be changed,” Hudak said Sunday after meeting with Shurman. (Source: Toronto Star)