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Mar 28th
Home Sections Canadian Happenings Filipino Appointee to Canada’s Senate Is “Big Spender”
Filipino Appointee to Canada’s Senate Is “Big Spender” PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 15 January 2013 15:52


The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 


In the Philippines, it is said that "ang sarap maging senador" which translates to "it's nice to be a senator". The remark takes cognizance of the many perks and emolument that come with the office. It may not be far different in Canada. A member of Toronto's Filipino community who got lucky in being appointed a member of the Senate of Canada in September outshines four other counterparts in at least two respects. One, in being quite an expense for Canada's taxpayers in such a short period. And two, in being the most traveled in and outside Canada. Tobias Enverga Jr. hasn't warmed his Parliament office yet but a supporter reveals he is moving this spring to a bigger office and begs to be invited for another visit.


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Tobias Enverga Is Quite An Expense for Canada's Taxpayers




Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA)

and National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC)



T ORONTO – In the last three months since his appointment to the Senate of Canada, Tobias Enverga Jr. easily outspent four other colleagues who got into the upper chamber of Parliament on the same day.


Of the five, he also appears to have earned the distinction of being the most-traveled in and outside Canada, according to the Senate's quarterly expenditure report released recently.


Mr. Enverga cost Canada's taxpayers a total of $37,411.88 - not including his annual salary of $132,300.00 - during the quarter ending December 2012. The amount was for travel, living expenses, staff and office and hospitality.


His yearly income divided into four quarters amounts to $33,075. This means that for the last quarter of the year (October, November, December), taxpayers coughed up $70,486.88 for his salary and expenses.


The four other senators appointed by Governor-General David Johnston on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper are Thomas Johnson McInnis, Thanh Hai Ngo, Diane Bellemare and Paul E. McIntyre.


Compared to Enverga's, McInnis of Nova Scotia had total expenses for the three-month period of $26,557.08; Ngo of Orleans, Ontario, $20,665.28; Bellemare of Quebec, $20,309.25; and McIntyre of New Brunswick, $16,114.44.


The former Toronto fundraiser also reaped more air miles than his four counterparts. His total travel expenses amounted to $19,556.13 during the three-month period ending December 2012. 


The bulk – $14,249.76 – was for what was denominated as "other travel" which includes expenses related to all other travel (regional, national and international). His regular travel, meaning from Toronto to Ottawa (a distance of about 351 kilometers) and back, cost taxpayers $5,306.37.


Senator Thomas Johnson McInnis who commutes from Nova Scotia in the Maritimes to Ottawa, a distance of about 1,436 kilometers from the capital Halifax, incurred regular travel expenses amounting to $17,916.59. He has no foreign travel.


Two others had expenses almost half or a little over what Enverga spent in his regular travel, namely, Paul E. MacIntyre of New Brunswick, $2,826.39 and Diane Bellemare of Quebec, $2,288.42. Senator Thanh Hai Ngo of Orleans, Ontario (near Ottawa) had zero travel expense. 


Mr. Enverga, a project manager at Bank of Montreal; McInnis, lawyer and businessman; McIntyre, lawyer and community activist; Bellemare, economist and author; and Ngo, a citizenship judge, started out on the same day they received their appointment to the Senate, which was September 6, 2012.


In staff and office expenses, Ngo led the pack with a total of $19,433.71. Enverga placed second at $15,735.95, followed by Bellemare at $12,530; McIntyre, $10,656.21; and McInnis, $5,665.27.


Mr. Enverga's office expenses presumably included the November inauguration and blessing of his office in Parliament Hill and the guided tour and reception that followed for visitors and tourists from Toronto.


Lita Leano, a supporter who boasted filling up a 56-passenger bus coach and was at the event, gushes in a blog: "You could feel the Filipino hospitality in his office x x x  In the spring of 2013, SenJun (Enverga) shall be moving to a bigger office. Aha! Shall we arrange for our next visit?" 


Ms. Leano also begs: "Please allow us to have another trip/s in 2013. Mabuhay si Senator Enverga! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Canada? Mabuhay ang PCCF!" (Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation is the fundraising outreach of the Envergas).


Taxpayers also shouldered the senators' living expenses, as follows: Enverga, $2,072.13; McIntyre, $2,631.84; McInnis, $2,875.22; and Bellemane, $5,388.40. Ngo did not charge anything. # # #


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