Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt faced a bizarre 72 hour suspension from the Official Opposition caucus this week.

Derek Fildebrandt caught renting government-subsidized apartment on Airbnb

United Conservative MLA Derek Fildebrandt has been renting his government-subsidized downtown Edmonton apartment on Airbnb, according to a report by one of Postmedia’s Edmonton newspapers.

MLAs who live outside of the Edmonton area are eligible to receive a housing allowance to use toward a residence in the capital city, but the rules appear to be silent on whether an MLA can rent their government-subsidized accommodations on Airbnb while they are not there.

According to the Postmedia report, “between January and March, eight Airbnb renters reviewed the apartment. Over the same three months, Fildebrandt claimed $7,720 for accommodation in Edmonton.”

While the housing allowance makes sense, the entitlement is certainly not meant to be a secondary source of income for the MLA.

This might not be as big surprise if Fildebrandt were some Tory good ol’ boy, but he is someone who built his political career around attacking public spending by elected officials.

From the time he arrived in Alberta to work as the local spokesperson for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, he was a very spiky thorn in the side of the old Progressive Conservative government. As the Wildrose Party finance critic since 2015, he has been an unabashed partisan in his attacks against Rachel Notley’s New Democratic Party government.

This story comes only days after Fildebrandt announced he would not run for the leadership of the United Conservative Party. In one media report, he blamed the story on Brian Jean’s “backroom operators.”

Fildebrandt could have easily used this as an opportunity to make a point about public spending by claiming the funds he received through renting his government-subsidized Airbnb and applying for a lower housing allowance. But instead, he now says he will use the funds to help pay down Alberta’s provincial debt – after he got caught.

UPDATE: Fildebrandt announced last night that he is on-leave from his position as Finance co-critic for the United Conservative Party and is leaving the province on vacation.

10 thoughts on “Derek Fildebrandt caught renting government-subsidized apartment on Airbnb

  1. Sid Holt

    Well Dave,other than “working” for the Canadian tax payers Federation” Ol’Derek has never held a real job. He has never actually created any real goods or services,the basic building blocks of a free enterprise economy. Aside from CTPF every dollar he’s made has been as a politician ,or for a very short time,a B.C. civil servant. In short,the public has provided him with a living. He ‘s totally accustomed to living off “big government” welfare. The same can be said of Justin Kenney and Stephen Harper,although,in all fairness, the latter did spend several years in the mail room of Dome Petroleum before it collapsed, (probably due to the failed delivery of an important message ). In any event,I’d like to think that my elected representative had some experience in a real job.

    Reply
    1. FCS

      “In any event,I’d like to think that my elected representative had some experience in a real job.”

      Damn, that really describes Rachel Notley’s career very well.

      Reply
  2. David

    I suppose he will now be known as Double dippin’ Derek. It was a nice scheme he had going until he got exposed, collect the full housing allowance from the government and keep the money personally from the Airbnb rentals.

    It is very ironic and sad that the former supposed taxpayer advocate is the one cheating the taxpayers here.

    Reply
  3. Cathy Julien

    Why does he have an appartment? Would it be more cost effective for him to stay in a hotel if he is able to rent the flat out he obviously is not using it very frequently. Disgusting entitled polititians. You would hope the former PCs have learned a lesson that Albertans are fed up with frivolous spending.

    Reply
  4. Cathy

    Why does he have an appartment? Would it be more cost effective for him to stay in a hotel if he is able to rent the flat out he obviously is not using it very frequently. Disgusting entitled polititians. You would hope the former PCs have learned a lesson that Albertans are fed up with frivolous spending.

    Reply
  5. CCS

    @FCS: actually Notley did have an established career before her appointment as Premier. She was a lawyer. And if I understand correctly, much of her work was in public service, helping people who had been injured on the job, to receive coverage through WCB.

    @Dave: thanks for the article, and all the work you do to inform Albertans!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *