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MPs defend taking trips paid by lobbyists, foreign governments, but some say the practice needs review

By Samantha Wright Allen      

The Hill Times sent questions to all 72 MPs who accepted $620,000 worth of free travel in 2017 and learned most see the practice as important to their parliamentary work, but are divided on the subject of limits and lobbying.

From left: Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, Conservative MP Mike Lake, Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi, Conservative MP James Bezan, and Liberal MP Anita Vandenbeld are some of the 72 MPs who went on sponsored trips abroad in 2017. The Hill Times file photograph and by Cynthia Münster, Andrew Meade, and photograph courtesy of Ali Ehsassi

Some Liberal and Conservative MPs say rules that permit lobby groups and foreign governments to pay for MPs’ trips abroad warrant review, including regarding limits on the value of free trips and where lobbyists fit in, though none say that the practice should be banned.

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