VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The vote was unanimous. Metro Vancouver board members have decided to keep their pricey fee when they go to conferences and workshops.

The proposal was to cap the fee at $100 a day, down from the current $346 for attending external events.

Port Coquitlam mayor and board chair Greg Moore says the fee is because members have a great responsibility running a billion dollar organization and they deserve to be paid for it.

“If we were looking at the private sector and what a private sector CEO or board of directors makes to look after an organization of that size, we wouldn’t even be in the ball park in terms of what they’re doing.”

The fee rises to $700 if the event goes over four hours.

Jordan Bateman with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the Metro board’s decision is just another example of government waste.

“There was a conference a few months ago called the Zero Waste Conference, hosted by Metro Vancouver. They asked every single speaker and expect to waive their fees, they all did. Yet the five Metro Vancouver directors who showed up for it, they took home $2,000 in taxpayer fees.”

He says those on the board typically pull down an extra 20-thousand dollars a year for these external appearances, and calls the decision to keep the high fee “shameful”.