Reminder that Ottawa’s Senate suspensions are NOT expulsions!

For all those in the Canadian media and opposition who are wailing about how unfair and mean-spirited the Senate suspension motion pertaining to Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau is, keep in mind that said suspension is only for a two-year period.

Also keep in mind that if the Senate suspension motion passes, the three will be able to keep calling themselves Senators. Why? Because are NOT being expelled.

Let’s briefly review:

  1. Each of the three Senators involved expensed incorrectly — by huge amounts.
  2. Two of the three Senators have paid back their overpayments.
  3. One Senator has not paid back what he allegedly owes and is having his remuneration clawed back instead.
  4. One Senator paid her expenses out of her own resources.
  5. And, yes, one Senator paid his over-expensed debt back with a donation from someone working in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

So, what is this whole “scandal” about? Is it about when the Prime Minister learned about the $90,000 “personal” cheque? In my opinion, no, it isn’t.

Rather, it’s about an attitude of entitlement that seems to infect everyone, or almost everyone, who is ever appointed to the Senate or any government agency.

It is also about a mainstream media that over-reacts about almost everything connected to Prime Minister Harper or his Conservative government.

I mean, compare the media coverage of this so-called Senate scandal (when most of the public money allegedly misspent was repaid) with the Ontario Liberal government wasting one billion dollars of taxpayer’s money on e-Health, one billion dollars on Ornge and, more recently, one billion dollars on the cancellation of two gas plants — which was for an openly partisan political purpose.

Right, the reaction was a yawn. Time to move on folks!

Anyway, regarding the federal matter, the crux of the matter is that the three Senators affected by the motion to suspend them for two years need to accept responsibility for their role in this debacle, as well as some consequences.

Update 6pm 18/10/13:

As I just wrote on my post at Jack’s Newswatch, now we see what the media are really all about. Even when there is negative news about former Liberal MP and Mayor Fontana in London, the parliamentary media (particularly CBC) would rather be all atizzy over Senator Mike Duffy’s comments. The $13,500 cheque for legal fees paid by the CPC may tick off party members but there is nothing illegal about it. It is not a smoking gun to anything. Moreover, the CPC lawyer who made the payment can’t comment because it is private and client privileged information. Duffy had to know that. As far as the RBC allegations, they are more serious. However, I’d take the PM’s word over Duffy any day. As one Twitter writer wrote, paraphrased, Duffy tells us all now to disregard what he said before because now everything he is saying is true. Sure.

As far as I am concerned, they should, at the very least, suspend Duffy.

9 thoughts on “Reminder that Ottawa’s Senate suspensions are NOT expulsions!

  1. You make a good point. No need to be fair then. Screw them. Darn right. What I don’t understand is that Harper siad their expendituresd were reviewed and informed the House that all was well. Now he wants to suspend them without a fair process. Did HArper really check?


  2. Fred — I hear you. Harper himself would not have checked. His staff would have and he would have trusted them. They were wrong. I think the PM should admit he was wrong when he informed the House. But, if he does, he will no doubt be accused of lying which is not what happened. It was simply a mistake. Beyond that, the “we are entitled to our entitlements” is very much in evidence. The Liberals in the Senate will vote no because I suspect many of them are very nervous about their own audits.


  3. PMSH did not audit Sen Wallin’s expenses, he compared them to other Senators/MPs expenses.

    “I have looked at the numbers. Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from that particular area of the country over that period of time,” Harper said.

    The audit exposed issues.
    Wallin’s were not the highest.


  4. On the suspensions, the amount of time each Senator spends off the public payroll should be matched to the severity and spirit of the inappropriate claims.

    My ‘sentence’ would be
    Brazeau 3 months
    Wallin 6 months
    Duffy 36 months


  5. I like your sentences Wilson. It will be interesting to see how close you are to what actually happens because I too get the feeling change is in the wind — one of the reasons I simply summarized this post.


  6. CRB — If you are speaking of Mac Harb, he suspended himself by resigning so he could still collect his Senator’s pension.


  7. CRB, Harb’s story was so obviously heading for RCMP charges, he took his pension and ran.
    I would suspend him for 2 years, every 2 years, until he turned 75


  8. Duffy tabled 2 emails today that showed Wright was on his side, trying to help him out. Which would explain Wright`s decision to bail him out.
    Duffy is such a jerk to turn on Wright just to save his paycheque. Can you get any further from `honorable` than that!


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