News Canada

Critics want cops called on overspending senators

QMI Agency

A composite image of Senators Mike Duffy (REUTERS/Chris Wattie), Mac Harb (ANDRE FORGET/QMI Agency) and Patrick Brazeau (REUTERS/Chris Wattie).

A composite image of Senators Mike Duffy (REUTERS/Chris Wattie), Mac Harb (ANDRE FORGET/QMI Agency) and Patrick Brazeau (REUTERS/Chris Wattie).

OTTAWA — Conservatives were urged Friday to call the RCMP to investigate housing claims made by three senators that totalled nearly $200,000.

New Democrats in the House of Commons seized on a refusal by Senate leaders to discipline its members after an outside audit discovered the trio did not reside at their primary residences when they billed taxpayers.

"If average Canadians did this they'd have to face real consequences under the law for fraud," said MP Megan Leslie.

Rules permit senators to pocket up to $22,000 annually if they live more than 100 kilometres from Parliament Hill.

The audit found senators' Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb spent most of their time in Ottawa and not in the regions they were picked to represent.

"Only an RCMP investigation will allow us to understand the scope of the fraud," said Leslie.

Duffy, a Conservative, has repaid more than $90,000, including $1,050 in per diems he wrongfully collected over 12 days while vacationing in Florida.

Harb says he has hired a lawyer in hopes of keeping the $51,500 he owes and has since resigned from the Liberal caucus to sit as an independent.

Brazeau is on the hook for $49,000 and it wasn't immediately clear if he planned to repay. The former Conservative was removed from caucus after being charged with assault. He's now an independent.

Heritage Minister James Moore said his government did the right thing by having an outside firm look at the books and blamed Liberals for standing in the way of Senate reform.

Poll

Should these senators be investigated by the RCMP?


Reader's comments »

By adding a comment on the site, you accept our terms and conditions


Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »