News Canada

Wallin filed $25,000 in bogus travel claims: RCMP

Tony Spears, Multimedia Journalist
Ottawa Sun

By Tony Spears, Ottawa Sun

<p>Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin delivers a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013.     REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin delivers a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Suspended senator Pamela Wallin fraudulently expensed more than $25,000 in travel claims between 2009 and 2012, RCMP allege in court documents released Tuesday.

Mounties probing the former Tory senator's expenses said Wallin filed claims for 21 jaunts allegedly related to personal business activities -- and investigators are continuing to examine another 150 of Wallin's claims.

Wallin has not been charged with any criminal offence but court documents say Mounties believe she committed breach of trust and fraud "by submitting fraudulent expense claims to the Senate of Canada."

"I believe that Senator Wallin travelled to Toronto to pursue personal and business interests, and later represented to the Senate that these travels were parliamentary related as she sought reimbursement for expenses incurred," Cpl. Rudy Exantus wrote in a sworn statement.

Wallin attended a Bank of Montreal board meeting, eight Bell Media events and -- in her capacity as University of Guelph chancellor -- a dozen events at Guelph and Humber College, RCMP allege.

RCMP say she claimed expenses for all 21 events, passing them off as Senate business.

"The analysis of these travel expenses claims reveals that Senator Wallin has qualified the activities she undertook ... as 'Senate Business' contrary to the findings of this investigation," the document says.

"I believe that by submitting these 21 travel expense claims ... Senator Wallin committed a fraud and a breach of trust by a public officer."

RCMP believe she submitted $25,567 in allegedly fraudulent expense claims.

The court document was filed so Mounties can compel the release of information from the bank, Bell Media and the university relating to Wallin's alleged attendance at these 21 events.

"The sought documentation and data will afford evidence relative to Senator Wallin's attendance at the events in Toronto, which in turn is evidence of the named offences," Exantus wrote.

Opposition MPs were quick to crow at the new allegations.

NDP MP Charlie Angus said Wallin has "disgraced Canadian public life," while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the news "reinforces the questions Canadians have about the Prime Minister's judgment, first appointing Ms. Wallin and Mr. (Mike) Duffy to the Senate ... and then actually reassuring the House on multiple occasions that Ms. Wallin's expenses were not out of the ordinary."

None of the allegations have been proven in court; her lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

-- With files from Dale Smith

tony.spears@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @ottawasuntonys

 



Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »