Well will the feeding frenzie be over ? or at least slowed up, Maybe it seems the blatant abusers of public money spending are soon to be cut off........(Unless you can conveniently get on a med-leave & continue to collect) I wonder when the present day govt of Canada will get the balls to just oust the culprits. Imagine a job where you can be handed a golden goose job, abuse the crap out of it & cannot be fired by the guy that appointed you. Nope all you have to do is say I will sit as an independent (code for keep making out the chq's to me & don't forget the perks too) but Hey force me out & I may have to take a sick leave.........lol These guys in power (the Mulroney replacements) are almost as bad (possibly worse ,when we find out the real behind the scenes deals) than the party led by the main character in that aptly named book "ON the TAKE" by Stevie Cameron .in case you forgot who the character on the cover was ,here's a picture of Stevie Camerons great book.........(imho)
Anyway have a read of the article in today's Montreal Gazette.
The government Senate leader, Claude Carignan, told the Senate Thursday afternoon that all three should be suspended without pay due to “gross negligence” in their use of taxpayer dollars.
Whenever a final vote happens, a simple majority would be needed to approve the proposals to suspend the three without pay. The Tories hold a majority in the Senate, and one Liberal senator suggested the Tories will “fold” and vote to suspend Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau — three former Conservatives — and try to deflect attention away from the scandal in the Senate that was the focus of debate in the House of Commons.
But there was a hint that some senators felt they would be setting a dangerous precedent for three of its own who face no criminal charges related to their Senate spending, and at a time when the auditor general is poring through the expenses of every member of the upper chamber to root out any wrongdoing.
“This is an extraordinary measure brought in at a time with the government who are seeking public favour because they’re down in the polls — it’s the popular thing to do,” said Liberal Sen. George Baker. “It’s the unpopular thing to say what I’m saying. … To have a motion so worded is not fair, it’s not fair.”
None of the three faces charges from the Mounties, but their colleagues in the Senate are to vote on whether they should be removed from the red chamber until the end of the parliamentary session, an undefined period of time that could end in the fall of 2015 when the next federal election is scheduled. A positive vote would also bar them from spending any Senate dollars, and could affect their pensions.
“This is not about the criminal investigation,” said Sen. Vern White, a former police chief. “Every organization I’ve been in has an internal system that sanctions people as well. That’s what this is about.”
Under Senate rules, the upper chamber can take whatever actions it needs to protect itself, even if it means withdrawing the parliamentary privileges of its members.
“We are members of a parliamentary body, and there’s a lot of responsibility … for every individual member,” said Tory Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin, a lawyer by trade. “There’s a code of conduct, there’s an attitude that needs to be maintained to not provoke disrepute of the institution.”
Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau were not in the chamber Thursday, as the Senate returned for a new session from prorogation, but the motions to suspend all three were introduced.
The Senate will debate all three motions next Tuesday at the earliest. It’s unclear when a final vote will take place.
Carignan argued the suspensions should be made to protect the dignity of the Senate, and the public trust in the chamber, which has taken a beating over revelations of misspending and ethical lapses by some of its members. In this case, the three senators facing suspension were all appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Speaking to reporters outside the chamber, Carignan said it didn’t matter that the three were former Conservatives; he said the sanctions would be considered for any senator caught grossly violating Senate spending rules.
“It’s not a question of money, it’s a question of gross misconduct,” Carignan said. “It’s very severe sanctions, but I think it’s appropriate in this case.”
The Liberals in the Senate will discuss the proposals in detail Tuesday morning, but their leader on Thursday suggested all three should be punished.
“As I said at the very beginning, further sanctions are necessary,” said Liberal Senate leader James Cowan. “I don’t think it’s enough that when you get caught abusing rules and you claim money inappropriately, I don’t think it’s enough to simply pay the money back.”
All three will have a chance to make their case before the Senate next week. However, Brazeau is unlikely to attend due to a recent medical episode that saw police called to a Gatineau, Que., home and Brazeau taken to hospital. Duffy, too, is questionable after telling the Senate on Thursday morning that he was taking a medical leave of absence, a move that would normally allow him to continue receiving his $135,200 annual salary.
Carignan said that wouldn’t affect the move to suspend Duffy without pay.
“He will have the opportunity to come Tuesday to explain why he (should) not have the sanctions against him,” Carignan said. “He could explain his case Tuesday. If he has a medical problem, we will see Tuesday.”
In a letter Thursday morning to the Senate speaker, the former Conservative said he had suffered unstable angina this past summer while in Prince Edward Island, which he represents in the Senate. Duffy said his doctor in Ottawa has recommended further treatment and suggested he stay off work.
The RCMP are investigating a payment of $90,000 made by Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to Duffy to cover his housing expenses. Wright resigned over the affair.
Duffy had open-heart surgery in 2006, but in his letter says not all of the problems were fixed at that time and that it had been expected he would need surgery again at a later date.
Normally, a senator on medical leave continues to collect his or her salary.
Duffy has also come under scrutiny after the RCMP recently alleged he billed the Senate for $65,000 to pay a friend who provided “no tangible work” in return, even after Senate finance officials raised concerns.