Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's getting hard to do their job, senators agree

  • Print

THE ongoing living and travel-expense scandals surrounding a trio of Canadian senators has made it increasingly difficult for the upper chamber to do its job, according to a pair of their colleagues.

"It has been difficult times in Ottawa, to say the least," said Sen. Don Plett. "Mistakes have been made. We need to consider how we move forward from here."

Plett and fellow Manitoba Sen. Maria Chaput dropped by the Free Press Caf© Friday afternoon to discuss what effect the activities of Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau could have on the future of the Senate.

There's no question Duffy, a former CTV journalist, is at the eye of the storm. He recently paid back his housing allowance, courtesy of a $90,000 cheque from Nigel Wright, who resigned as Prime Minister Harper's chief of staff earlier this week after the cheque came to light.

Chaput said it's difficult to concentrate on the tasks at hand with all of the extracurricular activities going on.

"I feel bad for the Senate itself. I believe in the Senate of Canada and I believe in the work we're doing for our country. It's sad," she said.

Chaput, a Liberal, said it's fair to say other members of her caucus are worried about the entire expense-claiming process.

"(Whether they're) colleagues or not, nobody is above the law. We need to know what happened," she said.

Chaput said she hoped the Senate committee looking into the matter would hold public hearings, but she doesn't think it will. "We just want to know who did what and get back to work," she said.

Plett, a Conservative, said he believes the scandal has put Harper in an awkward position that's not of his making.

Wright, he noted, took full responsibility for writing the cheque. "And it cost him his job. He was possibly the second most powerful person in this country. It was done by Wright, not the government," he said.

Neither senator believed the scandal would lead to the abolition of the chamber of sober second thought.

"I do not believe the Senate is in danger," Plett said. "We have had members of Parliament who have been found wanting for misappropriation of funds and nobody talks about dismantling the House of Commons. We have 105 senators and 102 (who aren't being investigated). That's a pretty good majority."

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 25, 2013 A4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Raw: Video shows destroyed West Hawk Inn

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should panhandling at intersections be banned?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google