Straight Talk
EDITORIAL - Senate scandals hitting home

Government Leader in the Senate, Senator Marjory LeBreton, poses for a photo in her office on Parliament Hill



Since the NDP has never come close to being elected as the government of Canada, one can only speculate on the mother lode of disappointments they would have appointed to the Senate.

But they have none.

Oh, Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin tried to slip one in from Saskatchewan in 2005 named Lillian Dyck, but Senate abolitionists in her federal party would not accept her in caucus ­-- and were too dumb to check to see what they were missing.

Read this from Ms. Dyck:

"In my naiveté, I decided to become a NDP senator, but was immediately rejected by NDP Leader Jack Layton," she says. "If they had done any homework they would have found out that I was First Nations, first generation Chinese, feminist, a scientist and a senior university administrator." So she sits today as a Liberal.

Earlier this week, Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton, along with Liberal Opposition Leader James Cowan, pushed their internal audit board to investigate all senators who have claimed secondary residence allowances -- not just the three who are already being externally audited.

Tory Sen. Mike Duffy, along with Liberal Sen. Mac Harb, will have their day of reckoning, as will Tory Sen. Patrick Brazeau, whose own neck-deep problems over residency also have odious sidebar charges involving sexual assault and domestic violence that now have him on an enforced leave of absence.

On top of that, we now learn that Duffy's former CTV colleague, Sen. Pam Wallin, is separately being audited for $321,037 in "other travel" expenses since September 2010.

While average Canadians can't wrap their heads around billion-dollar boondoggles and robocall fiddlings, they can certainly relate high-on-the-hog, non-elected senators with a base salary of $132,000, trying to scam them for another $21,000 in housing allowances.

This drives taxpayers nuts.

Give credit, however, to Sen. LeBreton and her Liberal counterpart for demanding all senators to show their cards when it comes to claiming secondary residency allowances.

It will help keep at least this stink from lingering.

The Dippers may have passed on a solid senator, but maybe they understood the old Groucho Marx line that any club that would have them as a member, isn't worth joining.

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