Dear Mr. Lauzon,
I am writing to complain about the disturbing behaviour of the Prime Minister's Office in regard to the Senate scandal
about expense claims.
It is not believable to me that a person
like Senator Duffy couldn't find, or borrow, the money to replace his
expenses claimed (possibly) in error. The bail out by the Prime
Minister's chief-of-staff is a dreadful mistake. It leads to the
perception of impropriety, and the branches of Canadian government
should be above reproach.
The Conservative government has made
much about ethical behaviour and accountability, more than just following the
letter of the law. This was important in rebuilding the party after the
One is often judged by the company one keeps.
The Conservative government is being rightly pilloried in the press for
bad judgement in picking senators who have discredited to the party.
I can honestly say that I am shocked.
Thank you for writing to my office regarding the repayment of Senator
Duffy’s living expenses to taxpayers. I always appreciate hearing the
concerns of my constituents on matters that are important to them.
I can assure you I do not believe that taxpayers should be on the hook
for improper expense claims made by Senators. Mr. Duffy agreed to repay
the expenses because it was the right thing to do. However, Mr. Duffy
was unable to make a timely repayment. Mr. Wright therefore wrote a
cheque from his personal account for the full amount owing so that Mr.
Duffy could repay the outstanding amount. The independent external audit
by Deloitte looking into Senate expenses was completed and the results
tabled. Due to the controversies surrounding Senator Duffy’s improper
expense claims, the Senator made the decision to resign from the
Conservative Caucus and sit as an independent.
Once again, thank you for writing.
Member of Parliament
Dear Mr. Lauzon,
Thank you for your prompt reply.
sorry, it is not believable that a person of Senator Duffy's status and
income could not immediately borrow such funds from a Canadian bank to
cover the shortfall. If he could not, the taxpayer was not "on the hook"
for this - it is still his responsibility. I am ignoring the possibly
misleading statement that was made to the press, that Senator Duffy and
his wife had decided to pay back the money. I am also ignoring for now,
the idea that someone else, in any other occupation, would be suspended
without pay and possibly facing police charges.
I expect the government of Canada to be held to the same or
hopefully better standards of behaviour than this. I happen to know, and
as you probably know yourself, Mr. Lauzon, that when a new senator or
MP is brought into Parliament, there is an extensive orientation and
briefings explaining what is allowed and what is not (and the reasons
I am very sorry, that you appear to have to defend this type of
behaviour, as I believe that you are a person of unimpeachable honesty
and you do a great deal of good work in our community!
This is not a blog. So sue me!
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