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Harper shouldn’t have vouched for Wallin’s expense claims, Liberals say


 

OTTAWA – The federal Liberals say Prime Minister Stephen Harper exercised poor judgment when he vouched for Sen. Pamela Wallin’s expense claims earlier this year.

Liberal MP Stephane Dion and Sen. James Cowan, the party’s leader in the Senate, say it’s just part of an ongoing pattern of dubious decisions on the part of the prime minister.

Harper told the House of Commons in February he had personally looked at Wallin’s travel costs, saying they were on par with other parliamentarians travelling between Ottawa and Saskatchewan.

“In terms of Sen. Wallin, I have looked at the numbers,” Harper said at the time. “Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from that particular area of the country over that period of time.”

The Prime Minister’s Office has since said that Harper was only talking about Wallin’s overall travel expenses, not individual claims.

On Tuesday, the Senate called in the RCMP after an audit flagged a host of inappropriate travel claims dating back to Wallin’s earliest days in the upper chamber.

The auditors flagged $121,348 in inappropriate expenses and called for further review of nearly $21,000 in additional claims.

Wallin has already repaid $38,000, and has since promised to reimburse any disallowed expenses — with interest — out of her own pocket.

Dion, the former Liberal leader who is now the party’s democratic reform critic, also cited Harper’s defence of his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, for five days before accepting his resignation. Wright wrote a $90,000 cheque to Sen. Mike Duffy to cover his inappropriate expense claims.

“At first glance, the prime minister should have seen the red flags. It should have raised alarms. Without indeed knowing all the details at first glance, at broad review, he should have seen the problems,” Dion said.

“The pattern is repeating itself.”

In the latter case, Harper and several ministers insisted that only Wright was aware of the arrangement with Duffy. It has since emerged that three other senior staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office also knew about the payment.

“Now the RCMP has said that three people in the direct entourage of the prime minister and his office were aware, in addition to a Conservative senator,” Dion said.

The New Democrats are scheduled to hold their own news conference later today on the Wallin audit.


 
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Harper shouldn’t have vouched for Wallin’s expense claims, Liberals say

  1. “Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from
    that particular area of the country over that period of time.”

    so… according to Harper, there would now be a good reason to investigate the expense claims of all parliamentarians traveling from that particular area of the country since they all all now greater than Wallin’s legitimate claims.

    • If that’s the case there should have been more oversight to begin with, I absolutely hope there will be more oversight in the future.

  2. Me, I am still waiting for Liberals to pay back sponsorship scandal moneys.

    Kettle calling the pot black?

    Oh, and how is the Liberal Senator doing with the offshore account? And I guess Justin Trudeau isn’t so charitable after all as he was paid by a Liberal lobby group hiding as a charity group.

    Fact is Ottawa has a lot of crooked people. See, crooked people are attracted to other peoples money and Ottawa has so much of other peoples money it is a magnet for corruption, lobby bribery and so easily sells out the people who pay for it.

    Maybe if Liberals kept a few promises I might be more open. But fact is they are like the rest. We do need better choices on the rigged ballots that money buys., but the Liberals are not it. They have lied and deceived me once too many.

  3. We should read bethween the lines. If all expenses are «comparable», does it means that all senators fraud the government (the people). Maybee it is time for a public inquiry in this matter. Harper: Where is your promised transparency.

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