Sen. Patrick Brazeau charged with assault, sexual assault

High-profile Senator released on $1,000 bail

GATINEAU, Que. – Sen. Patrick Brazeau appeared briefly in court Friday to face charges of assault and sexual assault before being released on $1,000 bail.

He is expected to return to court next month.

As part of his bail conditions, Brazeau cannot have a firearm or be within 150 metres of the alleged victim, who cannot not be identified under a court order.

While he can return to the Gatineau home where he was arrested Thursday, it is expected he will live in Maniwaki, Que.

The high-profile senator was arrested after a 911 call summoned police to his home, just across the river from Parliament Hill. He was promptly expelled from the Conservative caucus and spent the night in custody.

“It’s known that in light of the serious events that have been reported today, I have removed Sen. Brazeau from the Conservative caucus,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the Commons on Thursday.

“Our understanding is that these are matters of a personal nature rather than Senate business, but they are very serious and we expect they will be dealt with through the courts.”

His office has said he intends to remain in the Senate as an independent, but Senate rules say a senator facing charges is usually put on leave. He would still be paid his $132,000 annual salary and could attend Senate sessions, although his access to benefits would be curtailed.

Brazeau has been under scrutiny in recent weeks over allegations he was using addresses other than his own in Gatineau in order to access a housing allowance from the Senate.

The Senate Board of Internal Economy says it is asking an external auditor to review the residency declarations of Brazeau and two other senators.

Brazeau’s appointment to the Senate in 2008 created an immediate outcry.

Brazeau was 34 when called to the Senate, making him the third-youngest appointee in its history and giving him quick access to a gold-plated pension and six-figure salary.

He joined while still a national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; Brazeau is a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation in Quebec.

His relationship with the broader First Nations community has been fraught with tension.

He was also linked to allegations of CAP misspending of federal funds that were supposed to pay for aboriginal health programs. Conservatives argued, at the time, that the misspending happened before Brazeau took over as congress chief.

Brazeau went on to become an outspoken advocate from the Senate for greater transparency from First Nations on how they spend federal dollars.

In that vein, he was highly critical of Chief Theresa Spence, who went on a hunger protest to force renewed talks between the federal government and aboriginal leaders. He also criticized the wave of protests under the Idle No More banner, saying aboriginal activists weren’t setting a good example.

Brazeau’s views have led to some of his own band members to denounce him, saying he’s gone rogue.

“We are working very hard at the community and nation level to bring about meaningful and accountable changes but Sen. Brazeau’s dismissive and condescending statements leaves no room for meaningful dialogue,” said Chief Gilbert Whiteduck said in a news release earlier this week.

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Sen. Patrick Brazeau charged with assault, sexual assault

  1. What worthless bag of excrement would appoint this worthless piece of excrement knowing what they knew at the time? The answer: the most worthless bag of excrement Canada has ever had as a prime minister.

    • Same one that brought Bruce Carson into his inner circle. And Porter into CSIS.

  2. Look, you can’t know everything about a guy. And it doesn’t matter who appointed him – thats a sideshow. Lets not get caught up in Harper bashing when we should be trashing a looser who assaults women.

    • I totally disagree. Harper is the only person responsible for the presence of Mr. Brazeau in the Senate. Mr. Harper knew ***before making this appointment*** that Brazeau was under investigation for sexual harassment, and the government had received written complaints from aboriginal groups about Brazeau’s dubious use of funds, again before his appointment.

      Further, Mr. Harper has the power (the majority) in the Senate to start the destitution process immediately, on the grounds of his absenteeism from the Senate. As I recall, the reform party hired a mariachi band and served tacos in the foyer of the senate to attract attention to Andy Thompson, an elderly man who had served 30 years in the senate but lately had been in ill-health and was spending all his time in Mexico. Eventually, Chrétien threw Thompson out of caucus, and the Liberal majority in the Senate started the procedures of destitution (Thompson resigned before the conclusion of the procedures).

      How can Harper justify the nominations of persons (Finley and Brazeau) under investigation for serious offences or (Duffy) unethical conduct ? I repeat : Harper knew before he named them. He’s entirely responsible for this mess and he has the power to fix it.

      • Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! Brazeau would just be another nameless, faceless woman-beater had harper not raised him up to one of the highest posts in the land. Really, Brazeau was used by harper, who really did know better even at the time.

    • Where does the buck stop, Wayne?
      When does accountability mean that you accept responsibility for having appointed someone who is/was, shall we say, a very poor choice?
      Ultimately, the Captain is responsible for the ship, no?

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