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Taxpayers picked up the tab for some of Pamela Wallin’s expenses as chancellor

Audit of Wallin’s travel expenses reveals University of Guelph events


 

(Canadian Press)

By all appearances Senator Pamela Wallin was a penny pincher when she served as the University of Guelph’s chancellor from 2007 until 2011. Wallin went to great lengths to limit the expenses she billed to the school, according to a story in the Guelph Mercury from last March. She regularly stayed on campus, for example, and over five years of expense reports, she “claimed nothing for accommodation three times and less than $300 in each of the other two years.” The good-news story quoted a university spokesman who had “nothing but good things to say” about Wallin’s time at the university.

However, a recently released audit of Wallin’s travel expenses reveals that Canadian taxpayers were on the hook for some of her business with the school.

  • On June 9, 2009, Wallin flew to Toronto from Ottawa. Her office told auditors that, while in Toronto, Wallin participated in two meetings on Senate business—one with a World Bank official, the other with a New York-based marketing firm. A Deloitte audit found no evidence those meetings occurred, but did discover Wallin attended a University of Guelph convocation ceremony in her capacity as the school’s chancellor. That trip to Guelph comprised part of an expense claim worth $2,870.55.
  • On Sept. 15, 2009, Wallin flew to Toronto from Ottawa. She claimed the trip included receptions hosted by Dignitas International, an organization that works to improve care for HIV/AIDS patients in vulnerable communities; and the Ontario Chancellors’ Dinner at the University Club, where she served in her capacity as chancellor. The bill for that trip, including the chancellors’ dinner, amounted to $1,234.85.
  • On June 15, 2011, Wallin flew to Toronto from Ottawa. She gave a convocation address in her capacity as chancellor. That trip cost taxpayers $2,214.43.

A university spokesperson says for the events on Guelph’s campus, Wallin only billed the school for car service from Toronto to Guelph. The spokesperson added that the school would have covered all of her costs.


 

Taxpayers picked up the tab for some of Pamela Wallin’s expenses as chancellor

  1. And none of this was necessary. Porter would have picked up her expenses, and so would the university…..yet she tossed everything in the Senate file?

  2. I may support Wallin on this one???
    As an Ontario taxpayer supporting the University of Guelph, I’m happy to let the feds, also me, but a smaller share, pay the bill.
    But how she got the gig in the first place a bit of a mystery. Could have asked somebody from Ontario. Whoops! Maybe they did!

  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/08/14/pamela-wallin-audit-senate-rules_n_3755270.html

    [“The Senate’s travel policy defines a parliamentary
    function as all the duties and activities of a senator, wherever
    performed, including official business and work of a partisan matter as
    long it does not include activities related to the election of a member
    of Parliament during the writ period or furthering a senator’s private
    business interest or one of his or her family members.

    With a definition like that, it is not difficult to see
    why Wallin might have thought she could be reimbursed for travel to
    speak at convocation at the University of Guelph about civic engagement
    and public life in 2011 — even though she was chancellor of the school —
    or why she might have thought it was permissible to file for travel to a
    $100-per-plate Conservative fundraiser in 2009 that was not held during
    the writ period.”] excerpt from the article.

    It might be enlightening to see the expenses for all senators. I suspect we might find other ‘irregularities.’

    I feel sorry for Harper. He has stuck his neck out a mile
    for a senator from the West. If he remains his party’s leader for the
    next election campaign, I suspect he will champion the abolition of the
    Senate, which would pilfer a long standing plank from the NDP and echo
    the sentiments of most people who cannot understand the function and
    value of that institution anyway. He may be inclined to deflect public
    dissatisfaction away from himself to the Senate, in the throws of an
    election campaign, rather than take responsibility for misleading
    Parliament.

    Most people today are less skeptical about democracy than
    our Founding Fathers so long ago. They understood that the ‘First By The
    Post’ system of elections meant that a PM elected by majority was, in
    effect, a dictator for 5 years. There would be nothing to stop a
    renegade from doing just about anything he wanted to do, including
    passing a bill that would make Parliament illegal.

    So, the Founding Fathers imagined an Upper Chamber, the
    Senate, that would have the power to examine legislation passed by the
    lower House and return it for further review and amendment. They wisely
    exempted money bills from this procedure.

    When people casually assert that the Senate ought to be
    abolished, they are failing to appreciate the critical function the
    Senate performs. Those who advocate abolition should consider the
    logical consequences of such a fundamental change to our political
    system.

    Many people who propose abolition are unlikely to support
    Proportional Representation, which would be necessary, if there is no
    Senate. The voting system used in Australia is an example that may be
    easily adopted here. Majority governments would be impossible, which
    would remove the likelihood of democracy running amok or a tyrant
    winning a majority, but it would make passing controversial legislation,
    that might be necessary for the betterment of the country, far more
    difficult.

    The value of the Senate needs to be understood and
    appreciated before anyone reforms it or abolishes it.. There are abuses
    in provincial legislatures, Ontario is a fine example of that, but
    nobody seriously advocates abolishing the legislature. The Parliamentary
    Auditor issues reports that show substantial waste, but nobody
    seriously advocates abolishing Parliament.

    People, and Senators, need to grasp the fundamental idea of
    the Senate that the Founding Fathers understood as they shaped it to
    fit a Canadian experience.

    • I don’t feel sorry for Harper.

      He appointed her in a large part because of her ability to fundraise for the Conservatives- something she certainly did in spades.

      Where does the buck stop?

      • The buck stops with voters at election time. If the next election is like others, people will forget about issues, and cast their votes for the candidate or party they like, an emotional action rather than a thoughtful one, carefully cultivated by savvy media ads and vicious attack ads in the last days of the campaign. Most will vote out of fear carefully enflamed at just the right moment to engineer the result the parties want.

        It isn’t pretty, but it works.

        • Now that we see what life is like under a Harper majority, I think there will be a stronger push with public information campaigns to punish the corrupt Harper regime. Also, their dirty election tricks have been exposed so they will be less likely to cheat like they did in the last election.

    • Constitutionally the PM recommends to the GG for Senate appointment. There is nothing Constitutionally that says the list of names used to recommend to the GG has to originated from the PM. So why don’t we insist the list of names comes from the Provinces and Territories? The PM identifies a name on this submitted list of name(s) and he recommends a name from the list to the GG for appointment to the Senate. No Constitutional change needed because the PM still recommends to the GG. The PM does NOT create/originate the pick list, it is the Provinces or Territories identifying who they want to represent them in the Senate.

      Regardless of whether the Province or Territory has an election to identify people on the list or they do it through a plebiscite or write in campaign or just through their own internal legislative debates, the recommend list should NOT originate with the PM, it should come from the Provinces and Territories.

      It doesn’t matter if it is Liberal or Conservative or even if the NDP forms the federal government, recommendations to the GG for Senate appointment should originate from whom the Provinces and Territories want as their Senate representative! The recommended Senator should not originate from the federal leader of the elected governing party. Take partisan appointments out of the Senate process.

  4. The details of this Senate debacle could vary – and I confess to being very disappointed in a woman who I thought had some brains – but you can be sure when the hype, the allegations, the howling from all the self-righteous holier than thous is done, the truth won’t matter any more. The damage is done. But that is politics. And that is what fame is all about. Wallin, Duffy, Harb – Mulroney – Chretien – McGuinty – they will move on and we, the taxpayers, have been zapped, again. Come on Mr. Harper – you promised!

  5. Wallin used the senate (and taxpayer dollars) as her personal bank account. I hope they hang her up as well as Duffy, harbm and brazeau and make an example of these scum bags.

  6. Harper stocked the Liberal dominated Senate with Conservative appointees.
    The long range plan was to have Conservative control to REFORM the Senate.

    He now has a valid reason to abolish this expensive, USELESS appendage to
    our parliamentary system.
    While he is at it…DUMP the “Queen`s representatives” as well.
    These are another “t.i.ts. on a boar” expence.

  7. Pamela Wallin should just pay up and resign. Give somebody else an opportunity to feed at the trough at public expense without any accountability to the voters.

    Canada should abolish the Senate and make Parliament a one-house body. Why have an elective body like the Senate that can filibuster like the one in the U.S.?

    The idea of having a Senate is to thwart the will of the people’s representatives in the House of Commons. Really.

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