What is the Senate's business? - Macleans.ca

What is the Senate’s business?

Awaiting the Pamela Wallin audit


The audit of Pamela Wallin’s expenses won’t be public until later today, but Postmedia got a sneak peek and offers a preview of the considerations and counter-arguments.

In their report, the auditors write that part of Wallin’s inappropriate costs were for “partisan related activity, such as fundraising.” Her lawyers cite as an example a May 27, 2011, event for former cabinet minister Bev Oda, who resigned in July 2012 over her own spending scandal, which was made famous by a $16 glass of orange juice charged to taxpayers. At the Oda event, Wallin talked about Oda’s ministerial role overseeing intenrational development, as well as the Afghanistan file, which Wallin knew from her work chairing the Senate’s defence committee. Her lawyer’s letter notes that fundraising events took place outside of election campaigns, involved talking about Senate-related matters, and that “this was generally accepted practice,” suggesting that others in the Senate have done the same.

… The amount that was subject to interpretation relates to “networking events,” auditors write. “It is Senator Wallin’s position that when she was appointed, she understood that her ‘networking’ with contacts was an important part of her role to ‘…be accessible and in touch with as many ‘communities of interest’ as possible to ensure that she would be an activist and effective senator,’” the audit says. “The steering committee determined that, while occasional, exceptional occurrences for special events might be acceptable, the volume and pattern of the events listed would not qualify them as Senate business.”



What is the Senate’s business?

  1. If there’s one thing that the Senate can do well, it’s spending taxpayer dollars like there’s no tomorrow. $338,500 for travel expenses Pamela? I hope that your getting frequent flyer points from the airlines. While that might seem just a little exorbitant wait till we get the final bill from Mac Harb. Ouch! Now there’s a guy who really knows how to stick it to us good.

    • from the link:

      The audit was six months in the making.

      Can’t wait to see what the bill is for the forensic audit. Or the bill for the committee of senators examining their own behaviour.

  2. the worst thing the Canadian public should put up with after this senate scandal, is allow the same governing party and its leader(harper) to reform it. its still going to be the foxes looking after the henhouse. harpers judgement is what brought on this last fiasco. can we still believe everything comes out of harpers mouth anymore ? if you believe still believe anything else that comes out of harpers mouth, than you must be suffering from the same condition harper is suffering from, paranoid deniability..

  3. The “this was generally accepted practice” excuse isn’t going to get anyone in the Senate very far. That’s not an explanation, THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

    • That explanation would be a very good reason to implement random spot checks of expenses of other senators. If it was indeed “generally accepted practice”, then these 4 are far from the only ones who have some splainin to do.