Where does Mike Duffy live?

Aaron Wherry on the question of the hour

by Aaron Wherry

Mike Duffy sits in the Senate as a resident of Prince Edward Island. Thing is, Prince Edward Island doesn’t consider him a resident.

Records obtained by The Guardian Tuesday from the provincial taxation and property division office show Duffy and his wife Heather are identified as non-resident owners of their Cavendish cottage and thus pay higher property taxes.

Prince Edward Island charges 50 per cent more in property taxes to owners who are not permanent residents of the Island. In order to get the lower tax rate, one must reside in the province for 183 days consecutively. The P.E.I. government does not currently offer Duffy the lower permanent resident rate and identifies him as a non-resident.

Senator Duffy also wasn’t on the PEI voters list in 2011 and cast a ballot in that year’s Ontario election. This matters because Section 23(5) of the Constitution Act specifies that a senator “shall be resident of in the Province for which he is appointed.”

Last December, it was reported that Senator Duffy was claiming living expenses for his time in Ottawa. Amid an audit of the expenses claimed by some senators, Senator Duffy appealed to the PEI health minister’s office to expedite a request for a provincial health card. The Star has video of Senator Duffy’s Cavendish cottage.

None of this would be of concern if the Senate was abolished.




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Where does Mike Duffy live?

  1. Did he claim he was a resident of PEI, or Ontario, on his tax returns? I know he didn’t claim a tax credit available to residents of PEI, but did he file his return there?

    • It’s right there in the Constitution – he must be a resident of the province he represents, and as far as I know, you must pay your taxes in the province where you reside. However, his and my tax returns are personal documents, so I’m afraid we will not know, unless PEI decides to denounce him somehow and refute his right to sit as a PEI senator.

        • He could be disqualified – you must meet the residence requirement for get nominated, and you must maintain the residence requirement :

          31. The Place of a Senator shall become vacant in any of the following Cases:
          5) if he ceases to be qualified in respect of Property or of Residence; provided, that a Senator shall not be deemed to have ceased to be qualified in respect of Residence by reason only of his residing at the Seat of the Government of Canada while holding an Office under that Government requiring his Presence there.

          Did he qualify when he was recommended for nomination?

          Responsible government? Do we still go by that principle?

          • Heh…..Harper appointed someone illiterate to the Senate…Jacque Demers….and you think Harp will worry about Duffy’s address?

            We haven’t had respondible govt in what….7 years? At least.

          • I’m no friend of the Senate or the Harper government, but I think you are unfairly disqualifying someone who likely has a learning disability but has other things to contribute. He had a successful career in the hockey business and as a broadcaster so he must have some powerful strategies for coping with his inability to read and with appropriate adaptation could participate in government.

          • Well being a Canadian, I can be as PC as anybody…..but literacy is a basic requirement for anybody in the 21st century…….and certainly in a job that depends solely on being literate.

            It deals with running a nation…..not getting a ‘participation’ certificate.to build self-esteem.

          • P.C. my ass. You are disqualifying people from representing their country on an arbitrary basis.

            If this guy http://www.rosseadie.ca/ can use optical character recognition software to read documents and be an effective City Councillor, so can someone who is so-called “illiterate.”

            Now what do we do with all the people who can read but don’t have basic compassion or tolerance?

          • This is a prime example of left-wing malarkey

            Being ‘literate’ in a chamber dependent on literacy isn’t ‘arbitrary’.

            It’s like discovering your surgeon skipped anatomy class.

            I’m sorry, but jobs have qualifications….you meet them or you don’t get the job.

            The fact the surgeon may be ‘a nice guy’ is irrelevant.

          • It’s not a requirement in law or in practicality (almost everything that happens in the Senate is either spoken aloud or rendered in electronic format).

            I don’t understand why you are a critic of the Conservative Party of Canada because you share most of their autocratic tendencies and like most of their current representatives seem incapable of ever ceding even the smallest point.

          • LOL Cons think I’m a leftie, you think I’m a rightie…..which puts me squarely in the center…. like I’ve always said.

            Literacy doesn’t depend on knowing one word from another visually….that’s the Look/Say method that’s been such a disaster.

            42% of Canadians are functionally illiterate….they are literate enough for simple sentences….but don’t have enough literacy to ‘function’ in today’s society. Can’t make out a job application form, or a tax form, or understand instructions on a pill bottle…..or read warning signs or instructions for operating equipment.

            Literacy also involves context, connectedness, nuance, definitions…..reading comprehension in other words.

            Our ‘senator’ has none of that.

            Literacy is not a ‘small point’. Everything in the Senate depends on it.

          • You’re the one that divides things up into right vs. left. I’m saying you’re just as mean and undemocratic as the people you criticize.

            “To qualify for a summons to the Senate, the nominee must:

            • be a Canadian citizen;
            • be at least 30 years of age;
            • own $4,000 of equity in land in the home province or territory;
            • have a personal net worth of at least $4,000; and
            • live in the home province or territory.”

            Literacy isn’t on the list but you seem to be advocating it should be. How pray tell? With a constitutional amendment to exclude people who have difficulty reading? And who will decide on an acceptable level? Will future prime ministers simply vet their appointments through you personally in case you think of some other exclusionary criteria in another off the cuff debating point?

          • Gosh….I’ll cry all day over that.

            Same as I would if I discovered my surgeon hadn’t studied anatomy.

          • I think literacy is a basic requirement to be in Government or anything in the 21st century. Yes for people with legitimate disabilities we can find work arounds and compromises but honestly should we have people who can’t read representing us? I think you’re over inflating his purported learning disability. Having one does not inhibit your ability to learn or mental capacitiy or potential. It’s a cheap excuse to remain ignorant and reflects poorly on Canada as a country to have him in the Senate.

          • Besides, one has worked all his life; the other is a journalist ;)

          • I have a learning disability. I don’t hide behind it or use it to my advantage. And having a learning disability doesn’t mean you can never learn to read, it just means you have to sometimes work harder at some things. We shouldn’t have people representing us who are illiterate, it’s a basic requirement to be a Senator or MP. I am all for having people in Government from all walks of life, but allowing an alcholic, illiterate, and often belligerent ***hole to perticipate doesn’t seem to be the kind of people we should be looking to include in the political process.

            If Harper and the CPC didn’t ask then it’s their fault. It’s pretty clear that he (Duffy) should have known it would be an issue, having lived in Ontario for over 40 years. He knows he was appointed as a Senator for PEI, he’s said it in speeches. And he knows there are residency requirements.

          • He likely never qualified. He’s been a resident of Ontario since the 1970s. If Macleans can find out he voted in the 2011 Ontario General Election, they can find out if he voted in 2007 or any previous year. That would ultimately seal his fate…. if the world were just and Harper actually cared.

  2. Mike Duffy: Citizen of the World.

  3. this is more of a crook than he is fat. Sure the extra income pays for his extravagent dinners one after the next. And to think this guy was once a reporter who holding the government to account and now that he has access to the purse he is stealing. Way to go duffy hope you frie for this.

    • Don’t ever remember him holding the government to acount for anything when he was a reporter.

  4. None of this would be of concern if the Senate was abolished.

    Also wouldn’t be of concern if he wasn’t entitled to his entitlements.

  5. “We will now hear from the Senator for CTV.”

  6. Yes, the Senate is an ongoing mess. Abolish it.

  7. I have always thought Mike Duffy to be above reproach, but this shows me, once again, that people will do anything for money. Sadly it seems that peoples with money are the one ripping off anyone they can to gain more money.

    • How on earth could you think a guy who is a working journalist one day, and a very partisan senator the next, is “above reproach?” Don’t you think his journalism was compromised once he decided to only do puff jobs on Conservatives? He’s not above reproach in either career!

  8. Who’s the dude responsible for this appointment? Isn’t the person who recommends to the GG a candidate for appointment to the Senate responsible for making sure that the candidate meets the requirements written black on white in the constitution ?

    • The short-pantsers are too busy writing inane questions for their backbenchers to do this difficult research, clearly.

  9. Let me guess, we’ll investigate whether or not he’s eligible to sit as a PEI senator.

    How long will the investigation take? At least 183 days or so…

    • Nope. It’ll take until at least May 27, 2021. That’s when Duffy turns 75.

    • It will take as long as needs to make it go away. Haven’t you seen the results of the ACOA “investigations”?

  10. I have to admit that part of me loves to see any CPC get caught with their hand in the cookie jar – not the part where they put their hand in; only the getting caught part. I have a stong sense there are many hands not getting caught.
    That said, the rules for being a resident (six consecutive months of residence) and the requirements of the job (attendance in Ottawa to participate in the business of the Senate) would seem likely to make it impossible for any Senator (or MP for that matter) to responsibly fulfil their duties as a politician and remain resident of the province they supposedly represent.
    Perhaps someone from the PEI government can explain this conundrum.
    (Though I gotta say: the voting in Ontario bit is gonna be hard to explain even if there is a residency loophole for MPs and Senators…)

    • I believe that MPs fly back and forth from Ottawa and their ridings regularly even during session; no reason why the Senators could not as well.

      • When that happens, pigs will fly

    • If I’m not mistaken, it’s written in one of the documents of the constitution that days where senators are expected to be sitting aren’t counted – so that means aside from those exclusionary days he hasn’t even been living in the province. :s

  11. CBC SK has contacted all SK senators (6) to ask if they have residence here, pay taxes here. So far, five have responded saying yes. WHERE ARE YOU, PAMELA WALLIN? Out expensing a lunch with Duffy?

  12. If Harper wishes to appoint celebrities who fictionally live in PEI, he should have picked Anne of Green Gables.

  13. Cons: EI fraud = very, very bad; PEI fraud = OK

  14. Mike Duffy is the Porky Pig of Politicians

  15. Mike Duffy very disappointing expexted better then that, but when money is concerned all senators look out for each other and not the tax payer, time to elect senators.

  16. Audit the Senators, if found to be fraudulent in their claims, throw them in jail.

  17. I remember growing up and watching mike give the the agricultural report on the daily prices for hogs and sows and the such. Would that be called journalism? Funny:-)

  18. Citizen Duffy should have lost his seat when it became clear PEI doesn’t consider him a resident. 23(5) is very clear on this, you must be a resident of the Provience you were appointed for. If you lose your residency per Section 31(5) he should have his Senate seat vacated.

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