Former senator Raymond Lavigne denied early parole for fraud conviction

OTTAWA – Former senator Raymond Lavigne won’t be getting out of jail early.

The Ontario Parole Board has denied Lavigne’s application for early parole.

“The Board believes that you seriously violated public trust by your fraudulent actions,” says a decision released Friday.

“You expressed little remorse and you accepted little responsibility for your criminal behaviour.”

The one-time Liberal MP was convicted of fraud for claiming travel expenses for trips actually taken by his staffers.

He was also convicted of breach of trust for having his staff work on his personal farm while on taxpayer time.

Lavigne resigned 10 days after being convicted, trading in his $132,000 annual salary for a parliamentary pension that could reach $79,000 a year.

He was sentenced to six months in jail and another six under house arrest. He began serving his sentence in June at the Ottawa-Carleton detention centre.

The parole board noted that Lavigne has yet to arrange for any rehabilitative programs once he’s released from prison.

“You are requesting to serve a parole period in the province of Quebec, where you plan to live with your wife in your retirement,” the board’s decision says.

“Your repeated denial of any criminal wrongdoing, along with no confirmed community rehabilitative component to your release plan, you are not seen as a manageable risk in the community and parole is denied.”

The denial of Lavigne’s parole comes as some of his former colleagues in the upper chamber are in hot water over their dubious expense claims.

The RCMP has been called in to investigate former Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau and former Liberal Mac Harb over their housing claims. The Mounties have also been asked to look into former Conservative senator Pamela Wallin’s travel claims.