Tory senator Boisvenu ignored ethics advice on office affair for months

OTTAWA – Conservative Sen. Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu says the Senate ethics officer told him last year he couldn’t keep his girlfriend on his office payroll, but he did nothing about it for six months.

Boisvenu was forced to admit last month that he had carried on a relationship over the course of a year with an office assistant.

He now says the ethics officer told him last spring that the relationship constituted a potential conflict of interest and that Boisvenu should either end it or fire the woman.

The senator says he and his former girlfriend Isabelle Lapointe discussed the matter into the late fall.

While Boisvenu’s marriage was falling apart, he lived with Lapointe near Ottawa for three months while collecting a minor accommodation stipend, which he later repaid.

Boisvenu is speaking candidly about being torn between two women and the turmoil in his office after Lapointe finally left to work elsewhere on March 11.