Three more senators repay expenses

The Senate has set a deadline of Friday for repayment

OTTAWA — Three more senators have repaid the upper chamber for expenses a special arbitrator ruled were improper.

Senate records show Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, a former Conservative appointed by Stephen Harper, retired senator Terry Stratton, and Conservative Dennis Patterson repaid a combined bill of almost $40,000 by late Monday afternoon.

Boisvenu had originally been cited in last year’s auditor general’s report for $60,076 in questionable claims and saw his file sent to the RCMP for a criminal review.

The Mounties told Boisvenu earlier this year that they wouldn’t pursue criminal charges.

And last month, former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie cut Boisvenu’s repayment bill to $20,467, saying $38,576 of Boisvenu’s travel expenses were part of his political work on victims’ rights.

Stratton was ordered to repay $5,466 for trips that Binnie and Ferguson agreed were more personal than parliamentary.

Patterson was ordered to repay $13,762 for a contract that didn’t follow Senate spending rules.

Those repayments leave eight of the original 30 senators cited in Ferguson’s report that have yet to repay a combined $554,712.

The Senate has set a deadline of Friday for repayment.

Sitting senators who miss the deadline will have their salaries clawed back until the Senate recoups the amounts owed. The only sitting senator who has not repaid the Senate is Liberal Nick Sibbeston, according to the Senate’s website.

The Senate has threatened to take retired senators to court if they don’t pay up by the end of the week.