Canada column for Sunday, May 26/13
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
The Mounties are investigating the expense claim scandal that has caused a shake-up in the Senate and the office of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The police are probing whether there are “grounds to launch a criminal investigation” into expenses paid to Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb.
Harper said he is “extremely angry” over the controversy and news that Nigel Wright, fired as his Chief of Staff, secretly gave Duffy $90,172 to repay inappropriate housing and travel expenses.
Other fallout led to Duffy, Brazeau and Pamela Wallin quitting the Conservative caucus to remain as Independents in the appointed Senate.
An audit continues into Wallin’s travel expense claims of $321,824.
Harb, a former Liberal and now Independent, is contesting a demand he repay $51,482 as is Brazeau who is said to owe $48,744, both for improper housing claims.
Harper said he was not aware of Wright’s payment to Duffy and was “not happy” with the actions of some Senators and the conduct of his office.