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Senator Mike Duffy & PEI residency scandal

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I guess ill be the one to post a thread on this hot story:

Opposition MPs are questioning whether Duffy really lives in Cavendish, P.E.I., as he says he does. Earlier this week, P.E.I.'s health minister said Duffy had applied for a new health card — not a renewal — and CBC News obtained documents that show Duffy isn't getting a much lower resident tax rate on his property in the province.

The tax credit goes to properties where "50 per cent or more of the owners reside in P.E.I. for 183 consecutive days or more each taxation year defined as Jan. 1 to Dec. 31."

The Senate is auditing its members to ensure they live where they say they do after media reported three of them spend most of their time in the National Capital Region but claim they live elsewhere and collect a living allowance worth up to $21,000 a year (an expense credit given to them for having to live in Ottawa despite primarily residing elsewhere). As part of the audit, senators have had to provide proof of residency like health cards, driver's licences, and some tax documents that show where they file taxes.

Duffy has also claimed $42,802.43 in living expenses in Ottawa since Sept. 1, 2010, the earliest date for which expenses are published.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2013/02/06/pol-mike-duffy-uproar-continues.html

Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s office inquired about fast-tracking his health card application in Prince Edward Island as the deadline loomed for all senators to show proof of their residency.

A source confirmed to CTV News that Duffy’s office called the office of P.E.I.’s health minister to ask whether the senator’s health card could be expedited.

The health ministry refused, citing a mandatory three-month waiting period for new health card applications. Had Duffy been renewing an existing health card, the wait would have been only 10 days.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/sen-mike-duffy-s-office-asked-p-e-i-to-fast-track-health-card-1.1143198

Duffy has lived/worked in Ottawa as a journalist for decades, yet is a Senator for PEI. He has no PEI healthcard and very likely lives in Ottawa the majority of the year.. Since pretty clearly lives in Ottawa, he should have to pay back all Ottawa living expense credits he's been given. If the audit rings true, there's also a very real possibility he could be kicked out as Senator since he's likely not a primary resident of PEI.

Looks like that "nice big teddy bear" Mike Duffy we all liked on CTV and CBC is actually a selfish political opportunist like most of the rest of the lot.

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I guess ill be the one to post a thread on this hot story:

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...-continues.html

http://www.ctvnews.c...-card-1.1143198

Duffy has lived/worked in Ottawa as a journalist for decades, yet is a Senator for PEI. He has no PEI healthcard and very likely lives in Ottawa the majority of the year.. Since pretty clearly lives in Ottawa, he should have to pay back all Ottawa living expense credits he's been given. If the audit rings true, there's also a very real possibility he could be kicked out as Senator since he's likely not a primary resident of PEI.

Looks like that "nice big teddy bear" Mike Duffy we all liked on CTV and CBC is actually a selfish political opportunist like most of the rest of the lot.

Can't disagree with anything here. He should pay back every penny, then some. Fraud charges might be in order too. But since (I would assume) many senators also knew about this, but might also partake in the same kind of thing, possible reason why it was not found out sooner.

Someone might have a grudge against him.

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We had a similar situation in the UK, and I believe, when all came out, there was even some jail time involved for some of the cheats.

From the Brazeau thread on here, it looks like Duffy isn't the only one pulling this trick.

Edited by bcsapper

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Can't disagree with anything here. He should pay back every penny, then some. Fraud charges might be in order too.

I would agree that the money should be paid back with interest. He really has a lot of testicles to claim the expense credit given he's lived in Ottawa for so long. Fraud charges would be quite interesting. I like the thought of a crooked politician squirming in the courtroom, unfortunately Canadian law doesn't allow footage or photos in the courtroom. So I looked forward to a public inquiry on CPAC.

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I don't understand why fraud charges aren't brought against these people. This is internal fraud, which is worse than theft. Anyone that cheated their employer in the private sector this way would be canned and charged.

Edited by cybercoma

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<Content deleted by Manny>

Edited by Manny

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Fraud charges, haha! Your youthful idealism is shining right through.

I have to disagree. As I posted above, we had a scandal involving MP expenses in the UK and it was blown wide open. There were prison sentences for many of the miscreants, including MPs from both major political parties and even a peer or two.

Why can't our Senators (or any public servant, for that matter) face the same scrutiny and consequences. Theft is theft, after all.

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"In common usage, theft is the taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it."

That's good enough for me.

Edited by bcsapper

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This isn't theft. Theft is a lesser crime than fraud.

None the less, fraud is theft. Either way, no one will go to jail over this. It is Canada after all.

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Regardless of how easy it is to love Media. It is obvious the guy ain't meeting the residency standards in PEI.

The problem however exists apparently that the senate has not defined the requirements for primary residency except some vague concept.

This is further issued by having people expected to attend the senate and meetings, while providing for a residence in Ottawa. How is someone expected to spend the majority of their time in both PEI and Ottawa? That is a lot of flight costs or other travel costs tact on top if people are expected to fly back and forth every week. One would think that residency would mean that when the senate is not in session they would be expected to be centered and residing in their home province.

But from what i can tell Duffy was not residing primarily in PEI, but even I am only at my home for 3 months a year approx. But it is my primary residence, and place I tend to stay longest in a year.

One however has to question provinces ability to define the constitutional requirements of senators as it should be the senate that sets the "definition" of primary residency as they are suppose to run their own house in leui of a letters patent clarifying the issue or constitutional ratification at a council of state (provinces and federation)

Techinically one can set anywhere as their primary residency. Also no one is required to have only one residence. This is why duffy

can vote in Ontario elections, however he also can likely vote in municipal elections in PEI.

It is only made quite problematic in tying in property class to enfranchisement in the democratic system but that is how it is done. He has the property class in PEI,

I think the lay concept here though he would not pass the test.. but for legal persons and people who get how it is suppose to work.. who cares it is a non issue.

He seleated his property in PEI as his primary residence that is all that it requires.

The senate needs to get off its az and define this junk instead of using it as a political weapon ... the senate internal economy should have vetted this stuff in advance and clearly notified people of a minimum stay requirement.

but really it is only the senate that can define this short of a constitutional clarification or letters patent... or one could argue court clarification.

The province itself should not have the power to define the requirements of residency for the purpose of residency in the senate. It should be based on the 1867 definition of residency not the 2012 or 1957 or whatever

eg.

(5)

"He shall be resident in the Province for which he is appointed;"

It does not say he shall be "a resident"

Also it is currious how in Quebec only owning property is required rather than actually being resident.

  • (6)
    In the Case of Quebec he shall have his Real Property Qualification in the Electoral Division for which he is appointed, or shall be resident in that Division.

"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."

It seems pretty clear that 31(5) says well if yuo are away in Ottawa you don't loose your seat.

Now what is considered an office.. though

is being a senator not an office?

If so is being on a committee?

What qualifies?

It seems "crown officers perhaps such as members of the executive council (governor in council, ministers etc..) could be deemed officers... but senators and other MPs are "legislators" I'm not sure they are also officers.

It is clear that governors and lt. governors are officers. Likewise there were also county lt's etc.. however if executive council members were also officers... this is made more complex... as Commons MPs wern't even suppose to sit in executive council in 1867.

Office of the crown... or discharging an "office" seems the intent here.. so what would that entail? What has Duffy been doing in Ottawa?

What I would wonder is, membership in a a senate committee an office?

I think this issue would be made negligible if Duffy was a appointed as a minister without portfolio.

and given duties to discharge.

Senator Cools would seem to incline committees are not offices

http://www.parl.gc.c...-12-14-e.htm#39

However an absence of the term "sole residence" in the province they represent seems problematic. As multiple residences are posible.

Edited by shortlived

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WTF?

As Americans say, talk about an "Inside Beltway" issue. Few Canadians know about the 417, or Rockcliffe. This is a Canadian-English MSM issue.

----

Here's a basic (old school) criteria: if an issue attracts the attention of French and English media, then it matters.

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Nobody in English Canada gives a crap what attracts French media attention. If French media doesn't find it important enough that Senators are making living-expense claims they're not entitled to, then shame on them. Making fraudulent expense claims is a serious issue and this has happened time and time again with these Conservatives.

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Nobody in English Canada gives a crap what attracts French media attention. If French media doesn't find it important enough that Senators are making living-expense claims they're not entitled to, then shame on them.

I guess the French/Quebecois are used to much bigger corruption than that, a few grand in fraudulent living expenses claims hardly raises an eyebrow.

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I don't understand why fraud charges aren't brought against these people. This is internal fraud, which is worse than theft. Anyone that cheated their employer in the private sector this way would be canned and charged.

This is fraud against the government and fraud against the Canadian taxpayers.

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Would it be too much to hope that Duffy and now Pamela Wallin are actually working undercover to dig up and expose the rot? They should know what to look for, I bet if I looked I'd find records of them reporting on exactly this sort of thing back in the day.

It's more than just a fraud it's a real betrayal of credibility for an increasingly distrusted profession. I wonder if other journalists are putting their revulsion for their collegues behaviour on par with that which intelligence agencies and other government departments have reserved and dished out for Canadian spy Jeffrey Paul Delisle?

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Don't forget Lib. Senator Mac Harb who is also currently under investigation but there seems to be a collective bout of amnesia from the media as I don't see anyone calling for the RCMP to investigate his problems stemming from 2005.

Don't forget Lib. Senator Mac Harb who is also currently under investigation but there seems to be a collective bout of amnesia from the media as I don't see anyone calling for the RCMP to investigate his problems stemming from 2005.

This guy has another take on Duffy

http://www.canada.co...9808/story.html

Spare a thought for Mike Duffy. The P.E.I. senator got dragged down this week by an undertow of controversy engulfing a second, far more problematic colleague.

First, let’s agree, the Senate is a barnacle on the government’s backside, a $92.2-million-a-year relic of Confederation that deserves to die.

Let’s also agree that Senator Patrick Brazeau further discredited the red chamber Thursday, getting arrested at his home in Gatineau, then booted by Stephen Harper from the Conservative caucus. Then Friday, Brazeau was charged with assault and sexual assault.

Now, let’s turn to the Charlottetown-born Duffy, a successful former broadcast journalist appointed to the Upper House five years ago by Harper.

The rotund parliamentarian is being splattered, unfairly, by all the tomatoes now being tossed at the Senate.

Duffy is being pilloried for claiming, since 2010, housing costs of $33,000 for his residence in Ottawa.

Duffy also owns a home in Cavendish, in accordance with Senate rules stating he must own at least $4,000 worth of property in the province he represents.

Edited by scribblet

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Don't forget Lib. Senator Mac Harb who is also currently under investigation but there seems to be a collective bout of amnesia from the media as I don't see anyone calling for the RCMP to investigate his problems stemming from 2005.

He is also under investigation like the rest, why spread lies?

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Add Pamela Wallin to the list:

Expense records show the Conservative senator, who was appointed to the upper chamber in 2009, has claimed $321,037 in “other travel” expenses since September 2010.

...

A source told CTV News that about 70 per cent of Wallin’s flights were to Toronto, where she also owns a home.

...

I spent 168 days in Saskatchewan last year and most of my travel was to my home province.”

http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/politics/sen-pamela-wallin-s-travel-expenses-audited-1.1154581

Edited by jacee

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C'mon now. How many potential Senators actually live in PEI anyway. The entire Province is smaller any number of GTA suburbs.

The fact that Senators have to pretend to represent a certain part of the country is the real scandal here.

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C'mon now. How many potential Senators actually live in PEI anyway. The entire Province is smaller any number of GTA suburbs.

The fact that Senators have to pretend to represent a certain part of the country is the real scandal here.

The real scandal is that Harper appointed senators who don't really represent their provinces and claim outrageous, possibly fraudulent expenses.

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We don't know that they are fraudulent yet. Duffy is required to own property in the province he represents and he sure can't be in two places at once.

So far Pamela Wallin is in the clear. I'll wait for the audit before passing judgement.

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We don't know that they are fraudulent yet. Duffy is required to own property in the province he represents and he sure can't be in two places at once.

The rules are pretty clear, and from all I've read Duffy fraudulently claimed living expenses. But yes, lets wait for the audit.

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Oh wait yes they are. Senator caught with 300,000$ of travel expenses on the public dime. The system of Canadian Senators who are essentially a rubber stamp appointed by those in power, are clearly among the worst examples of political patronage.

http://www.globalnews.ca/sen+pamela+wallin+has+expenses+probed+after+spending+300000+in+other+travel/6442808613/story.html

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