EDITORIAL: Ottawa’s Senate scandal grows

A senator in disrepute is taking aim at the prime minister who appointed him.

The scandal over the Senate grew larger Monday, with allegations from Senator Mike Duffy’s lawyer that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office knew a lot more about Duffy’s controversial expenses than the PM is admitting.

These are simply allegations from a lawyer, but there is a hint that Duffy has some evidence to back these claims, in the form of e-mails from the prime minister’s office (PMO).

The impetus for this spectacle of a senator in disrepute taking aim at the prime minister is a move being pushed by the Conservatives (almost certainly crafted in the PMO). They want to take away the pay of senators Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau — even though Duffy and Wallin, as yet, are facing no charges. Brazeau faces charges in a domestic dispute, and has been suspended with pay from the Senate. His expenses are also in question, but he faces no charges on this matter yet.

While public opinion likely backs the suspension of the three senators’ pay, all of us, even senators in disrepute, deserve fair process. To take away the pay of senators who are under investigation but not facing any charges, sets a bad precedent. There may well be a case for suspending Brazeau’s pay, given that he is facing criminal charges, but for the moment, Duffy and Wallin should have the right to confront their accusers head-on and sit in the Senate until charged with criminal offences.

The uproar over their expenses is legitimate, but it is not yet a criminal matter. Suspending their pay is a brazen  attempt to take the heat off Harper who appointed all three and campaigned on a platform of Senate reform.

The Conservatives and PMO cooked up a scheme which may come back to bite Harper in a very severe fashion.

— Langley Times


Just Posted

Haunted happenings revealed with Vernon ghost tours

Two unique versions of ghost tours offered

Dress your best for string octet’s Vernon performance

NOCCA opens season with gala evening

Famous Forgeries featured in Vernon art show

Okanagan Artists of Canada prepare for 75th anniversary with 75-year-old art

Website names SilverStar No. 4 most affordable ski hill

HomeToGo looks at rentals, lift passes, accommodations and food to compile list of Top 50

Vernon loves their butter chicken: SkipTheDishes

Delivery app releases 2019 stats for most popular Vernon food orders

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Okanagan man killed in head-on collision on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Police say 21-year-old died at scene after pickup truck collided with transport trailer

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read