A Senate committee is seeking legal advice on how to treat the living expenses of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, who has been claiming a cottage in Prince Edward Island as his primary residence even though his permanent home appears to be in Ottawa.
The Senate committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration announced the request for legal advice in a statement Friday. The committee also announced that the expenses of Mr. Duffy and two other Senators – Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb – have all been referred to the Deloitte auditing firm.
Mr. Brazeau was kicked out of the Conservative caucus on Thursday after he was arrested by Gatineau police in response to a domestic violence complaint.
On Friday Mr. Brazeau was charged with assault and sexual assault.
Mr. Harb is a Liberal Senator who previously represented Ottawa Centre as an MP. Even though he lives in Ottawa, the Senate committee has been looking into reports that he has been claiming residency expenses meant to compensate Senators who have a primary residence that is far from Ottawa.
Mr. Duffy also released a statement Friday morning.
"As a Prince Edward Islander, born and bred, I am proud to represent my province and its interests in the Senate of Canada," he wrote. "I represent taxpayers with care, and Canadians know I would never do anything to betray the public trust. I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law. I will have no further comment until this review is complete."