Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
Sale ends in
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
save over $140
// //

Sen. Patrick Brazeau, (L to R) Sen. Pamela Wallin and Sen. Mike Duffy are seen in this combination of three file photos. A Conservative proposal to suspend three senators without pay and benefits is sparking a passionate debate inside the upper chamber over the powers and independence of Parliament and just how to far go in exercising them.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The Senate spent $390,000 on an audit of Pamela Wallin's expense claims, more than twice the amount the Saskatchewan senator was eventually ordered to repay.

Ms. Wallin is one of three former Conservatives facing possible suspension without pay from the Red Chamber over her expense claims. Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau also face censure.

In addition to Ms. Wallin's audit, the Senate paid another $138,784 for audits of housing claims made by Mr. Duffy, Mr. Brazeau and former Liberal Mac Harb, who quit the Senate in August.

Story continues below advertisement

That puts the total cost of the audits at nearly $529,000 – slightly more than the $520,000 the four senators were ordered to repay.

In a statement released on Friday, Conservative Senator Gerald Comeau, former chair of the Senate's internal economy committee, which ordered the audits, acknowledged that the cost was significant. "However, once the audit was ordered, we had to allow it to be fully concluded in order to get a fair and consistent reading of the issues involved," he said.

Ms. Wallin repaid a total of $152,908 after auditors found she had claimed business and personal expenses over the four-year period since she was appointed to the Senate. Mr. Harb repaid $231,649 before he resigned, and Mr. Duffy – using money provided by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former chief of staff – repaid about $90,172. Mr. Brazeau was told he owes $48,745.13. Money is being deducted from his salary because he did not meet an earlier deadline for repayment.

The Senate is expected to vote early next week on a Conservative plan to suspend Ms. Wallin, Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Duffy without pay until the end of the legislative session – likely 2015. Senate Conservatives said earlier this week that they would allow the three senators to keep their life insurance and medical benefits if they are suspended, but have no plans to change the length of the suspensions or allow them to continue to collect a paycheque.

Earlier efforts to force a vote on the suspensions before Mr. Harper addresses a Conservative convention on Friday night faltered, leaving the controversy hanging over the gathering in Calgary. All three senators facing censure were appointed by Mr. Harper and removed from caucus after questions were raised about their expense claims.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies