Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"Mike The Taxpayer Energizer Bunny" just keeps on spending, and spending and spending .....

Did you see that Corporal Greg Horton ..... well did you?

Good Day Readers:

At least Pamela Wallin had the brains to cool it with her travel expenses but not Mike Duffy it seems. Senator Mac Harb resigned so he could keep his pension otherwise if he's charged and convicted he would lose it. Will Senators Wallin, Duffy and Brazeau do the same. In the case of Patrick Brazeau that issue may take care of itself. He's facing two criminal charges in 2014 assault and sexual assault. If found guilty of one or both he's gone from the senate. Good riddance!

Clare L. Pieuk
Mike Duffy claimed more than $23,000 in travel expenses amid senate scandal

Senator made claims for journeys between Ottawa and Prince Edward Island
By Jordan Press
Wednesday, December 25, 2013

OTTAWA — In the six months after the Senate determined his primary residence was in Ottawa, Senator Mike Duffy claimed expenses of more than $23,000 for travel to and from the province he represents in the red chamber.

During the same time period, from June 1 to November 30, Duffy made no expense claims for his home in the nation’s capital, according to the most recent quarterly spending figures posted to the Senate’s website Monday.

According to the Senate, claiming for what’s called “regular” travel isn’t related to where a senator’s main residence is.  It is simply meant to cover travel between the capital and the province or territory a senator represents. Duffy appears not to have broken any rules when he claimed costs for travelling between Ottawa and Prince Edward Island.

It’s unclear when the expenses were actually incurred; The expenses could have been incurred anytime between July and November; the quarterly expense reports only show the total amounts processed by the Senate during that time.

Between September 1 and November 30, Duffy expensed about $6,616 for “regular” travel. In the prior three months, Duffy’s expense claims totalled more than $16,000, according to the quarterly expense reports.

During the same six-month period in 2012, Duffy claimed about $33,000 in regular travel.

On Tuesday, the Senate said regular travel encompasses “all trips between a senator’s province/territory and the NCR (National Capital Region).” That’s a separate issue from the “provincial residence” that a senator identifies “for administrative purposes as his or her principal home within the province or territory for which he or she is appointed” to become eligible for a $22,000-a-year housing allowance to pay for accommodations while on Senate business in Ottawa.

A spokesman for government Senate leader Claude Carignan declined to comment on the newly posted spending figures, saying they couldn’t comment on numbers they haven’t seen.

Duffy stopped claiming a living expense after the Senate determined he had run afoul of housing rules, even though auditors found the rules about claiming expenses for a secondary residence in Ottawa to be ambiguous. In the most recent expense figures, neither he nor Senator Patrick Brazeau, who was also found in violation of Senate rules, expensed a dollar for housing in the capital region.

On November 5, Duffy, Brazeau and Senator Pamela Wallin were stripped of all but their titles over charges of “gross negligence” in the use of their expense accounts. They were suspended without pay and lost their offices, their staff and the ability to file expense claims with the Senate.

Wallin made deep cuts to her travel spending in the three months after her travel expenses chastised in an audit made public in mid-August.

Wallin’s regular travel spending — for trips between Ottawa and Saskatchewan — declined to just under $6,300 between September 1 and November 30 from the $20,925 noted in the prior quarter, a decrease of about 70 per cent. Her other travel spending declined to $872.04 — a drop of about 93 per cent from the almost $12,500 claimed between June 1 and August 31.

One year ago, Wallin claimed $7,312.36 in regular spending and almost $43,500 in other travel between September 1 and November 30, 2012.

The recent change in Wallin’s spending came after a critical audit of her travel spending, that included recommendations that she be grounded from travelling without the Senate’s consent. Those recommendations weren’t formally adopted before the Senate voted for her suspension.

Wallin, Brazeau and Duffy are under investigation by the RCMP, along with former Liberal senator Mac Harb over allegations of breach of trust and fraud. (Harb was not reimbursed for any claims during the quarter; he resigned in late August after repaying about $231,000 in housing claims).

Duffy faces separate allegations related to a $90,000 payment from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright that covered the repayment of his questionable housing claims, and tens of thousands in contracts awarded through his office to an old friend for what the Mounties allege was little or no work.

None of the allegations has been tested in court, nor have any charges been laid.


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