Thursday, May 21, 2015

Time for polite Canadians to take to the streets?

Good Day Readers:

Three senators (Duffy, Brazeau, Harb) have already been indicted. "Hurricane" Pam Wallin could well be the fourth. Sometime next month Canada's Auditor General will release his long awaited report of a sweeping study of the expenses of 117 senators most current a few past. It's been widely announced in the media another ten names will be turned over to the RCMP for further investigation.

The other day CBC News came out with an article documenting a couple more senatorial "high flyers" - Senators continue to take pricey flights because they can - Sophia Harris, May 21, 2015). So how did your Senate respond? Literally, within hours after the horses were out of the barn it whipped out in full damage control Media Spokesperson Nancy Durning to announce changes were on the way to prevent this from happening again.

Taxpayer High Flyer Betty Unger

This little number, readers, is The Honourable High Flyer Betty Unger whom most of you have likely never heard of - wonder what she has done in the Senate lately other than to take up space while spending your hard earned dollars.. From the aforementioned CBC News article:

In the latest expense report for first three months of this year Ms Unger flew 5 times between Edmonton and Ottawa costing taxpayers a total of $12,246 the most expensive round-trip ticket being $5,692. According to Air Canada's website the price for flight credits is $6,242, Her total was over $6,000 more than that price.

In recognition of "High Flyer's" outstanding contribution to saving the great unwashed masses (i.e. taxpayers) dollars, she is being awarded this handsome lapel pin:

It will immediately be recognized by all Canadians as someone who is not afraid to mingle with the masses to save taxpayers' money

High Flyer Sandra Lovelace Nicholas

This Liberal senatorial spendthrift wrapped in the Canadian flag is Sandra Lovelace Nicholas.

She spent $11,644 on four return trips from New Brunswick to Ottawa, Her most expensive round trip ticket was $3,049, Air Canada business class passes for travel between Ottawa and New Brunswick's four airports currently costs $8,470 for the same number of round trips. "Spendthrift's" total was $3,000 more than that price.

CyberSmokeBlog is rushing her one of its nice, shiny Greyhound lapel pins so she can show Canadians she knows what a Greyhound bus is and will take them to save taxpayers' money.

There should be a law that says every senator must take a Greyhound bus at least three times a year so they don't lose touch with those paying all their bills.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Senators to be banned from taking pricey flights

Bulk air tickets, cheaper flights to be mandated in new rules to be announced next week

Sophia Harris
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Some Canadian senators continue to fly at high prices but new rules will soon restrict their flight choices. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg)

The Canadian Senate plans to announce next week major changes to its travel policy that will put an end to senators taking pricey flights, CBC News has learned.

Hours after CBC published information about high spending senators taking expensive flights, a Senate media spokeswoman contacted a reporter to say changes will be in place by June.

Currently, even though the upper chamber has been besieged with ongoing expense scandals, there are no rules preventing senators from buying the priciest airline flights possible at taxpayers' expense.

Starting at the end of the Senate session in June, senators will no longer be able to fly business class on short-haul flights between Ottawa and home base.

The change will be in line with rules for members of Parliament, including cabinet ministers, which disallow flying business class on flights of less than two hours.

The new rules will also require all Senators to meet with finance officials once a year to ensure they're booking the most cost-effective forms of travel. That could include enforcing the use of flight passes — tickets purchased in bulk at a discount.

"These are just changes in line with modernizing some of the Senate policies and making them more efficient and cost-effective," Senate spokeswoman Nancy Durning told CBC News.

She added that the reforms have been in the works for a while and that there might be more to come.

"The auditor general might make recommendations in his report to make more changes to [the Senate travel policy]" she said.

Senators continue to take pricey flights because they can

Tory senators expense business-class flights with spouses

The AG will soon release a report following a massive audit of all aspects of Senate spending, including travel. 

MPs fly cheaper

MPs can only fly business class on long-haul flights between home base and Ottawa if they buy flight passes.

The rule came into effect on April 1, 2013, and it was forecast the policy change would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Although the Senators' travel policy will now be more in line with MPs' rules, they will still get to keep one extra perk for their spouses. Only senators can claim the expense of meals and incidentals such as bottled water, snacks, and dry cleaning for their partners when travelling.

Spokeswoman, Durning, says that perk will remain.

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