Editorial cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday June 9, 2015
Senate to forward expense files of nine Senators to the RCMP
The Senate handed the expense records of nine of its own to the Mounties on Friday as part of the fallout from the two-year examination of its books by auditor general Michael Ferguson.
“We’ve committed to not question any element of the report,” Senate Speaker Leo Housakos told the Star in an interview, adding that he would have preferred that Ferguson be the one to refer his own findings to the RCMP.
The Canadian Press reported retired Liberal senator Rod Zimmer, one of the nine whose expenses were referred to the police, led the pack when it came to the amounts Ferguson said should be repaid. He had disputed expense claims totalling $176,014 in travel expenses for non-parliamentary business and a housing allowance he should not have claimed.
The Star has confirmed the audit to be formally released June 9 identifies a total of $976,627 in inappropriately claimed expenses, and that more than half that amount — about $546,000 — is linked to just five senators.
That is the amount Ferguson found issues with following arduous, line-by-line reviews of 80,000 transactions worth about $180 million involving 117 senators from April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013. (Source: Toronto Star)
Published in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, The Brandon Sun, and the Gull Lake Advance