Friday, February 8, 2013

Canadian Senator Patrick Brazeau Controversy list

Brazeau was criticized for stating his intention to accept a seat in the Senate and concurrently remain national chief of the CAP thus collecting two publicly funded six-figure salaries; a decision from which he subsequently retreated by resigning as CAP chief.[5] He has also come under fire over a sexual harassment complaint made against him to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario [6] and for allegedly condoning heavy drinking during business hours.[7] Brazeau resigned [8] from his position of national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples on January 9, 2009, issuing the following statement [9] on the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' website:
In December 2008, I was honoured by my nomination to the Senate of Canada by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Such an appointment is a great privilege and affords me the considerable opportunity to continue my public service to Canada. My goal is and has always been to serve Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and my country to the best of my skills and abilities, in a manner that is accountable, responsible and transparent. I am committed to bringing this same discipline to my role as a Senator in the Parliament of Canada. To this end, I have decided to step down from my position as National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples effective immediately. I am eager to fully embrace my new role and to contribute to the important work of the Senate of Canada. I am committed to continuing my advancement of Aboriginal issues and opportunities across Canada. Further, I relish the opportunity to build upon the achievements of Prime Minister Harper’s government.
In addition, he has faced allegations around the spending of funds received by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples for aboriginal health programs. The Globe and Mail reported on January 19, 2009, that Health Canada auditors rejected almost $260,000 in congress expenses out of a budget of $472,900 allocated to the congress by the ministry, alleging that much of the money had been spent on board meetings where health issues were not discussed.[10] Conservative Party spokesman Kory Teneycke indicated that the alleged misspending occurred before Brazeau became chief of the organization, and that Brazeau took steps to address the problem once he took over the leadership.[11]

 Boxing fight loss

On March 31, 2012, Brazeau lost in a celebrity boxing match to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau.[12] Brazeau has stated he would like a rematch with Trudeau; both camps have yet to set a date.


On June 26, 2012, Brazeau came under fire after attacking Canadian Press journalist Jennifer Ditchburn on Twitter. Brazeau publicly called Ditchburn a bitch after she reported on his poor Senate attendance record.[13] Brazeau not only had poor attendance on the Senate floor: between June 2011 and April 2012, he missed 65% of meetings at the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, on which he sits.

 Residency controversy

Without the knowledge of his ex-wife's father, Brazeau used Daryl Tenasco's address at Kitigan Zibi, Quebec for the purpose obtaining a aboriginal income tax exemption from 2004 to 2008. Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck said. “Normally you have income tax exemption when you live on a reserve and you are employed by a reserve.” Neighbors said it did not appear that Brazeau lived in the community. According to Jean Guy Whiteduck “I’ve never seen him, it’s right across from my place. I’ve never seen him there. He may have visited. That’s about it."[14]

 Chief Theresa Spence

Brazeau received criticism for mocking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at a Conservative fundraiser in an Ottawa suburb in January of 2013. In an audio recording from the event provided to CTV News by Metroland Media, Brazeau is heard stating publicly "Oh, poor Theresa Spence. Oh, poor her," in regards to the six-week long hunger strike the aboriginal leader had recently ended. Spence was requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General of Canada David Johnston to discuss aboriginal treaty rights and socioeconomic issues. Brazeau was also critical of the Idle No More movement, saying that he felt many Canadian aboriginals simply expected to be supported by taxpayers. The recording also revealed Brazeau stating "To sit back, wait for the government to give me handouts. Maybe be on welfare, maybe drink, maybe take up drugs", in regards to aboriginal Canadians. He later added "The best way to get our land back is to buy it back. Just like every other Canadian."[1] Brazeau also insinuated in the recording that Spence had actually gained weight during her "so-called hunger strike". [15]

Arrest for assault and sexual assault

On February 7, 2013, Brazeau was arrested for an incident relating to domestic violence. He was subsequently charged with assault and sexual assault in Gatineau court house the next day. After a short court appearance Brazeau was released on $1000 bail on the condition he not go within 150 meters of the victim's work or home.[16] Shortly after his arrest Marjory LeBreton the Conservative Senate leader confirmed in a statement "In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further."[17]


  1. ^ a b CBC News (February 8, 2013). "Patrick Brazeau facing domestic, sexual assault charges". Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Wayne K. Spear, Brazeau's latest outburst shines a harsh light on the Senate, The National Post, June 27, 2012
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Senators - Detailed Information".
  5. ^ "Native leader steps down to focus on Senate". CBC News. January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-13.[dead link]
  6. ^ Curry, Bill (January 6, 2009). "New Tory senator faces harassment complaint". The Globe and Mail.
  7. ^ "Controversial new senator quits aboriginal leadership job". CBC News. January 9, 2009.
  8. ^ "Brazeau picks Senate over aboriginal advocacy". Globe & Mail - Bill Curry. January 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  9. ^ "Statement by Congress of Aboriginal Peoples National Chief Patrick Brazeau on his Appointment to the Senate of Canada, January 9, 2008". Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. January 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-13.[dead link]
  10. ^ Bill Curry, "Aboriginal group led by Brazeau must return funding", The Globe and Mail, January 19, 2009.
  11. ^ Bill Curry, "PM stands by Brazeau as choice for Senate", The Globe and Mail, January 20, 2009.
  12. ^ Justin Trudeau scores major upset in Fight for the Cure boxing match over Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, National Post, March 31, 2012, retrieved 2012-10-03
  13. ^
  14. ^ Staff (2013 [last update]). "Brazeau used father-in-law's address to get tax exemption | CTV News". Retrieved February 7, 2013. "Kitigan Zibi Chief"
  15. ^ Hunt, Nevil (January 30, 2013). "Conservative MP and senator belittle Chief Theresa Spence, Idle No More movement". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 8,2013.
  16. ^ iPolitics (2013 [last update]). "Brazeau faces assault, sexual assault charges". Retrieved February 8, 2013. "Gatineau court house"
  17. ^ Payton, Laura (2013 [last update]). "Patrick Brazeau may be held overnight after alleged assault - Politics - CBC News". Retrieved February 7, 2013. "'In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further,'"