The Canadian Senate expenses scandal is a political scandal concerning the expense claims of certain Canadian senators. Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau claimed travel and housing expenses from the Senate for which they were not eligible (Mac Harb was also part of the scandal, but retired to avoid both the loss of his pension and charges.). As a result, the Auditor General of Canada began investigating the expense claims of the entire Senate. Duffy, Wallin, and Harb eventually repaid the ineligible amount.
2 Mac Harb
3 Wright and Duffy affair
4 Pamela Wallin
Between November 21 and December 6, 2012, the Senate began investigating Duffy, Harb, and Brazeau's housing expense claims on the basis that they were ineligible to make them. On February 8, 2013, the Senate hired an auditing firm to investigate the claims.
Two months later, Duffy repaid the more than $90,000 in expenses he claimed. On May 9, 2013, the Senate released a report into the expenses along with the audit, and concluded that the rules were unclear. Harb and Brazeau were nonetheless ordered to repay the expenses; neither has yet to do so. As of July 25, 2013, Harb still maintained his innocence; on July 3, 2013, the Senate announced it would reduce Brazeau's wages to repay the expenses.
Prior to the release of the Senate's report it emerged that it had been whitewashed by the Conservative-dominated committee to reflect less poorly on Mike Duffy, who was at that time a Conservative. After two weeks of controversy, and amid concerns that Duffy was claiming travel expenses from both the Senate and the Conservative Party, the Senate reopened Duffy's audit.
On March 22, 2013, Brazeau was expelled from the Conservative caucus over sexual assault allegations.
In the months following the revelations, many of Canada's political parties reiterated their parties' opinions that the Senate should be reformed or abolished. Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought clarification from the Supreme Court of Canada on the federal government's power to reform or abolish the Senate, but a decision is not expected until 2014 or 2015. Significant reform or abolition requiring a constitutional amendment would require the support of at least seven of ten provinces; however, the provinces' respective premiers do not consider either a high priority.
A June 2013 poll revealed that in the wake of the controversy, 49% of Canadians wanted to reform the Senate, 41% wanted to see it abolished, 6% wanted to keep it as it was, and 4% were unsure.
On May 12, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced they were reviewing the expense claims.
On August 14, 2013, it was announced that the Auditor General of Canada would be reviewing the expense claims of all Senators.
On August 26, 2013, Mac Harb announced his retirement, and that he had paid back the outstanding $180,166.17 to the Senate. He also dropped all legal action against the Senate. Harb retired with a full parliamentary pension of $122,989 per year.
Wright and Duffy affair
In February 2013, the Prime Minister's legal advisor, Benjamin Perrin, secretly drafted a letter of understanding between Nigel Wright, the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, and Duffy. The letter stated Wright's intention to transfer $90 172 to cover Duffy's invalid expense claims. On May 15, 2013, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed that Wright sent Duffy a personal cheque in that amount; the federal Ethics Commissioner announced that he would review the case. The next day, Duffy resigned from the Conservative caucus; he now sits as an independent senator. Although Harper maintained his support for Wright, Wright's resignation was announced on May 19, 2013.. On October 28, 2013, Stephen Harper stated in an interview that Wright had been "dismissed", contradicting the previous account of Wright's termination.
On May 22, 2013, Harper denied knowledge of the cheque,; on June 5, he stated that no one in his office other than Wright knew of the transaction Harper's legal adviser also denied knowledge of the cheque.
On June 6, 2013, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) filed documents with the courts, contradicting these statements by revealing that three senior members of the Prime Minister's Office and another Conservative senator, Irving Gerstein, knew about the transfer. The documents further revealed that the Conservative Party of Canada initially intended to pay $30 000 for Duffy to repay his expenses before they learned the full amount, that Duffy was being investigated over three separate allegations of fraud, and that the investigation began of the RCMP's own volition in March, 2013.
On October 21, 2013, Duffy's lawyer claimed that the Prime Minister's Office "pushed" Duffy into accepting the cheque, contrary to the Prime Minister's statements that no one in his office other than Wright knew of the deal. The next day, Duffy told the Senate that Harper personally told Duffy to repay the money, quoting him as saying, "It’s not about what you did. It’s about the perception of what you did that’s been created in the media. The rules are inexplicable to our base". 
In February 2013, an external audit of Pamela Wallin's travel expenses began. From December 1, 2010, through November 30, 2012, Senate records show that Wallin claimed $29,423 in "regular travel" expenses for direct flights from Ottawa to her home province of Saskatchewan or back. Her "other travel" expenses (to other Canadian destinations, including Toronto) were $321,027 over that same 24 month period. Senator Wallin noted in a Globe and Mail op-ed, a great deal of the "other travel" was actually to and from her home province of Saskatchewan, but didn't count as "regular travel" because the flights did not start or end in Ottawa  Although Wallin listed Saskatchewan as her primary residence records show she possessed a valid Ontario Health Card indicating her primary residence was in Toronto where she has a condo. Wallin was one of several senators who faced questions about whether they lived in the province for which they were appointed.
The Senate is concerned that Wallin's travel expenses are unrelated to Senate business and has appointed the external auditor Deloitte to examine refunds she has claimed. Preliminary findings indicated “a pattern of claiming Senate expenses on personal or other business unrelated to the Senate, including boards she sits on.” Wallin earned approximately $1 million in stock options and fees while on corporate boards since her appointment as senator.
In May 2013 Wallin resigned from the Senate Conservative caucus pending the results of the external audit of her expense.
A Postmedia News analysis indicated Wallin was ranked second highest in overall spending at $369,593 behind recently retired Conservative Senator Gerry St. Germain who spent $378,292 during the same period.
On August 13, 2013, an audit by Deloitte into her expense claims found that Wallin inappropriately claimed overnight stopovers in Toronto on her trips between Ottawa and Saskatchewan and criticized other travel by Wallin for business unrelated to the Senate. The audit also questioned several of Wallin's "networking events" but found that further review by the Senate was necessary to see if these events qualified as Senate business. The audit ordered Wallin to repay $121,348 in inproper expense claims and was referred to the RCMP. The same day the audit was released Wallin held a news conference and called the audit "fundamentally flawed and unfair". On 13 September 2013, it was announced that Wallin had reimbursed the Senate.
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