Mike Duffy remains defiant while pressure to quit the Senate mounts

Andy Radia
Canada PoliticsMay 22, 2013

Mike Duffy has finally spoken about the ongoing Senate expense scandal that has dominated the headlines over the past several days.

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Duffy said that he welcomes a second review of his expenses by the Senate's internal economy board.

"Canadians deserve to know all of the facts. I am confident that when they do they will conclude, as Deloitte (the auditor) has already concluded, that my actions regarding expenses do not merit criticism," he said.

"I intend to co-operate fully with the Board and with all other authorities. and will have no further public comments until those processes are complete."

Duffy resigned from the Conservative caucus last Thursday after the Prime Minister's Office admitted that Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper's chief of staff, personally funded Duffy’s repayment of more than $90,000 in improperly-claimed living expenses. There are also reports suggesting that Duffy earned senate allowances while campaigning for the Tories in the 2011 election.

[ Related: Stephen Harper addresses his caucus about Senate scandals: 'I’m not happy' ]

In addition to harsh media coverage, Duffy is also being attacked by his former colleagues.

In stark contrast to their praise of Duffy just 10 days ago, some Tory MPs and Senators are publicly calling on him to resign from the Red Chamber.

Conservative MP Mike Allen offered this advice to the embattled senator while on CBC Radio on Wednesday morning.

"To see this kind of thing happen where taxpayers' dollars have been used in this way and had not been accounted for properly just kind of goes against my grain," Allen said.

"I’d say, ‘Mike, I think you should seriously contemplate your future as a senator. … Mike you need to reflect on that, if it was my decision, I’d resign.'"

Allen follows fellow MP James Moore, who also suggest Duffy should exit the Senate for good.

"I think Canadians expect Members of Parliament and Senators to respect taxpayers’ dollars," Moore said according to CTV News.

"Anybody who’s here not respecting that commitment to Canadians, they should get out, they should leave."

[ Related: Stuff the Duff: PEI man looks to profit from Mike Duffy’s troubles ]

And Senate colleague Nancy Greene Raine told Kamloops This Week that Duffy doesn't have any excuses.

"Personally, if it was me, I would resign," said Raine, who was appointed to the Senate along with Duffy in 2009.

"He's made some huge mistakes and using public funds during election campaigns and having his expenses, double-dipping as they say, that is just not acceptable. You can't blame that on your staff.

"You need to be on top of those things. We were told very, very clearly that Senate resources were not to be used during the writ period when you are our campaigning."

Duffy can expect some more heat on him over the next several weeks.

The senator's expenses have been sent back to a Senate committee for review while the federal ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into the $90,000 cheque written by Wright.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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