In case we still needed it, here's some more fuel for the 'abolish the Senate' bandwagon.
Postmedia News has a compiled a list of the Senate's top spenders and, low and behold, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy are on that list.
Big spenders between November 2011 and December 2012 include Gerry St. Germain ($378,292) who retired in November, Pamela Wallin ($369,594) and Liberals Terry Mercer ($343,604) and James Cowan ($338,225). Duffy is 9th on the list with expenses totaling $298,310.
As an interesting aside, four of the top 10 spenders are Stephen Harper appointees.
While senators are expected to provide data on their total expenditures, they're not required to publicly disclose information about specific expenses. In other words, we know that Wallin spent $163,217 on 'other travel' but we're not entitled to know what the 'other travel' is all about.
Gregory Thomas, national director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, told Postmedia News last year that Canadians deserve more details.
"It's not rocket science anymore to scan a receipt, put it on the Internet and folks go on and look at it," he said. "That's the level of disclosure we need."
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Global News recently asked five high-spending senators if they would voluntarily release details of their travel including itineraries, hotel receipts and reason for travel but none of them did.
For those keeping count, the total cost to taxpayers in 2011-2012, for the un-elected (with two exceptions), unaccountable, and seemingly ineffective senate was estimated to be about $90 million.
Top 10 spenders from Dec. 1, 2011 to Nov. 30, 2012 (courtesy Postmedia News)
*Gerry St. Germain, Conservative (British Columbia): $378,292.61 (Retired, Nov. 6, 2012)
Pamela Wallin, Conservative (Saskatchewan): $369,593.62
Terry Mercer, Liberal (Nova Scotia): $343,604.39
James Cowan, Liberal (Nova Scotia): $338,225.37
*Robert Peterson, Liberal (Saskatchewan): $320,234.66 (Retired Oct. 19, 2012)
Nick Sibbeston, Liberal (Northwest Territories): $317,104.51
Fabian Manning, Conservative (Newfoundland and Labrador): $304,984.02
Bert Brown, Conservative (Alberta): $300,083.90
Michael Duffy, Conservative (Prince Edward Island): $298,310.15
Pana Merchant, Liberal (Saskatchewan): $296,653.29
* = retired
(Photo courtesy of Canadian Press)
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