Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu under fire for relationship with employee

Pierre Hugues BoisvenuAnother Stephen Harper appointed senator is under fire.

According to the Toronto Star and Montreal's LaPresse, Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu was romantically involved with one of his staffers.

La Presse reported Boisvenu is involved romantically with his aide, Isabelle Lapointe, a former criminal analyst who he hired to be his executive assistant, also in charge of communications, in August 2010.

The relationship appears to go against rules governing the hiring of employees at the Senate of Canada, as far as they were explained to other media, but communications staff refused to state those rules when the Star asked about them Tuesday.

The Star adds that Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton issued a statement through her office on Tuesday saying: "We have no comment on senators’ personal lives."

On Wednesday afternoon, senators told CBC News that Boisvenu is no longer in the relationship but it's unclear if his 'girlfriend' still works for him.

Boisvenu — like his Senate colleagues Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau — has been under fire with regard to media allegations that he claimed over $20,000 in Senate living allowances that he wasn't legally entitled to.

[ Related: Quebec senator says housing expense claims meet Senate rules ]

The living allowance is for individuals who keep a 'second home' in Ottawa and a primary residence somewhere else. Media reports, however, suggest that the senator from Sherbrooke has been living in Ottawa since he and his wife separated in 2012.

Unlike his senate colleagues, however, Boisvenu's expenses are not being investigated by the Senate or by external auditors.

Boisvenu is also no stranger to controversy.

Last year, according to a column in the Globe and Mail, a he told reporters that while he doesn't believe in the death penalty, murderers should be provided with the tools to kill themselves in jail.

"Each assassin should have the right to a rope in his cell to make a decision about his or her life," he said.

"I'm against the death penalty, but in horrible cases such as [serial killer Clifford] Olson, can we have a reflection on that issue?"

[ Related: NDP launch the Senate Hall of Shame ]

Boisvenu was appointed to the Upper Chamber by Prime Minister Harper in 2009. Prior to being a Senator he was a victims rights advocate and founded theAssociation of Families of Persons Assassinated or Disappeared (AFPAD) after his daughter was murdered in 2002.

(Photo courtesy of the Reuters)

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