Senators behaving badly: Expensive flights, native rights and a health card fight

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics
It's too early to worry about polls, says Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.

Not too long ago, a Senator admitted to me that there are some in the upper chamber that are sensitive to the incessant 'Senate-bashing' that goes on in this country.

Well, I have to say, 'they don't do themselves any favours.'

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Senator Mike Duffy's office called the P.E.I. Minister of Health in attempt to expedite his provincial healthcare card for him after he heard that the Senate wanted proof that his primary residence was in Prince Edward Island.

In December, Duffy became the subject of news reports for claiming $33,000 in living allowances to maintain a second home in Ottawa. Funny thing though — according to the Ottawa Citizen, the former CTV journalist has lived in his Ottawa home for many years and even votes in the Ottawa region.

[ Related: Senators bill taxpayers for Ottawa living expenses despite owning area homes ]

Duffy claims that he's done nothing wrong and that his primary residence is in PEI.

So, why is he requesting an expedited PEI health card now?

Duffy, didn't feel the need to explain himself to the taxpayers that will pay his guaranteed $132,000 salary until the age of 75 — at least not through the Citizen.

"Glen, I’m not speaking to you," Duffy told Glen McGregor of the Citizen.

"I’ve spoken to [Senate Standing Committee Chair] David Tkachuk and that’s my interlocutor. I’m not speaking to you and you’re not encouraged to call this phone."

Certainly there are a lot of hardworking Senators out there are really focused on serving their constituents. But there are also many others who are evasive, flaunt an air of entitlement, and have little regard for the taxpayer.

You have Senator Patrick Brazeau, for example, publicly belittling a chief.

You have other Senators flying around the country on the taxpayers' dime to simply attend fundraisers for their political party. You have some who even fly 'first class' to and from Ottawa?

Quite frankly, it's one of the most sickening displays of government waste in Ottawa today.

On Friday, the Harper government announced that they will seek clarification from the Supreme Court on what is required to reform or abolish the Senate.

[ Related: Tories to ask Supreme Court about what’s needed to reform or abolish the Senate ]

Hopefully the Supreme Court decision is the beginning of the end of an un-elected, unaccountable and seemingly ineffective Senate.

Are you a politics junkie?
Follow @politicalpoints on Twitter!