Update (5.50 P.M. EST):
Controversial Senator Patrick Brazeau has been arrested for domestic violence and has been booted out of the Conservative caucus.
PostMedia News is reporting that Brazeau was arrested at 9:10 A.M. on Thursday morning and is currently being held at a Gatineau jail. As of Thursday evening he has not been charged but is expected to spend the night in jail and appear in court on Friday morning. Additionally, according to PostMedia, Brazeau’s home has been "cordoned off with crime-scene tape."
Sources have told CTV News reporter Robert Fife and he has tweeted that Brazeau is to be "charged with sexual assault and domestic violence."
Government leader in the Senate, Marjory LeBreton released this statement this afternoon:
"In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative Caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Brazeau to the Senate in 2009. Prior to joining the government caucus, Brazeau was the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, an organization that advocates for Aboriginal people living off-reserve.
He's been no stranger to controversy since 2009.
On Wednesday, CTV News reported that Brazeau had previously used his father-in-law's Reserve address on 4 years of income tax returns allegedly to get an income tax exemption.
"Brazeau, who has publicly called on aboriginal leaders to be more financially accountable, listed the residence on the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec as his mailing address for four years, unbeknownst to his ex-wife’s father.
“I was not aware of that,” [Brazeau's ex-father in law] Daryl Tenasoco told CTV News.
Neighbours said it did not appear that Brazeau lived in the community."
He's also one of at least three senators, currently under fire for claiming a yearly $21,000 housing allowance available to senators who maintain their primary residence outside of the Ottawa area. It's been reported that Brazeau's primary residence is in fact in the Ottawa region.
Brazeau will continue to sit in the Senate as an independent.
The National Post's Joe Rayment notes that it would be "no easy task" to remove him from the Senate:
"According to the Constitution Act, he could be kicked out:
1. If he didn’t show up for two consecutive Sessions of Parliament — perhaps an incredibly luxurious vacation or, say, a stretch in jail
2. If he swears an oath of allegiance to a foreign power.
3. If he goes bankrupt or goes otherwise broke.
4. If he commits treason or is “convicted of Felony or of any infamous Crime.”"
(Photo courtesy of Reuters)
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