Senator Mike Duffy responds to growing chorus of criticism

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Senator Mike Duffy has — finally — addressed the media with regard to allegations that he claimed over $33,000 in Senate living allowances that he wasn't legally entitled to.

The living allowance is for individuals who keep a 'second home' in Ottawa and a primary residence somewhere else. Media reports, however, have suggested that the former CTV journalist has lived in his Ottawa home for many years and even votes in the Ottawa region.

[ Related: The likes of senators Brazeau and Duffy tarnish the Senate ]

On Friday, the Canadian Press reported that Senate Standing Committee Chair David Tkachuk is in fact seeking a legal opinion on the question of Duffy’s residency. He's also asked audit firm Deloitte to review the travel expenses of Duffy and two other senators.

The embattled senator released this statement shortly thereafter.

As a Prince Edward Islander, born and bred, I am proud to represent my province and its interests in the Senate of Canada.

I represent taxpayers with care, and Canadians know I would never do anything to betray the public trust.

I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law. I will have no further comment until this review is complete.

Duffy has come under fire for the allegations and especially for not answering questions about it. Earlier this week, he chose to duck out a kitchen entrance at an event where he was presenting instead of speaking to media.

On Thursday evening, CBC's Rex Murphy had at Duffy in scathing, sharp-tongued attack.

[ Related: CBC’s Rex Murphy slams Senator Mike (where does he live) Duffy ]

"Wasn't it Truman who declared: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen? Mike 'where does he live?' Duffy has caught a hold of the wrong end of the frying pan on that one. He's hiding out in a kitchen," Murphy said.

"Which raises the question: Can a person on a small island be a good senator for that island if he has to leave hotels via the backstairs kitchens under covering fire from veteran Tory sous chefs?"

It remains to be seen if Duffy's brief statement will drown-out his vocal critics.

(Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press)

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