Senators hauled before committee over residency proof

Senators unwilling or unable to provide documented proof of their residence are being called on the carpet and forced to explain themselves in a series of meetings with members of the Senate's internal economy committee, CBC News has learned.

Those meetings begin today. It's unclear how many or which senators will be called.

Conservative senators David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen will play the role of interrogator, along with Liberal Percy Downe, the CBC's James Cudmore reported.

The internal economy committee asked all senators last December to prove where they live through drivers licenses, health cards and tax filings. The committee is in charge of senators' budgets and administrative matters.

The audit was ordered following media reports suggesting some senators were claiming a living allowance despite having lived in the Ottawa area for years. The allowance is intended to cover senators who have to keep a second home in Ottawa after they are appointed. MPs receive a similar allowance.

The results of the audit are expected by the end of the week.

Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton and Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan have asked that the results of the audit be made public. In a letter to the committee, they also said any expenses that can't be backed up should be repaid.

Senator Mike Duffy said Friday he would repay expenses claimed for his home in Ottawa, explaining he made a mistake in declaring that his primary residence was in Prince Edward Island. Other senators, including Pamela Wallin, Mac Harb, Dennis Patterson and Patrick Brazeau, have faced questions about their expense claims and residency declarations.

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