In The Media

Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau deserve formal apology, former top Tory says

by John Paul Tasker (feat. Hugh Segal)

CBC News
July 16, 2016

Hugh Segal, a former top Conservative member of the Senate, says it should formally apologize to the senators who were subjected to legal scrutiny over their expenses.

"The institution has made a mistake — it should admit it made a mistake — and then we can move on with a clear conscience, and Canadians, I think, will feel more strongly, and more positively, about the institution if they do," Segal said in an interview with CBC Radio's The House.

Segal said that members of the Senate's internal economy committee, in recommending the RCMP investigate their colleagues, dragged Senators Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin through the mud, suspended them without due process and deprived them of their salaries, treatment that needs to be rectified to put the scandal to rest once and for all.

"Huge reputational damage was done ... there was an attempt at suicide, I mean we're dealing with huge harm to people," Segal told host Chris Hall. "Rather than fix [spending] rules when the anomalies became apparent, the board of internal economy ... decided it was easier to throw them under the bus."

Segal added that the Senate should cover all the legal expenses the three senators have incurred as a result of the criminal proceedings and that there should also be a motion to reinstate the salaries withheld during the suspensions.

Their pay and most benefits were cut off for nearly two years, but restored when former prime minister Stephen Harper dissolved Parliament to call the election last summer. Duffy alone was deprived of $155,867.56 in salary during that time.

Segal, who was the only Conservative senator to vote against the initial suspensions in November 2013, said the RCMP also has some tough questions to answer given their complete "failure" in these cases.

"Police officers do not, in this country, get led off by one group of politicians — the board of internal economy — to destroy the reputation of other politicians. That's what happens in banana republics, or North Korea, or Eastern European old totalitarian states, it's not what happens in Canada. Police have to have objective evidence of criminality," he said.

Wallin's expenses were the subject of a "thorough investigation," after which RCMP decided they would not press charges.

Duffy was charged with 31 offences relating to his expenses. He went to trial and was cleared of all charges in April.

And this week, the Crown dropped its case against Brazeau for two charges relating to his living expenses.

'That's an embarrassment'

And yet rather than turn the page on the whole Duffy affair, the Senate's internal economy committee, under direction from a three-member steering committee, is actually doubling down on collecting funds it says the P.E.I. senator still owes.

The committee and the Senate finance department are after Duffy for some $17,000 in expenses, relating to photographs, makeup and the hiring of a personal trainer — spending that came to light during the trial — even though Justice Charles Vaillancourt cleared Duffy of any criminality relating to these expenses in his April ruling.

The move to collect the money also comes after two of the top-ranking senators on the steering committee told CBC News in April that the "matter is closed."

In a letter sent to the committee on Thursday, Duffy lawyer Donald Bayne said his client would not repay a penny, calling the latest effort to collect funds an "improper collateral attack on the final judgment and factual findings."

"(Vaillancourt's) ruling is a final legal and factual interpretation that cannot be collaterally attacked by the steering committee," Bayne wrote to committee clerk Nicole Proulx.

Segal, who stepped away from the Red Chamber in 2014, said the committee's move is tantamount to torture.

"The notion that the [internal economy committee], not having done enough damage, would try to do this now puts them kind of into the ranks of the perpetrators of the Spanish inquisition and that's an embarrassment to the institution."

He said that moving forward these decisions should be taken out of the hands of senators, and vested with an external auditor so that "senators do not sit in judgment of their fellow senators' expenses."

Marjory LeBreton, the former Conservative leader in the Senate during the expenses scandal, told CBC News in May that she had no regrets about suspending Duffy and that any move to collect back pay should be shot down.

"When you look at the motion we passed [to suspend Duffy], we weren't adjudicating on criminality. We were using rules within the Senate — legitimate rules — to discipline," LeBreton said in May.

"We're not going to go back now and undo an action in the last Parliament that was taken for good and valid reasons," she said.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

No events are scheduled at this time.


Global Times: BRICS summit displays the potential of a new future

by Editorial Staff (feat. Swaran Singh), WSFA 12, June 24, 2022

Oil's Dive Won't Bring Any Immediate Relief on Inflation

by Alex Longley, Elizabeth low, and Barbara Powell (feat. Amrita Sen), BNNBloomberg, June 24, 2022

China To Tout Its Governance Model At BRICS Summit

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), The Asean Post, June 23, 2022

Soutien aux victimes d’inconduites sexuelles dans l’armée

by Rude Dejardins (feat. Charlotte Duval-Lantoine), ICI Radio Canada, June 23, 2022

Defence: $4.9 billion for radars against Russian bombs

by Editorial Staff (feat. Rob Huebert), Archynews, June 23, 2022

The Hans Island “Peace” Agreement between Canada, Denmark, and Greenland

by Elin Hofverberg (feat. Natalie Loukavecha), Library of Congress, June 22, 2022

What the future holds for western Canadian oil producers

by Gabriel Friedman (feat. Kevin Birn), Beaumont News, June 22, 2022

At BRICS summit, China sets stage to tout its governance model

by Liam Gibson (feat. Stephen Nagy), Aljazeera, June 22, 2022

Crude oil price: there are no changes to the fundamentals

by Faith Maina (feat. Amrita Sen), Invezz, June 22, 2022

Few details as Liberals promise billions to upgrade North American defences

by Lee Berthiaume (feat. Andrea Charron), National Newswatch, June 20, 2022

Defence Minister Anita Anand to make announcement on continental defence

by Steven Chase (feat. Rob Huebert), The Globe and Mail, June 19, 2022

Table pancanadienne des politiques

by Alain Gravel (feat. Jean-Christophe Boucher), ICI Radio Canada, June 18, 2022

Russia Ukraine conflict

by Gloria Macarenko (feat. Colin Robertson), CBC Radio One, June 17, 2022

New privacy Bill to introduce rules for personal data, AI use

by Shaye Ganam (feat. Tom Keenan), 680 CHED, June 17, 2022


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 150–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3H9


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6


Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]


Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.


© 2002-2022 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email