The Royal Society of Canada will reconsider its decision to appoint a University of Ottawa professor and former Health Canada employee to chair a wireless research panel due to a potential conflict-of-interest, the Canadian Medical Association Journal says. Read more…
Kristy Kirkup is a national affairs reporter with Sun Media and Sun News Network. Kristy previously worked for CTV Ottawa and studied journalism at Carleton University. She also holds a teaching degree and spends her spare time scouting good sushi.
An Ontario NDP MP is picking up where a Tory private member’s bill left off to call for harsher punishments against those who assault transit drivers. Read more…
Debby Simms, a spokeswoman for Independent Sen. Patrick Brazeau, put together this letter. She says false information has been reported in the media.
The office of Independent Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau is greatly encouraged that Senator Lebreton has asked the Auditor General of Canada to conduct a comprehensive review of Senate practices.
It is only through an apolitical, objective analysis by a credible external authority that the facts around Senate business practices will become known.
Although Deloitte was originally engaged to act as an independent auditor, it is apparent that some unorthodox business practices clouded that process, leaving Canadians unclear on what Deloitte actually found.
In the specific case of Senator Brazeau’s housing claims the facts are as follows:
1. Prior to submitting any housing claims, Senator Brazeau’s eligibility to claim was confirmed by the Director of Finance in writing.
2. Senator Brazeau fully and completely cooperated with Deloitte and with the Board of Internal Economy. At no time during the course of these interviews was any suggestion of any impropriety made.
3. In their final report, Deloitte found all paperwork to be in order. They determined that the Senate’s four-indicator test for primary residence was fully met.
4. Deloitte also found Senate policy to be suffering from some internal incoherence and lack of clarity.
5. Rather than attending immediately to that policy incoherence, the closed-door Board of Internal Economy took the unusual step of developing and retroactively imposing a new rule regarding housing. To date they have not explained what this new rule is or how Senator Brazeau has broken it. Obviously, inventing new policies behind closed doors and imposing sanctions retroactively is a business practice that is unacceptable by any modern standard.
6. Senator Brazeau sent a letter to all Senators asking them to allow him to participate in the debate on his housing claims. This request was ignored and the Senate voted to accept the Board of Internal Economy’s sanctions without ever having heard from the Senator himself.
It is for these reasons that this office hopes that the Auditor General will not only review all claims and expenses line by line, but also examine travel and housing policies and give in-depth attention to the way in which the Senate handles issues of suspected non-compliance. One does not want to suggest there has been any malicious intent here. But perhaps in their zeal to protect themselves and the reputation of the Senate as a whole in the face of negative media attention, they forgot the principles of due process and basic fairness upon which this great country rest.
Office of Independent Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau
Health Canada is getting out of the pot-producing business. Licensed providers will distribute medicinal marijuana by next spring. Read more…
Companies that break consumer safety laws, which apply to everyday goods including kids’ toys and household products, could now face hefty fines of up to $25,000 per day. Read more…