Child Brides And The Senate Of Doom

- August 26th, 2012

zimmer-sensenberger

Engagement photos of Senator Rod Zimmer and Maygan Sensenberger from “Rod Zimmer and Maygan Sensenberger’s Wedding Page” on Facebook.

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So 23-year-old Maygan Sensenberger will be making a Monday court appearance on the first anniversary of her marriage to 69-year-old Manitoba Liberal Senator Rod Zimmer.

 

Sensenberger was arrested by police in Saskatoon Thursday when she got off an Air Canada flight from Ottawa with her husband.

 

At her first court appearance on Friday, a Crown prosecutor said the plane’s crew had radioed ahead to alert police after the couple got into a heated argument that escalated as the flight neared Saskatoon.

 

Sensenberger threatened to kill her husband and “take down the aircraft,” the Crown prosecutor reportedly said in court.

 

Sensenberger was remanded in custody over the weekend at Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert and will appear in court again Monday morning, at which point she will probably be granted bail and the whole stinking mess will waft into the back corridors of Saskatchewan’s halls of justice.

 

All of which is fine by me. We get a few minutes or hours or days of chuckling or looking askance at the outrageous  knucklehead behaviour of people who should know better (we assume) and then we move on with the things in life that really matter while the headline perpetrators try to pick up the shattered, soiled fragments of their dignity and humanity.

 

The business of threatening to “take down the aircraft” is more than a little disturbing but we’ll see what comes of that accusation after a few high-priced lawyers have kicked it around the block.

 

Couples fight on commercial aircraft sometimes and occasionally those disputes reach the point where police become involved. It happens, It’s not nice, it’s not very adult behaviour, sometimes it’s whacked-out crazy, but it does happen. And the most it probably gets is about three paragraphs on an inside page of the paper.

 

The reason this particular incident hit the titillation buzzer is two-fold: 1. The supposed prominence of at least one of the principals, and 2. The obvious extreme age difference of the two married principals.

 

But I don’t care about all that.

 

I really don’t care that a near-septuagenarian marries a near-teenager. I find it more than a little creepy but I just don’t care. I certainly don’t give two hoots whether they’re actually in love or just using each other.

 

I’m not related to either of them, I have no fiscal interest in their estate planning and I’m pretty sure I never ever want to be in the same room with either of them.

 

What I do care about, however, is that I (as a citizen of Canada) am footing the bill for at least some (if not most) of their fearsome foibles and frolics.

 

You can bet a substantial chunk of your bottom dollar that the tickets for the Air Canada flight from Ottawa to Saskatoon for the good (or not-so-good … who really knows?) senator and (probably) his lovely bride were paid for by the Canadian taxpayer.

 

Canadian senators have virtually limitless travel budgets (if you can call an open tab a “budget”) to do with as they please. It’s not at all uncommon for a senator you’ve never heard of before to spend $100,000 — or more — of your money each and every year galavanting across Canada and around the world.

 

That’s on top of the $132,300 base annual salary each of Canada’s 105 senators gets and the $151,000 “office expenses” each senator is entitled to each year. Oh yeah, and the $20,000 annual housing allowance allotted to all senators whose principal residence is not in Ottawa (and you can rest assured that almost every senator — even those political hacks who spent their entire working lives feeding at the public trough in Ottawa — somehow or other have their official residences outside Ottawa).

 

Then there are the extra stipends senators get for actually doing something apart from showing up once in a while — $75,500 extra for the leader of the government in the Senate, $36,000 for her deputy, $36,000 for the leader of the opposition in the Senate, $22,800 for his deputy, $55,000 for the speaker, $11,100 for the government whip, $6,500 for the opposition whip,  $6,500 for the government caucus chair, $5,600 for the opposition caucus chair, $11,100 for each of the 18 Senate committee chairs, $5,600 for each of their vice-chairs, and so.

 

If you’re a Canadian senator, you basically have to be a bump on a log or a doorknob not to get some kind of extra pocket change.

 

Oh, did I mention that Senator Rod Zimmer occupies none of the above extra-stipended positions. But he still pulls in a pretty good buck.

 

Since he was appointed a senator by then-PM Paul Martin in 2005, Rod Zimmer has received about $2 million from the taxpayers of Canada for salary, office expenses (a large part of which is for “entertaining”) and residential allowance.

 

In that time, he’s also spent roughly $1 million on travel expenses — give or take half a mil. Since he’s been a member of the Canada-USA Inter-Parliamentary Group, the Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary Group, the Canada-Arab World Parliamentary Association, the Canada-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Group, the Canada-Cuba Inter-Parliamentary Group and the Canada-Morocco Inter-Parliamentary Group, I think it’s probably safe to say that $1 million is on the low side of what Zimmer has cost the Canadian taxpayer in travel expenses over the past seven years.

 

And what exactly has Rod Zimmer done to earn that $3 million? What has Rod Zimmer done to warrant out attention over the past seven years apart from his freakish wedding to Maygan Sensenberger a year ago and his unfortunate airborne marital discord last week?

 

I dunno. Nothing, as far as I can tell. I may be missing something but I sure haven’t come across anything worth  $30,000 in my books, let alone $3 million.

 

Please don’t get the idea that I’m picking on Sen. Rod Zimmer in particular. I’m not — I consider ALL members of the Senate of Canada useless and unconscionably expensive lumps of cowplop, not just Rod Zimmer.

 

Zimmer has been in and out of hospital in recent years with throat cancer. So what? I’m not attacking Rod Zimmer for being alive or being a human being — I’m attacking him for being a senator and a waste of taxpayer money. I would be quite happy if Canadian taxpayers spent $3 million helping Rod Zimmer try to overcome his cancer. I’m sure Rod Zimmer has had very good medical care at taxpayer expense. But it makes me furious that taxpayers have spent about $3 million financing Rod Zimmer’s useless (in my opinion) Senate career over the past seven years when that money could have been so much better spent helping other people across Canada try to overcome their cancers or other health problems.

 

Zimmer can marry all the 20-somethings in the world he wants, as far as I’m concerned — just not on my dime. He can spend his anniversary visiting his wife in whatever jail cell or courtroom around the world he wants — but not on my dime.

 

He can entertain God knows who and I wouldn’t give a spit — if it wasn’t on my dime. He can rub shoulders with Russian and Cuban “parliamentarians” all he wants — but I would really prefer that wasn’t on my dime either.

 

And that goes for the rest of the useless doorknobs in the Senate of Canada.

 

As a collective group of parasites (and the parasites who make their living serving the parasites), they cost us somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million a year. We don’t know exactly how much they cost us because they’ve used the power invested in them to keep the federal auditor-general from examining their books in detail.

 

They haven’t used that power to actually do any good for Canada or the world. Despite the relative freedom and security that would seem to come with a long-term, financially generous appointment to the Upper Chamber (what’s the Commons — the Downer Chamber?), these senators carry on as political hacks and water carriers for whatever party or special-interest group that secured their appointments. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full, sir. Thankee kindly, guv (tug of the forelock).

 

Of course they expect you and I to bow and scrape and curtsey when they enter a room. Pshaw. Just because they say they are important people doing important things doesn’t make it so, even if they have convinced themselves their self-inflating malarkey is true.

 

So I wish Rod Zimmer the best of luck as he deals with the host of plagues visited upon him (some of his own making, others not), but I have no wish to share them.

 

Unfortunately, Rod Zimmer and his 104 Senate cronies are my involuntary financial dependants and yours, tied like millstones around our necks. Until we set them free from their gilded cage in the Senate, we are all doomed to a nightmarish symbiosis — like an embittered, raging couple trapped together forever in the pressurized cabin of an airliner streaking across an endless Prairie sky.

Also from “Rod Zimmer and Maygan Sensenberger’s Wedding Page” on Facebook, photos of wedding cake figures apparently posted there by Maygan Sensenberger:

cake-tops

wedding-photos

grab-ass

wedding-guns

 

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