Senate audit tricky as illegal spending difficult to discern: Opposition leader

Senator Mike Duffy. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Senator Mike Duffy. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:16 PM ET

OTTAWA — The leader of the Opposition in the Senate says spending rules will likely be tightened following the auditor’s general’s upcoming report, but doing so will not be easy.

The auditor is reviewing each senator’s spending going back three years, prompted by revelations of alleged bogus housing and travel claims, which led to criminal charges against senators Mike Duffy, and Patrick Brazeau.

Senators have gotten in trouble for expensing flights and other travel-related costs, but it’s difficult to determine what is and isn’t a legitimate travel expense, because each senator’s job description is different, said Senate Opposition Leader James Cowan.

In an interview with QMI Agency on Monday, Cowan said: “It’s very difficult to put down precisely on paper what the job of a senator or a member of the House is. It depends on the circumstances.”

Charlie Angus, NDP ethics critic, isn’t buying it.

 

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