Tories turf Sen. Patrick Brazeau from caucus after arrest

Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau is seen in this December 14, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Chris...

Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau is seen in this December 14, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

David Akin, Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 2:40 PM ET

OTTAWA - Controversial aboriginal Sen. Patrick Brazeau has been turfed from the Conservative caucus after his arrest Thursday in a domestic violence investigation.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was said to be "saddened and appalled" when informed of the news "and took immediate action," a source close to Harper said.

QMI Agency learned Brazeau was arrested after police were called to his in Gatineau, Que., home at about 9:10 a.m Thursday. He is expected to remain in custody overnight while police continue their investigation.

No charges have been laid against Brazeau but police expect him to make a court appearance Friday morning.

Police interrogated Brazeau Thursday afternoon and executed a search warrant at his Gatineau home.

Brazeau's former caucus colleagues were saying little about his case.

Sen. Marjory LeBreton, the leader of the government in the Senate, issued a terse two-line statement: "In light of the serious nature of the events reported (Thursday), Sen. Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further."

In the House of Commons, Harper echoed those lines and said Brazeau was removed from caucus "for personal reasons" not connected to Senate business.

Brazeau, the youngest of all 105 senators, is a former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. He attracted controversy recently for challenging First Nations leaders associated with the Idle No More movement.

He is also under scrutiny for a taxpayer-funded housing allowance he is receiving. Brazeau billed taxpayers for more than $20,000 for his national capital housing allowance by claiming his primary residence is in Maniwaki, Que.

Senators can claim a national capital housing allowance if their primary residence is more than 100 km from Parliament. Maniwaki is 130 km away.

Brazeau has claimed his father's residence in Maniwaki as his primary residence and says he rents his home in Gatineau.


A police car is pictured parked in front of Sen. Patrick Brazeau's house in Gatineau, Que. on Thursday Feb. 7, 2013. Andre Forget/QMI Agency

Brazeau is the third MP to be removed from the Conservative caucus since Harper came to power in 2006. MP Garth Turner was kicked out after repeatedly violating caucus confidentiality and, perhaps most famously, MP Helena Guergis was tossed when Harper learned of allegations, which were never subsequently proven, that Guergis or her husband Rahim Jaffer may have been involved with shady individuals trying to secure government contracts.

Brazeau has often sparred publicly with members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, sometimes in derogatory terms.

And, perhaps most notably, he literally sparred with -- and lost -- to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau in a charity boxing match last year.


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