Senator Duffy returning Senate housing allowance

Mike Duffy. (QMI Agency/JOE WARMINGTON)

Mike Duffy. (QMI Agency/JOE WARMINGTON)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

One of the senators at the centre of a firestorm over housing allowances agreed Friday to reimburse taxpayers after weeks saying everything was above board.

Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy, a former broadcaster appointed to the upper chamber by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2009, is one of three senators being investigated over claims for the allowance.

"The Senate rules on housing allowances aren't clear, and the forms are confusing. I filled out the Senate forms in good faith and believed I was in compliance with the rules," he said in a statement Friday.

"Now it turns out I may have been mistaken.

"Rather than let this issue drag on, my wife and I have decided that the allowance associated with my house in Ottawa will be repaid."

Duffy said he has two homes in P.E.I. — one in Cavendish and the other in Charlottetown — and another residence in Ottawa. He had claimed $33,000 in expenses for the residence in the capital since 2010.

To claim a secondary housing allowance, a senator has to prove his or her primary residence is more than 100 km outside Ottawa, and therefore needs to have housing in both locations.

Housing claims for Liberal Sen. Mac Harb and independent Sen. Patrick Brazeau are also being audited.

Brazeau was charged earlier this month with assault and sexual assault and was released on bail.

Harper booted Brazeau out of the Conservative caucus upon news of his arrest and he is on a leave of absence from the Senate with pay.


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