in Right Edition

Troublesome Senate – Liberal Entitlement

Troublesome Senate – Liberal Entitlement

Calls to abolish the Senate, as proposed by Saskatchewan’s premier and the federal Opposition, are destined to go nowhere, say constitutional experts.

Premier Brad Wall says his Saskatchewan Party wants the doors closed on the upper chamber of Parliament.

A recent mail-in referendum, the results of which were released Monday, saw 86 per cent of just over 3,700 of the party’s members vote to abolish the Senate.

Demands to either dramatically reform or abolish the Senate have become more pronounced as a scandal unfolds over allegations that a handful of senators misused public money by making improper housing or travel-expense claims.

The scandal has resulted in the resignation of the prime minister’s chief of staff, an RCMP investigation and the departures of three senators — Conservatives Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin and Liberal Mac Harb — from their party caucuses.

Another former Conservative senator, Patrick Brazeau, was removed from the Tory caucus over an unrelated criminal matter that is currently before the courts.

But calls to close down the Senate are reactionary, and pointless, says University of Ottawa professor Errol Mendes. “(Abolition) is a non-starter, whatever Saskatchewan and Brad Wall thinks,” says Mendes. “It’s not going to happen.”


Liberal defence adviser and retired general Andrew Leslie is facing renewed attacks over $72,000 in relocation expenses he charged taxpayers.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said Leslie demonstrated “a clear lack of judgement and Liberal sense of entitlement.”

Leslie retired from the military in 2011 and is expected to run for the Grits in an Ottawa riding in the next federal election.

News broke over the weekend that he’d taken advantage of a program that reimburses military personnel and RCMP officers for real estate fees and other expenses related to changing homes after retiring.

Leslie’s sold a two-storey home in Ottawa’s wealthy Rockliffe Park neighbourhood in 2012 and moved to a nearby bungalow.

Alain Pellerin, a retired colonel who heads up the Canadian Defence Associations Institute, said Leslie didn’t do anything wrong.

“If you decided to move within the same town, you can still use the program,” Pellerin said.

Leslie has accused the Tories of launching a “personal attack” against him, adding that relocations are handled by a third party.

Nicholson said Leslie still has no excuse for submitting a $72,000 bill.

“As all men and women who served will know, the process requires all Canadian Forces applicants to be aware of the policies that govern the Integrated Relocation Program, and to submit their fees and commission bill for reimbursement,” he said in a statement Monday.

Pellerin said Leslie followed the relocation program’s rules.

“If the government thinks it’s too rich for them, then they should address the program and not shoot Leslie,” he said.