Patrick Brazeau is removed from the Conservative caucus

senator-patrick-brazeau

Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed Senator Patrick Brazeau from caucus today after the Senator was taken into Gatineau police custody this morning just after 9am, according to reports.

CTV’s Robert Fife broke the news after an internal memo was circulated by Senator Marjorie LeBreton, the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Politically, Brazeau faces questions regarding his housing allowance and primary residence in Quebec. In what seems to be an unrelated matter, he has now run aground with what appears to be a new set of personal issues.

Statement

 

Date: February 7, 2013

For immediate release

 

STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE MARJORY LEBRETON, P.C. ON SENATOR BRAZEAU

Minister LeBreton today issued the following statement in regards to Senator Brazeau:

 

“In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative Caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further.”

 

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Déclaration

 

Date : le 7 février 2013

Publication immédiate

 

DÉCLARATION DE L’HONORABLE MARJORY LEBRETON, C.P. AU SUJET DU SÉNATEUR BRAZEAU

 

La ministre LeBreton a publié la déclaration suivante aujourd’hui au sujet du sénateur Brazeau:

 

“Étant donné la gravité des événements rendus publics aujourd’hui, le sénateur Brazeau ne fait plus partie du Caucus conservateur. Comme il s’agit d’une question légale, je ne peux commenter davantage.”

 

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  • LynnS

    Removed from conservative caucus yesterday; but still identified on CBC’s news scroll today as Tory Sentor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.mouland.908 Brian Mouland

    A troubled man

  • GabbyInQC

    The clouds surrounding Senators Brazeau and Duffy have provoked discussion about the Senate: its usefulness, its reform, its abolition, PM Harper’s sincerity in wanting to reform it, the number and method of appointments, etc.

    In discussing these issues, people who should know better — people like Kady O’Malley, Greg Weston (on today’s Power & Politics, and the Liberal Ethics critic Scott Andrews (on CPAC’s Scrums) — stated that PM Harper is the prime minister who has appointed the most senators. WRONG!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_Senate_appointments_by_prime_minister
    In descending order:
    Mackenzie King: 103
    Macdonald: 91
    Laurier: 81
    Trudeau: 81
    Chretien: 75
    Royal Proclamation (in 1867): 73
    Harper: 58

    If those supposedly knowledgeable people cannot get the basic facts right during a discussion about the Senate, their entire argument loses whatever little credibility they may have left in the eyes of the general public.

  • GabbyInQC

    Another note: All the politicians, journalists, pundits, and other assorted tongue-waggers who insist on commenting at length on Senator Brazeau’s current circumstances, citing “signs” foretelling his current alleged actions, should allow due process to run its course, rather than acting like judge & jury in the court of public opinion.

    In the case of Senator Duffy, if I read this correctly …
    http://yourlaws.ca/constitution-act-1867/disqualification-senators
    “(5) If he ceases to be qualified in respect of Property or of Residence; provided, that a Senator shall not be deemed to have ceased to be qualified in respect of Residence by reason only of his residing at the Seat of the Government of Canada while holding an Office under that Government requiring his Presence there.

    The fact Mike Duffy lives in Ottawa would appear not to disqualify him from the Senate. Senate committee meetings may not have been as frequent back when the Senate was first instituted, so logic would dictate that senators now reside “at the Seat of the Government of Canada” i.e. Ottawa. Mind you, if I had my way, neither senators nor MPs would receive government compensation for their living accommodations nor per diem expenses. I would rather they receive a higher salary but pay for their own living expenses. After all, they have to house & feed themselves whether they’re on government business or not. If they had to pay for their own expenses, maybe there would be little if any room for abuse.

    Of course, the media hordes calling for Senator Duffy’s hide seem to have forgotten this: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2010/11/06/layton_and_chow_the_milliondollar_power_couple.html
    “OTTAWA—Toronto’s Jack Layton and Olivia Chow are Ottawa’s million-dollar couple. …
    By: Richard J. Brennan Ottawa Bureau, Published on Sat Nov 06 2010
    [they] charged Canadian taxpayers about $1.16 million in MP expenses last year for running their offices, living in Ottawa and paying for associated travel costs. …”

  • kenn2

    The fact Mike Duffy lives in Ottawa would appear not to disqualify him from the Senate.
    .

    (5) He shall be resident in the Province for which he is appointed:

    (source http://yourlaws.ca/constitution-act-1867/qualifications-senator)

    If Duffy is technically a resident of Ontario (and claims so on tax returns, a legal document), then he technically does not reside in PEI, and he cannot claim the housing allowance as he has.

  • GabbyInQC

    Your link leads to this message: “The page you are looking for cannot be found.”

    Is the residence rule being strictly applied for all senators or is Mike Duffy being singled out by his former very envious colleagues? Mark Bourrie makes a convincing case for the latter here.

    As I posted elsewhere, here’s some information about a senator who was briefly in the news for an entirely different reason, Joyce Fairbairn. The Wiki entry for Ms. Fairbairn reads:

    “Fairbairn worked as a journalist in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Ottawa before being hired as a legislative assistant to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1970. In 1981, she became Communications Coordinator in the Prime Minister’s Office. On June 29, 1984, just prior to leaving office, Trudeau recommended her for appointment as a Liberal senator for Alberta, her home province.”

    Reading that, one would assume Ms. Fairbairn’s principal residence was in Ottawa, like Senator Duffy’s during his journalist days, yet she subsequently was appointed to the Senate to represent Alberta. I wonder if the same questions were raised in her case. Or in any other non-Conservative senator’s case, for that matter.

  • harebell

    Just because he’s removed from Caucus doesn’t mean he isn’t still a Tory. I know many a Tory who aren’t even office holders or party members.

  • kenn2

    (sorry, the link had a trailing bracket – fixed)

    Laws should apply, or they should be changed.

  • GabbyInQC

    Agreed, but the rules and regulations should apply to ALL equally.

    As for #5 under 23. The Qualifications of a Senator shall be as follows: that would seem to contradict #5 under Disqualification of Senators, which I previously linked to.
    Notice that #5, section 23, states “He” — which arguably excludes women. Also, the $4000 property rule is kind of anachronistic. So maybe reforming the Senate should extend to more than term limits and electing senators.

  • LynnS

    Oh, is that all it was? I thought it was an attempt to equate the government and all conservatives with the ugly characteristics of domestic assault by constantly reminding the public that Brazeau is a tory. The NDP were not so subtle. In NLP parlance; the technique is called “anchoring”.