Earlier this month, Mulroney appointee and Harper lieutenant Marjorie LeBreton announced her retirement as Government leader in the Senate. LeBreton, who is 73, will retire from the Senate in two years.
LeBreton has held the government’s line in the Senate through its problems this year; Senator Brazeau is up on sexual assault charges, while he and three other Senators are facing RCMP investigation over allowance expense irregularities.
A government official speaking about LeBreton’s retirement said, “A fully elected cabinet is an important thing right now”. This was taken by most of Ottawa to mean a deprioritization of the Senate as an institution in the executive branch of government.
However, it could also slyly mean that the Prime Minister will appoint an elected Senator to cabinet to be the government’s voice in the Upper Chamber.
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.
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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Date : le 7 février 2013
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.”