Canadians, and Saskatchewan residents in particular, had a sense of pride when broadcaster Pamela Wallin was appointed to Canada’s upper chamber, the Senate, after representing this country as an ambassador to New York and earning a certain level of respect as a journalist.
It is highly disappointing, however, to see how her conduct as a senator has come under scrutiny, and most recently having her files for expense claims being referred on to the RCMP for investigation.
This, combined with a number of other senators coming under scrutiny, including former fellow broadcaster Mike Duffy, has brought an entire institution into disrepute, and indeed has led to calls for abolishment as an unelected upper chamber to the House of Commons in Parliament, supposedly the chamber of “sober second thought” who scrutinize the bills passed by MPs in the Commons before they become law.
What has truly upset many Canadians is how senator after senator have been making false expense claims to filch more money from the coffers — and in truth, cheating the taxpayers of Canada — and all seemingly (so far) without much consequence. Some of the senators have been expelled from the Conservative party, including Wallin, but they are still serving as appointed senators, and are still being paid by the taxpayers of Canada.
It is well past time for all of this to stop, for taxpayers to be compensated for the funds wrongfully paid to senators, and for any senator who has committed these acts to therefore be dealt with in a proper way.
Any ordinary citizen caught in any similar situation would never be allowed to get away with it, especially if a criminal act was committed. They would be ordered to pay restitution, they would lose their jobs (if that was involved in any way) and in short they would be dealt in a manner dictated as proper under Canada’s justice system.
The same cannot be said for the senators who have been so far found to be in the wrong, although to be fair, the investigations into their conduct is not over, and is in fact ongoing at several levels.
For Canadians to have confidence in our Parliamentary system, and in our justice system, any senator found to have committed an illegal act needs to be dealt with accordingly. Furthermore, for full confidence in our Parliamentary system, the Senate should be an elected body, or else abolished.