Conservative Senator Mike Duffyâ€™s been in hot water for months over his living expenses. Here's how the events have unfolded.
Created by gkarstenssmith on May 15, 2013
Last updated: 05/19/13 at 09:21 AM
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After calls for his resignation mount, Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, submits his resignation. Principal secretary Ray Novak is named as interim replacement.
Conservative senator Pamela Wallin recuses herself from caucus while her travel expense claims are being scrutinised by auditors.
The Canadian Press reports that during the 2011 federal election, Duffy submitted expense claims to the Senate on days he appears to have been campaigning for the Conservative Party.
Duffy resigns from the Conservative caucus amid questions about campaign spending and repayment of the $90,000. He will continue to sit as an independent.
Reports emerge that Prime Minister Stephen Harperâ€™s chief of staff repaid Duffyâ€™s living expenses in full with a personal cheque. A Harper spokesman says Nigel Wright footed the bill because Duffy couldnâ€™t pay the expenses in a timely manner.
RCMP say they are looking into Senate expense claims, but that itâ€™s too early to say if there will be a criminal investigation.
Questions arise about April emails between Duffy and Sen. David Tkachuk, chair of the committee conducting the audits. In the emails, Duffy tells Tkachuk he received per diems when he should not have. Tkachuk tells Duffy he should have brought the per diems to the attention of the auditors.
Audits released by Deloitte say Duffy, Harb and Brazeau are not eligible for living expenses. The Senate internal economy committee recommends Harb and Brazeau repay their allowances.
The Senate says in a statement that Duffy has repaid $90,172.24 in expenses. Reports say the payment was made on March 25.
LeBreton says she has still not received a formal report that Duffy has paid back his housing expenses. Duffy would not say whether or not he had repayed the expenses, but told a reporter â€śIâ€™m a man of my word.â€ť
The Toronto Star reports Duffy claimed $5,518.96 in living expenses for his Kanata home for the quarter running from Dec. 1, 2012 to Feb. 28, 2013.
Postmedia News reports Duffy has not repaid his living expenses.
Senators agree to new rules about living expenses. They must now provide a driverâ€™s license, health card and income tax return to receive the housing allowance. The Senate committee on internal economy releases a one-page report saying they did not find any other questionable living expenses.
Senators begin appearing before the Senateâ€™s internal economy committee to explain why they have been unwilling or unable to prove their residence. The Senate would not say how many Senators were interviewed.
The Toronto Star estimates Duffyâ€™s expenses could be about $90,000, based on past claims, interest, and the $5,000 he may have claimed in the quarter running from Dec. 1, 2012 to Feb. 28, 2013.
Duffy tells CBC and CTV that he may have made a mistake in claiming his Cavendish cottage as his primary residence. In a statement, the senator says the rules on housing allowances arenâ€™t clear and that he will repay the expenses.
The Guardian reports that Duffy says he lives in Charlottetown during the winter because the road to his Cavendish home is blocked. When reporter Shane Ross asks Duffy if Charlottetown is his primary residence, Duffy replies â€śIâ€™ve said too much already. When itâ€™s all over, you all will be very embarrassed.â€ť
LeBreton and Cowan both say results of expense audits will be made public.
Sen. Marjory LeBreton, government leader in the Senate, and Sen. James Cowan, opposition leader in the Senate, release a joint letter saying any senator who cannot prove a valid residency claim will have to repay their expenses with interest.
The Senate committee looking into residency claims calls in outside help, asking accounting firm Deloitte to audit Duffy, Harb and Brazeauâ€™s living expenses.
The Charlottetown Guardian obtains records showing that Duffy and his wife are identified as non-resident owners of their Cavendish cottage and therefore pay higher property taxes.
The Citizen reports that Duffyâ€™s office called the office of P.E.I.â€™s Health and Wellness minister around Christmas to talk about fast-tracking a health care card. Minister Doug Currie tells a Charlottetown newspaper â€śthere will be no fast-tracking.â€ť
A letter is sent to all Senators ordering them to provide copies of their driversâ€™ licenses, provincial health care cards, and parts of their tax returns. They are also required to write a letter stating where they vote federally, provincially and municipally by Jan. 31.
An internal Senate audit into all Senatorsâ€™ residency claims is announced.
The Citizen reports that Duffy claimed $33,413 in living expenses since September 2010, counting the Kanata home he bought in 2003 as a â€śsecondary residence.â€ť
Duffy says the cottage he owns in Cavendish, P.E.I. is his primary residence. However, Duffy has spent much of his career as a broadcaster on Parliament Hill, and is listed as a resident of Carleton-Mississippi Mills in Election Canadaâ€™s 2012 records.
There are also reports that long-time Ottawa resident and Liberal Senator Mac Harb has claimed more than $31,000 in living expenses for his Pembrooke home.
Meanwhile, Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau was already facing questions about whether his primary residence was in Manawaki, Que. or Gatineau, Que.