Senators who will be identified by the Auditor General as having illegitimate expenses may use the services of an arbitrator to challenge the findings of his report.
Senate President Leo Housakos said Tuesday morning that any senator who would not repay the sums that will claim him may rely on the referee.
“With the appointment of an independent arbitrator, reimbursement issues will be resolved in a quick and fair way,” promised Mr. Housakos at a press conference hastily convened in the Senate foyer.
It was the former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada Ian Binnie who will play this role of referee.
Its decisions shall be made public. Mr. Housakos ensures that the costs of this additional step will eventually be disclosed and that if the Auditor General recommended the transfer of certain police files, it will happen in parallel.
The three suspended Conservative senators – Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau – and Senator resigned Liberal – Mac Harb – could not take advantage of such a referee service before being driven out of the Senate or leave voluntarily.
The discipline process endured by those senators then “nothing to do” with the referee process now made available for the next few senators denounced illegitimate expenses.
Why Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau and Harb did not have the right to an arbitrator by treatment?
“Because at the time, unfortunately, this process was not in place,” was sorry Senator Housakos. “Now we are modernizing the Senate. We’re making changes for the better of this institution, “he continued.
“I imagine that there are many senators who will accept the report and that will pay back the money (…) I also imagine that the number of senators who will use the arbitration process will not be very ( high) either, “argued Mr. Housakos.
The Auditor General’s report is expected in the coming days.