New Brunswick MPs weigh in on Senate scandal
Acadie-Bathurst NDP MP Yvon Godin says Sen. Mike Duffy should be penalized
More New Brunswick members of Parliament are weighing in on the widening Senate scandal.
Acadie-Bathurst NDP MP Yvon Godin says Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy should be penalized after it was revealed that the Prime Minister's chief of staff Nigel Wright gave him a personal cheque for $90,000 to cover questionable expense claims.
Godin contends Duffy should be treated the same as someone caught making a false employment insurance claim.
"They keep telling us in the last 12 months that the people are crooked and stealing the money from unemployment insurance, and we have families trying to survive … and they're going around to houses and after they catch anybody that they catch, they have to pay the money back," he said.
"They have to pay double the penalty of what they have to pay back. And you have a senator in the Senate that, as far as we are concerned, stole money from the Canadians?"
"It's totally not acceptable."
Wright also handed in his resignation over the weekend.
The ethics commissioner is looking into the matter, but the federal New Democrats are calling on the Mounties to determine if Wright's payment to Duffy broke any laws.
"To us, for the NDP, the only honourable thing to do is to have the RCMP investigate," said Godin.
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc said he agrees Duffy should be subject to a police investigation.
"If another Canadian is found to have inappropriately taken money from their employer in a systematic way over a number of years — money that they weren’t entitled to by law that often becomes a police matter," he said.
Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe Conservative MP Robert Goguen, however, is deflecting blame for the Senate scandal back onto the Liberals.
Goguen says Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been looking for changes to the Senate since he came to power, but a number of proposed changes didn't get the support they needed.
"The Senate itself has tried to put, I think, 13 different rules in place to try to make it more transparent, but so far we have not been able to get the support of the Liberals," he said.
Goguen made the comments during a press conference to announce $5.6 million in funding from ACOA's Atlantic Innovation Fund.
When pressured by reporters to address the fact that Duffy and Wallin were appointed by the prime minister, Goguen abruptly ended the interview and left the room.
Last week, Conservative cabinet ministers Keith Ashfield, who is the MP for Fredericton, and Gail Shea had little to say about the controversy.
Both Ashfield, the minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Shea, the minister of National Revenue and minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, said they did not have all the facts.