Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin says her home is in the province, and she is complying with Senate residency requirements, but she was reluctant to provide more details.
Wallin did not answer CBC's written request Wednesday for information about where she lives, but she did speak briefly about the matter on Parliament Hill.
When CBC reporter James Cudmore asked Wallin to talk about the residency issue, she said, "No, I'm not going to get into that," and walked away.
Her fellow Conservative Senator Mike Duffy — also a former television journalist — has run afoul of residency requirements, with opposition MPs questioning whether Duffy really lives in Cavendish, P.E.I.
The province's health minister said this week that Duffy had applied for a new health card — not a renewal — and CBC News obtained documents showing he isn't getting a much lower resident tax rate on his property in the province.
Cudmore asked Wallin where she lives, and she said, "Saskatchewan."
Asked if she had a residence in Saskatchewan, Wallin said, "I sure do."
Asked if it was in Wadena, she said, "You bet it is." Then she continued walking.
In an email, Cudmore asked the senator, where do you live? Do you have a Saskatchewan driver's licence? Do you have a Saskatchewan health card? To which province do you pay the provincial portion of your income taxes? Where do you vote?
Wallin emailed the CBC the following response on Thursday:
I am in compliance with the constitutional requirements to serve as a Senator. I own property in Saskatchewan, and my home is in Saskatchewan. I do not own a home or reside in the capital region and therefore I am eligible to claim expenses while I am in the nation's capital fulfilling my duties as a Senator. As you know, the Senate is conducting an audit of every senator to verify compliance with the residency requirement.
If you have further questions, please call Senator Tkachuk, chair of the Senate Internal Economy Committee. Thank you.
According to Senate expense reports, Wallin claimed more than $15,000 in Ottawa living expenses last year. Her travel records indicate Wallin spent more than $20,000 travelling to and from Saskatchewan last year.
Saskatchewan Senator David Tkachuk is heading up an internal audit to determine whether Canadian senators are really living where they say they're living. The audit is expected to be made public by the end of February.