Inside Politics

Wallin pays off $100 K Senate expense tab: 'I have done nothing wrong.'

Embattled former Conservative senator Pam Wallin has paid off her six figure debt to the Canadian taxpayers. 

According to a brief statement released by her office earlier this afternoon, despite her continued "fundamental disagreement" with the methodology used to arrive at the final number, and her belief that she was treated unfairly by the Deloitte review, she has dutifully submitted "personal cheques amounting to one hundred thousand, six hundred dollars and ninety-eight cents ($100,600.98) plus interest" to the Senate Finance Directorate, and advised the chair of the internal economy committee of the payment. 

The statement goes onto reiterate Wallin's objection to the lack of "procedural and substantive fairness," as well as the "lynch mob mentality" to which she claims the committee succumbed, and concludes by "welcoming .. an independent and objective review by the RCMP." 

She will, it seems, have no further comment. 

The full text: 
 
As I promised I would, today I personally reimbursed the Government of Canada in the amount which the Senate's Internal Economy Committee concluded I was not entitled to claim, together with interest on that money.

Personal cheques amounting to one hundred thousand, six hundred dollars and ninety-eight cents ($100,600.98) plus interest were submitted to the Senate Finance Directorate and I have notified the chair of the Internal Economy Committee of this.

Although I fundamentally disagree with the methodology used in arriving at that figure, particularly since the amount was calculated using newly created rules to examine past expenses, I do not want to burden the people of Canada and, in particular the people of Saskatchewan, by engaging in a protracted legal debate about the matter.

I wish to make it clear. I was not treated fairly by the Deloitte review, which was not conducted in accordance with  generally accepted accounting principle, nor have I been treated fairly by the Senate Committee. Evidence that casts doubt on the correctness of the amounts owing was either ignored or disregarded during the review.

When I submitted expense claims, I did so in good faith, honestly believing that the reimbursement was appropriate. If mistakes were made, I am responsible for those, but there was never a deliberate attempt to thwart the travel policy that was in place at the time the claims were submitted.

Unfortunately, the Senate Committee succumbed to a "lynch mob" mentality. There was no regard to procedural or substantive fairness. I am disappointed and angry about the way in which this matter was handled, and any implication that I behaved dishonestly.

I welcome an independent and objective review by the RCMP and I intend to cooperate fully with any such review. I have not done anything wrong. I am not guilty of any  misconduct. Accordingly I will not resign as a senator. I will continue to act for the people of Saskatchewan and Canada, fulfilling the duties of a senator that have been entrusted to me.

I will make no further public comment at this time.

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