Patrick Brazeau's troubled rise and fall

Embattled now-suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau has been no stranger to controversy since he was first appointed to the Upper House in 2008.

Senator Patrick Brazeau, who has been charged with assault and sexual assault following his arrest in Gatineau, Que., on Feb. 7 and was arrested again April 10, has faced several controversies since his appointment four years ago.

Brazeau, who was born in Maniwaki, Que., began working with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the national organization that represents off-reserve aboriginals, in 2001, and was elected as its national chief in February 2006, according to his biography on the Senate web page.

He was re-elected to a four-year term in November 2008, but was called to the Senate by Stephen Harper a short time later.
Brazeau was appointed to the Senate in December 2008 on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Brazeau is the 15th aboriginal senator since Confederation, and is also the third youngest person ever named to the Senate.

Here is an overview of Brazeau's time in the upper chamber.

Jan. 26, 2009

Brazeau is sworn into the Senate along with 17 others, including former journalists Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy.

March 31, 2012

Brazeau loses a charity boxing match to Liberal MP Justin Trudeau that was much-hyped in the media. Brazeau, who has military and martial arts training, was widely expected to win the bout and had to cut his hair as part of the bet between the pair. The event raised $230,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

June 26, 2012

Brazeau lashes out at a journalist on Twitter after she reported that he had the worst attendance record among senators between June 2011 and April 2012, only attending 25 per cent of the 72 sittings. Brazeau rhymes the journalist's name, Jennifer Ditchburn of the Canadian Press, with an offensive word. After several tweets back and forth, he apologizes.

Nov. 20, 2012

A media report says Brazeau is collecting a housing allowance available to senators who live outside of Ottawa by claiming his home is in Maniwaki, Que., about 135 kilometres north of Ottawa. Residents there say they have rarely, if ever, seen him.

Senators who live more than 100 kilometres outside of Ottawa can have a second residence in the National Capital Region and receive up to $21,000 a year to cover that expense.

Two other senators, including Conservative Mike Duffy and Liberal Mac Harb, also end up facing similar allegations.

Dec. 6, 2012

A Senate committee says it will conduct an audit to assess "whether all senators' declarations of primary and secondary residence are supported by sufficient documentation," including driver licences, health cards and tax documents.

Brazeau says he welcomes the audit.

"I look forward to providing the facts that prove my primary residence is in Maniwaki, Que., contrary to what has been reported," he said in an email. "I built my reputation on the need for greater accountability and I will continue practising what I preach."

Feb. 7, 2013

Brazeau is kicked out of the Conservative caucus following his arrest in Gatineau, Que., around 9:10 a.m. ET. The government Senate leader, Marjory LeBreton, sends a letter to his office and caucus members informing them of his removal. Brazeau will sit as an independent.

He spends the night in jail.

Feb. 8, 2013

Brazeau is charged with assault and sexual assault in a Gatineau, Que., courtroom. He is released after paying $1,000 in bail and is told to stay away from the alleged victim. He is also told to remain at his residence in Maniwaki, Que.
Patrick Brazeau was suspended from the Senate in February, 2013, after he was charged with assault and sexual assault. He was later suspended again without pay for claiming ineligible expenses. (Canadian Press)

The Senate also announces it is asking outside auditors to assess the residency claims and expenses of three senators, including Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Mac Harb.

Feb. 12, 2013

The Senate votes to suspend Brazeau from the Chamber until the criminal charges against him have been resolved.

May 9, 2013

The Senate releases the independent audit reports into Brazeau, Duffy and Harb's expense claims. Brazeau is asked to pay back $48,000, but vows to fight the order.

November 5, 2013

After a lengthy and rancorous debate, the Senate votes to suspend Senators Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin for the remainder of the session.

December 2, 2013

Brazeau lands a freelance gig as a Hill reporter for Halifax-based Frank Magazine, but is subsequently denied the necessary access credentials, and the magazine later terminates the relationship after just one column.

February 4, 2014

Brazeau is formally charged by the RCMP with fraud and breach of trust related to inappropriate Senate expense claims.

February 19, 2014

Brazeau starts work as the daytime manager at Barefax Gentlemen's Club.

April 10, 2014

Brazeau is arrested in Gatineau. Police tell reporters he faces charges including possession of cocaine, assault and uttering threats.