Senate expense arbiter's report expected on federal budget day
Former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie submitted final version on Monday
The final version of an arbitrator's binding report into 14 senators' questionable expenses is expected to go public March 22 — the same day as the federal budget.
Former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie told CBC News he submitted his report on Monday for translation and other steps needed to bring it before the Senate's Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration committee.
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On Tuesday, Senate spokesperson Jacqui Delaney said Binnie's report is expected to be tabled at that committee and be released to the public on March 22.
Delaney said the the Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration committee doesn't sit until the Tuesday, March 22. "We may actually get it on the Monday… but it wouldn't go to [committee] until they're all here to have a meeting on the Tuesday."
Finance Minister Bill Morneau said last week his first budget will be released that same day.
14 of 30 sought arbitration
Binnie was appointed May 26 to handle arbitration for all senators who disagreed with Auditor General Michael Ferguson's Senate expense claims report, which was released June 9 and flagged nearly $1 million in questionable expense claims for 30 current and former senators.
Many of those senators have repaid expenses, but as of the last update in December, some outstanding amounts remained, ranging from $1,120 to $75,227.
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Fourteen senators elected for arbitration and have been meeting with Binnie and their lawyers.
In a statement to the media on Wednesday, Binnie said that in accordance with the process laid out for his work, each senator would receive a confidential copy of the section of the report dealing with him or her at the same time the Senate steering committee receives his translated report.
Sitting senators will have 30 days to repay any outstanding payments before their salary is garnished, while legal action could be taken to get money back from retired senators.