Senate drops ethics inquiry into allegations against Colin Kenny
Year-long investigation ends with no public release of findings
The upper house's ethics committee has agreed to halt a year-long inquiry into former Liberal senator Colin Kenny's alleged inappropriate use of Senate resources — and anything it has learned to this point will never be released publicly.
According to the Senate's ethics code, any probe by the Senate ethics officer is dropped once the senator who is the subject of the probe resigns or retires. However, the Senate's ethics committee could request that the investigation be continued for posterity — something it has opted not to do in Kenny's case.
Kenny resigned in January, months before his mandatory retirement date and just before the ethics report was due to be released.
Members of ethics committee tabled a report Thursday detailing their decision not to proceed with the inquiry into allegations Kenny used his staff for personal purposes unrelated to Senate business.
"The matter inquired into by the Senate Ethics Officer is limited to the use of Senate resources by former Senator Kenny to determine whether he has not complied with his or her obligations under the [Senate's ethics] code," the committee wrote.
"This process does not raise broader concerns that would have warranted the committee instructing that the inquiry be continued.
"Former Sen. Kenny is no longer a member of the Senate. As such, the Senate can no longer impose sanctions upon him as a Senator. In the circumstances, the committee sees no compelling reasons to depart from the default rule that an inquiry be suspended when a Senator ceases to be a Senator."
- Lynn Beyak fights to keep Senate website featuring letters described as 'racist'
- Liberal Sen. Colin Kenny resigning months before December retirement date
A Radio-Canada/CBC News investigation in 2016 revealed Kenny used staff to perform personal tasks around his home and businesses, including booking fitness sessions and ordering lotions and tanning beds for his tanning business.
In May 2017, Lyse Ricard, the Senate ethics officer at the time, launched a preliminary review of Kenny's use of parliamentary resources.
Kenny has also faced complaints from outside of the Senate.
A former worker at his Ottawa tanning salon business claimed to Ottawa Police that Kenny sexually harassed her more than a decade ago, allegedly demanding sexual favours in exchange for letting her keep her job. The matter was dropped because the woman had lied to police in the past on another matter.
Other women who worked at Kenny's business came forward with similar stories after the initial Radio-Canada story on the case.
With files from Brigitte Bureau