Wednesdays with @Kady replay: Next steps on Duffy expense claims
Replay the conversation with blogger Kady O'Malley
Late Tuesday, the Senate's internal economy committee referred Senator Mike Duffy's expense claims - and Nigel Wright's "gift" repayment - to the RCMP for a potential criminal fraud investigation.
The Senate also heard new details about the nature of the former Conservative's controversial expenses, now repaid thanks to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff: namely, that he claimed Senate per diem amounts for 49 days as if he was in Ottawa on Senate business, when the Deloitte audit found him to have been in other locations.
Only 25 of those per diems were paid and subsequently refunded as part of Wright's repayment. In one instance from Jan. 2012, Duffy was actually in Florida on vacation. The Senate concluded that the Florida example was not an isolated incident, but representative of a pattern that raises concerns.
The rest of the 49 per diem claims were never paid because Senate staff noticed things like simultaneous travel claims to other locations, including an 18-day period in August 2011 when Duffy was at his cottage residence on P.E.I. The fact that he attempted to claim these per diems based on being in Ottawa on Senate business also raised a flag.
All this... as Prime Minister Stephen Harper faced a different kind of sustained interrogation from Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons on Tuesday. Their direct, pointed questions about what he knew when about Nigel Wright's repayment and how he acted after learning this information were not always completely answered by Harper, who maintained a relatively cool demeanour throughout.
What do you make of this new style for question period? And do the new details about the exact nature of Duffy's expense claims affect your assessment of what should be done in his case?
Replay our earlier live chat: