Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Senate: A Tony Soprano wet dream



There has never been a question, among a lot of Canadians, that the Senate should be abolished.
It has never really made any sense to give people jobs for life based on their ability to raise money for political parties, or garner other favors for the governing party.
The Canadian Senate is a Tony Soprano wet dream.
The first time I questioned the Senate was when I was working in Trudeau's office and he appointed a gazillion of his friends to the Senate after taking his walk in the February snow.
Two words. Colin Kenny.
Colin Kenny has been a Senator now for 30 years and he's only 69. This means he has more than five years left in the Senate, if you can believe that. Now, Kenny has done some fine work over the years, nobody can question that, but at the time, he was just a Trudeau fartcatcher. Even some of the party hacks found it hard to believe that a man shy of 40 could be a Senator.
Over the years, there have been some fine individuals appointed to the Senate, people who do good work on behalf of Canadians. But then there are just as many others who got there because they played hockey with the Prime Minister or bagged some good dough out on the hustings.
And the ones who are most dispicable are the ones who don't just take their free money and offices, but also try to fleece we taxpayers in other ways.
Which brings me to my topic of today.
The whole question of having a primary residence in another place when you've lived in Ottawa most of your life is the lowest of the low. Certain individuals have owned property in Ottawa, held Ontario health cards, voted here, and yet they get to claim primary residency some place else. In the case of Senator Mac Harb, who owns lots of property, that primary residency is just a few kilometers down the road, past the city limits. It means he can keep a pied de terre in town in case he has a few too many cocktails -- which is probably a lot of the time -- then wing his way down the road when he feels like it. Like he gets rewarded for having a cell phone plan for weekends only.
Another honorable man, Mike Duffy, has lived most of the past 10 years in Kanata, yet claims his personal residence in PEI. He doesn't even have a health card to prove he lives in PEI.
The worst offender is the notorious Patrick Brazeau who hasn't darkened the door of his father's house in years, according to neighbors. Yet he claims his father's place as his primary pad.
Now all men are saying they've done nothing wrong according to the rules.
Maybe that's true technically.
But these dudes have a moral obligation to come clean, to admit that they have been telling nose-stretchers when it comes to the whole residence thing just to grab more moolah out of the pockets of hard working Canadians some of whom might indeed have two residences, but are rewarded for that privilege by paying extra property tax.
It would be nice to have a cottage and get paid for it, no?
Canadian Senators are compensated very well for their time.
They get great perks. Who needs a pension when you have a Senate seat?
It's like winning Cash for Life.
But these guys, these guys, want their Cash for Life with a little Instant Millionaire thrown in.
Doesn't work.
Come on guys.
Come clean.
Don't give us another reason to abolish your asses.

1 comment:

  1. As I trecall, the law says you must own at least $4,000 worth of real property in the province from which you are appointed. That's all.

    Ergo, nothing illegal.

    Wrong? Well, I guess that is certainly up for debate.

    ReplyDelete