The audit on the spending of Senator Pamela Wallin has finally been delivered and was made public Tuesday. The calculations show the senator misspent about $140,000 since being appointed to her position by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Wallin has accepted blame for the errors and says she will pay back all money she is instructed to return.
This is another in a long line of politicians who have been caught taking and inappropriately spending taxpayers’ money as if it were theirs to do with what they wish.
The most memorable incidents for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians took place when some members of the House of Assembly were caught spending their allowances on everything from lottery tickets to padding their wine collection.
Fortunately, four of the worst offenders spent some time behind bars for their unacceptable behaviour.
That same approach should be considered by those calling the shots in Ottawa.
Giving a prepared, offhanded apology for misspending thousands in taxpayers’ money may lift some of the guilt off the shoulders of the offenders, but it surely won’t act as a deterrent for others who have the same shortage of skills when it comes to addition and subtraction, or in some case, geography and map reading.
Wallin has made it clear she will not be resigning from the Senate and will continue to collect a fat salary and other perks that go with the “job.”
If there is no action by the Harper government to eliminate the Senate, then measures must be put in place to oversee the actions of senators who have proven they cannot be trusted with Canadians’ hard-earned money.
The veil of secrecy must be removed from the Senate’s business so taxpayers at least know they aren’t been robbed, even if they are getting little for their investment.