Canadian prime minister makes promises amid deepening scandal
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised to toughen the expense rules of the Senate of Canada following a scandal that led to the resignation of his chief of staff.
Harper also called for the prevention of any loops in the law on Tuesday morning before leaving for South America.
“I don’t think any of you are going to be very surprised to hear that I’m not happy. I’m very upset about some conduct we have witnessed, the conduct of some parliamentarians and the conduct of my own office,” Harper said, referring to the scandal.
On May 19, Nigel Wright, Harper’s chief of staff, announced resignation after it was revealed on May 14 that he had secretly given a check of 90,000 Canadian dollars (about USD 87,000) to conservative Senator Mike Duffy apparently for the purpose of helping him repay housing expenses.
Wright said in a statement that he had decided to quit “in light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Senator Duffy.”
Duffy and another senator, Pamela Wallin, resigned from the Conservative Party on Thursday and on Friday respectively. Wallin is involved in a controversy regarding her travel expenses. The Canadian senator awaits the outcome of an audit into her own travel expenses, which is claimed to have been USD 321,000 since September 2010.