Senators must return claimed expenses to senate, arbitrator rules

News Mar 21, 2016 by Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

OTTAWA—Not a single senator could claim a complete victory Monday morning as the results of a binding arbitration determined all 14 who had challenged the findings of the auditor general’s report into the expenses scandal still have to repay some claims.

A total of $177,898 will be coming back to the Senate from the 14 senators who appealed to retired Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie, appointed to oversee a binding arbitration process for senators who wanted to appeal the findings contained in the June 2015 report by auditor general Michael Ferguson.

“Implementation of these rules, policies and guidelines call for discretion, judgment and common sense. However, they are perfectly workable in the hands of a senator who wishes to comply with the obvious purposes of a rule, as well as its literal text,” Binnie wrote in the executive summary of his ruling released Monday.

Binnie also noted it is the responsibility of individual senators, not the administrative staff, to determine what is right what is wrong to claim.

“The Senate expects its staff to serve as helpful watchdogs, not bloodhounds,” Binnie wrote.

The amount of expenses Binnie found to be inadmissible represents 55 per cent of the amount Ferguson had flagged as inappropriate expenses in his report.

So, it is unlikely the senators who made use of the arbitration process would consider it a waste of time, as many saw a substantial reduction in the amount they will have to reimburse taxpayers.

“I have on occasion found to be justified some of the expenditures questioned by the auditor general. This does not necessarily indicate a disagreement with the auditor general. In many cases, the differing opinions may just be the result of an expanded evidentiary record available in the special arbitration,” Binnie wrote.

The auditor general’s report, the result of a two-year investigation prompted by a constant stream of expense-related news about senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Pamela Wallin, named 30 current and former senators as having been inappropriately reimbursed for a total of $991,917 in travel, housing and office expenses.

Many senators disagreed with the findings, as well as the process followed by the auditors, and 14 of them appealed to Binnie.

That option was not made available to Brazeau, Duffy, Harb or Wallin.

Senators will have 30 days to reimburse the outstanding amount.

The outcome also determines whether a senator is able to receive financial support for legal fees associated with the arbitration process.

Senators who decided not to challenge the findings will also have 30 days following the release of the Binnie report to repay, if they have not done so already.

Twenty-one senators have repaid a total of $141,042 in expenses, which includes partial repayments by nine of the senators who took part in the dispute resolution process.

Quebec Independent Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu was said to owe $61,076.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $20,467.33 He has repaid $908.

Quebec Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais was said to owe $3,538.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $2,267.15.

New Brunswick Sen. Joseph Day, a member of the Senate Liberal caucus, was flagged for $19,634.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $3,050.96.

He has repaid $2,850.66.

Ontario Sen. Colin Kenny, who also sits with the Senate Liberals, was said to owe $35,549.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $27,458.77.

He has already reimbursed $3,921.01 in expenses.

New Brunswick Sen. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, also a Liberal, had $75,227 in expenses flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie said she will have to repay $38,023.27.

Nova Scotia Sen. Terry Mercer, a Senate Liberal, was said to own $29,338.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $10,536.10.

Saskatchewan Sen. Pana Merchant, a Liberal, was flagged for $5,500 in expenses.

Binnie ruled she will have to repay $820.38.

She has already repaid $511.

Former Nova Scotia Sen. Lowell Murray, a Progressive Conservative who was sitting as an Independent when he retired in 2011, was flagged for $16,300 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he owes $15,324.

Murray has already repaid $976.

Nunavut Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson was determined to owe $22,985.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $13,762.

Patterson has already repaid $9,223.

Retired Saskatchewan Liberal Sen. Bob Peterson was flagged for $11,493.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $11,492.61.

Manitoba Conservative Sen. Don Plett was flagged for $4,095.

Binnie found he will have to repay $404.45.

Plett has already reimbursed $2,975.

Northwest Territories Sen. Nick Sibbeston, a Liberal, was flagged for $50,102 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he must repay $26,924.20.

Retired Manitoba Conservative Sen. Terry Stratton was said to owe $5,466.

Binnie ruled he must repay $5,466.70.

Saskatchewan Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk had $7,391 flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie ruled he must repay $1,900.22.

Tkachuk has already repaid $3,920.57.

Toronto Star

Senators must return claimed expenses to senate, arbitrator rules

Senators who challenged the findings of the auditor general’s report into the expenses scandal last year will learn Monday whether they have to pay back expenses.

News Mar 21, 2016 by Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

OTTAWA—Not a single senator could claim a complete victory Monday morning as the results of a binding arbitration determined all 14 who had challenged the findings of the auditor general’s report into the expenses scandal still have to repay some claims.

A total of $177,898 will be coming back to the Senate from the 14 senators who appealed to retired Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie, appointed to oversee a binding arbitration process for senators who wanted to appeal the findings contained in the June 2015 report by auditor general Michael Ferguson.

“Implementation of these rules, policies and guidelines call for discretion, judgment and common sense. However, they are perfectly workable in the hands of a senator who wishes to comply with the obvious purposes of a rule, as well as its literal text,” Binnie wrote in the executive summary of his ruling released Monday.

Binnie also noted it is the responsibility of individual senators, not the administrative staff, to determine what is right what is wrong to claim.

“The Senate expects its staff to serve as helpful watchdogs, not bloodhounds,” Binnie wrote.

The amount of expenses Binnie found to be inadmissible represents 55 per cent of the amount Ferguson had flagged as inappropriate expenses in his report.

So, it is unlikely the senators who made use of the arbitration process would consider it a waste of time, as many saw a substantial reduction in the amount they will have to reimburse taxpayers.

“I have on occasion found to be justified some of the expenditures questioned by the auditor general. This does not necessarily indicate a disagreement with the auditor general. In many cases, the differing opinions may just be the result of an expanded evidentiary record available in the special arbitration,” Binnie wrote.

The auditor general’s report, the result of a two-year investigation prompted by a constant stream of expense-related news about senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Pamela Wallin, named 30 current and former senators as having been inappropriately reimbursed for a total of $991,917 in travel, housing and office expenses.

Many senators disagreed with the findings, as well as the process followed by the auditors, and 14 of them appealed to Binnie.

That option was not made available to Brazeau, Duffy, Harb or Wallin.

Senators will have 30 days to reimburse the outstanding amount.

The outcome also determines whether a senator is able to receive financial support for legal fees associated with the arbitration process.

Senators who decided not to challenge the findings will also have 30 days following the release of the Binnie report to repay, if they have not done so already.

Twenty-one senators have repaid a total of $141,042 in expenses, which includes partial repayments by nine of the senators who took part in the dispute resolution process.

Quebec Independent Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu was said to owe $61,076.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $20,467.33 He has repaid $908.

Quebec Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais was said to owe $3,538.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $2,267.15.

New Brunswick Sen. Joseph Day, a member of the Senate Liberal caucus, was flagged for $19,634.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $3,050.96.

He has repaid $2,850.66.

Ontario Sen. Colin Kenny, who also sits with the Senate Liberals, was said to owe $35,549.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $27,458.77.

He has already reimbursed $3,921.01 in expenses.

New Brunswick Sen. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, also a Liberal, had $75,227 in expenses flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie said she will have to repay $38,023.27.

Nova Scotia Sen. Terry Mercer, a Senate Liberal, was said to own $29,338.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $10,536.10.

Saskatchewan Sen. Pana Merchant, a Liberal, was flagged for $5,500 in expenses.

Binnie ruled she will have to repay $820.38.

She has already repaid $511.

Former Nova Scotia Sen. Lowell Murray, a Progressive Conservative who was sitting as an Independent when he retired in 2011, was flagged for $16,300 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he owes $15,324.

Murray has already repaid $976.

Nunavut Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson was determined to owe $22,985.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $13,762.

Patterson has already repaid $9,223.

Retired Saskatchewan Liberal Sen. Bob Peterson was flagged for $11,493.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $11,492.61.

Manitoba Conservative Sen. Don Plett was flagged for $4,095.

Binnie found he will have to repay $404.45.

Plett has already reimbursed $2,975.

Northwest Territories Sen. Nick Sibbeston, a Liberal, was flagged for $50,102 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he must repay $26,924.20.

Retired Manitoba Conservative Sen. Terry Stratton was said to owe $5,466.

Binnie ruled he must repay $5,466.70.

Saskatchewan Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk had $7,391 flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie ruled he must repay $1,900.22.

Tkachuk has already repaid $3,920.57.

Toronto Star

Senators must return claimed expenses to senate, arbitrator rules

Senators who challenged the findings of the auditor general’s report into the expenses scandal last year will learn Monday whether they have to pay back expenses.

News Mar 21, 2016 by Joanna Smith OurWindsor.Ca

OTTAWA—Not a single senator could claim a complete victory Monday morning as the results of a binding arbitration determined all 14 who had challenged the findings of the auditor general’s report into the expenses scandal still have to repay some claims.

A total of $177,898 will be coming back to the Senate from the 14 senators who appealed to retired Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie, appointed to oversee a binding arbitration process for senators who wanted to appeal the findings contained in the June 2015 report by auditor general Michael Ferguson.

“Implementation of these rules, policies and guidelines call for discretion, judgment and common sense. However, they are perfectly workable in the hands of a senator who wishes to comply with the obvious purposes of a rule, as well as its literal text,” Binnie wrote in the executive summary of his ruling released Monday.

Binnie also noted it is the responsibility of individual senators, not the administrative staff, to determine what is right what is wrong to claim.

“The Senate expects its staff to serve as helpful watchdogs, not bloodhounds,” Binnie wrote.

The amount of expenses Binnie found to be inadmissible represents 55 per cent of the amount Ferguson had flagged as inappropriate expenses in his report.

So, it is unlikely the senators who made use of the arbitration process would consider it a waste of time, as many saw a substantial reduction in the amount they will have to reimburse taxpayers.

“I have on occasion found to be justified some of the expenditures questioned by the auditor general. This does not necessarily indicate a disagreement with the auditor general. In many cases, the differing opinions may just be the result of an expanded evidentiary record available in the special arbitration,” Binnie wrote.

The auditor general’s report, the result of a two-year investigation prompted by a constant stream of expense-related news about senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Pamela Wallin, named 30 current and former senators as having been inappropriately reimbursed for a total of $991,917 in travel, housing and office expenses.

Many senators disagreed with the findings, as well as the process followed by the auditors, and 14 of them appealed to Binnie.

That option was not made available to Brazeau, Duffy, Harb or Wallin.

Senators will have 30 days to reimburse the outstanding amount.

The outcome also determines whether a senator is able to receive financial support for legal fees associated with the arbitration process.

Senators who decided not to challenge the findings will also have 30 days following the release of the Binnie report to repay, if they have not done so already.

Twenty-one senators have repaid a total of $141,042 in expenses, which includes partial repayments by nine of the senators who took part in the dispute resolution process.

Quebec Independent Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu was said to owe $61,076.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $20,467.33 He has repaid $908.

Quebec Conservative Sen. Jean-Guy Dagenais was said to owe $3,538.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $2,267.15.

New Brunswick Sen. Joseph Day, a member of the Senate Liberal caucus, was flagged for $19,634.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $3,050.96.

He has repaid $2,850.66.

Ontario Sen. Colin Kenny, who also sits with the Senate Liberals, was said to owe $35,549.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $27,458.77.

He has already reimbursed $3,921.01 in expenses.

New Brunswick Sen. Sandra Lovelace Nicholas, also a Liberal, had $75,227 in expenses flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie said she will have to repay $38,023.27.

Nova Scotia Sen. Terry Mercer, a Senate Liberal, was said to own $29,338.

Binnie determined he will have to repay $10,536.10.

Saskatchewan Sen. Pana Merchant, a Liberal, was flagged for $5,500 in expenses.

Binnie ruled she will have to repay $820.38.

She has already repaid $511.

Former Nova Scotia Sen. Lowell Murray, a Progressive Conservative who was sitting as an Independent when he retired in 2011, was flagged for $16,300 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he owes $15,324.

Murray has already repaid $976.

Nunavut Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson was determined to owe $22,985.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $13,762.

Patterson has already repaid $9,223.

Retired Saskatchewan Liberal Sen. Bob Peterson was flagged for $11,493.

Binnie ruled he will have to repay $11,492.61.

Manitoba Conservative Sen. Don Plett was flagged for $4,095.

Binnie found he will have to repay $404.45.

Plett has already reimbursed $2,975.

Northwest Territories Sen. Nick Sibbeston, a Liberal, was flagged for $50,102 in expenses.

Binnie ruled he must repay $26,924.20.

Retired Manitoba Conservative Sen. Terry Stratton was said to owe $5,466.

Binnie ruled he must repay $5,466.70.

Saskatchewan Conservative Sen. David Tkachuk had $7,391 flagged by the auditor general.

Binnie ruled he must repay $1,900.22.

Tkachuk has already repaid $3,920.57.

Toronto Star