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Saskatchewan News

Sask. senator facing audit over travel expenses

Federal NDP questions primary residence of Sen. Pam Wallin
Reported by News Talk Radio staff
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A Saskatchewan senator is under the microscope after questions about her sky-high travel expenses.

Pamela Wallin is facing a senate audit looking at $321,000 over the last three years in what are classified as other travel expenses.

Wallin said the rules aren't clear, adding if she had a speaking engagement in Halifax or Toronto and then flies to her home province of Saskatchewan; it's classified as 'other.'

"I spent 168 days in Saskatchewan last year, I spend 94 days in Ottawa we are obliged to be here I chair a committee that meets on Mondays so I often have to fly in on Sunday and the rest of the days of the year I'm everywhere," said Wallin.

Wallin said only trips from Ottawa to Saskatchewan qualify for an allowance.

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NDP wants answers

Following the senate confirming it would investigate expense claims made by several senators, the federal NDP party decided to do some digging of its own.  Although ethics critic Charlie Angus says they've received information on several senators, the party is concentrating on a land title record belonging to Wallin.

"With Senator Pam Wallin a number of questions have been raised," Wallin told Newstalk Radio, "and she claims that she lives at this location in Saskatchewan.  So we felt we should just check the land title and low and behold, according to her statement on land title in Saskatchewan that her primary address is downtown Toronto."

The record is for a cabin Wallin owns at Fishing Lake, and the record was registered ten years ago.  Angus conceeds that there may be several factors in play that may have altered the record, from something as straight-forward as the record having changed over time, to confusion resulting because senators often maintain a number of homes.

"This is not saying that she's a crook, but we're saying they are unaccountable to the Canadian people, and that's not good enough."

Angus says that if senators can't provide straight answers to the public, perhaps their practices should be viewed.  Further, if any claims are discovered to be made on falsified records, Angus says the police should be involved in the investigation.

With files from CKOM News and CJME's Courtney Mintenko.