Vau­dreuil-soulanges MP blasts Con­ser­va­tives on Bra­zeau affair

Ja­mie Ni­cholls sup­ports abo­li­shing Se­nate

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Saying the Bra­zeau affair reo­pens the de­bate on the re­le­vance and man­date of a 19th cen­tu­ry re­lic, the Vau­dreuil-Soulanges fe­de­ral MP has ad­ded his voice to a gro­wing list of people de­man­ding that Prime Mi­nis­ter Ste­phen Har­per make good on a pro­mise of Se­nate re­form.

NDP MP Ja­mie Ni­cholls spoke Friday in the House of Com­mons about Se­na­tor Pa­trick Bra­zeau, who is cur­rent­ly fa­cing cri­mi­nal charges of as­sault and sexual as­sault.

Ap­poin­ted for life by Ste­phen Har­per in 2009, Se­na­tor Bra­zeau could cost Ca­na­dian tax­payers up to $7 mil­lion if he sits un­til the age of 75.

Ni­cholls said Ste­phen Har­per’s Con­ser­va­tives have gone back on their word af­ter years of pro­mi­sing Se­nate re­form and trans­pa­ren­cy.

Ac­cor­ding to Ni­cholls, Ca­na­dians are al­rea­dy seeing the con­se­quences of the lack of ac­tion.

“Once elec­ted, Ste­phen Har­per didn’t he­si­tate to fall in­to the par­ti­san­ship of his pre­de­ces­sors,” Ni­cholls said. “Even if he ap­poin­ted can­di­dates who didn’t get elec­ted as MPs, like Jo­sée Ver­ner and Lar­ry Smith.”

Smith, who lives in Hud­son, was first ap­poin­ted to the Se­nate in 2010. He was again ap­poin­ted in 2011 af­ter an un­suc­cess­ful fe­de­ral cam­pai­gn in the Lac-Saint-Louis ri­ding.

Ni­cholls says Har­per com­mit­ted to re­for­ming the Ca­na­dian Se­nate when he ran for Prime Mi­nis­ter of Ca­na­da for the first time in March 2004. “‘I will not ap­point se­na­tors. People sit­ting in Par­lia­ment must be elec­ted by the people they re­present,’” Har­per said at the time, ac­cor­ding to Ni­cholls.

“If on­ly [Pa­trick Bra­zeau] was an iso­la­ted case,” Ni­cholls said in the House of Com­mons Friday. “But among the long list of friends of the par­ty ap­poin­ted to the Se­nate by the Prime Mi­nis­ter, the abuse is un­for­tu­na­te­ly all too frequent.”

In a press re­lease is­sued by his of­fice, Ni­cholls had more to say on the sub­ject: ‘Other Con­ser­va­tive and Li­be­ral se­na­tors are sus­pec­ted of lying about their place of re­si­dence so they can claim li­ving ex­penses. These events cast even more doubt on the ne­ces­si­ty of the Se­nate and sha­me­ful waste of pu­blic funds by this use­less ins­ti­tu­tion.’

“How are the Con­ser­va­tives going to en­sure that tax­payers get their money back?” Ni­cholls de­man­ded, ad­ding, abo­li­shing the Se­nate, like the NDP pro­poses, would save tax­payers $90 mil­lion each year.

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