Senate seeking legal advice on Duffy's residency

Teresa Wright
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Senator Mike Duffy speaks during the Maritime Energy Association's annual dinner in Halifax on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Duffy represents Prince Edward Island in the Senate but there is some controversy about his residency relating to housing allowances.

The Senate is seeking legal advice on Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s residency in P.E.I. and has forwarded the expense and residency claims of Duffy and two other senators to an external auditor.

Senator David Tkachuk, chair of the Standing Committee on Internal Economy, announced today in Ottawa the residency declarations and related expenses of Senators Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb will be sent to external auditors at Deloitte for review.

As part of this announcement, deputy chair Senator George Furey said the

Committee is also seeking legal advice on the question of Duffy’s residency.

Duffy could not immediately be reached for comment, but he did release a brief statement to media this morning.

“As a Prince Edward Islander, born and bred, I am proud to represent my province and its interests in the Senate of Canada,” Duffy said in a widely distributed written statement.

“I represent taxpayers with care, and Canadians know I would never do anything to betray the public trust.  I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law.  I will have no further comment until this review is complete.”


More on this story in the print edition of The Guaridan on Saturday, including stories, commentary, and photos.

Organizations: Standing Committee on Internal Economy

Geographic location: P.E.I., Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Ken in Ont
    February 10, 2013 - 18:15

    If he’s an Islander and that’s his residence, like he says is, maybe PEI, should collect from Duff retroactive Provincial taxes.

  • bev collins
    February 10, 2013 - 15:34

    Here is the legal definition of primary residency: Home / Residential – Selling / Legal definition of Primary residence Primary dwelling refers to a dwelling where a person usually lives. It may be a house or apartment, and at a given time, a person shall not have more than one primary residence. Primary residence is the legal residence of an individual, for purposes of income tax calculation or for acquiring a mortgage. Generally a person’s primary residence is determined based on the mailing address, telephone listing, the time spent at the residence per year and such other factors. On other occasions, a main dwelling unit on a parcel of land is also called primary residence.

  • snowbird
    February 10, 2013 - 11:42

    Why is it Islanders look down on anyone who has made a name for themselves?...I have seen Mike Duffy praise the Island a lot of times...and he has shown on nunerous occasions that he is very proud to have been born there..

      February 10, 2013 - 17:54

      This is how you make a name for yourself? Scamming people. How you make a good name for yourself is to pay back the ill gotten money and then resign. If he will do this, I will have to reassess my opinion of him. Until then, he is just another crooked politician living off the fat of the land.His cottage is so deserted, even the snowbirds shun it.

  • SG
    February 10, 2013 - 09:39

    Compliments of You Tube: Hinterland Who's Who

  • Islander By Choice
    February 09, 2013 - 12:21

    I have lived on PEI for nearly 65 years, and am still called a PFA by many. Mr. Duffy believe because his birth certificate says he was born here that he is an Islander and qualified to represent PEI in the Senate. I see our youth heading west to earn enough money to keep their families in their homes in PEI, and they work hard to do that. There is no goverment benefit paid to these young people to go work elsewhere. For that reason, I feel insulted that Mr. Duffy made the comment that he had to live where the work is, and expects Islanders to believe he has left his hearth and home and family alone to cope while he is away at work. Not a very honourable thing to do. I am disappointed in his behaviour and attitude. I thought senators were supposed to be a chamber of second sober thought for legislation, and now I wonder if this is the case. If the Prime Minister is 'hiring' others to investigate (at our expense), I would like to suggest that I will do it for $100 and come up with the following: Mr. Duffy has an Ontario Health Card (bewtter health care there). Mr. Duffy has lovely year round residence in Ontario (which he may leave for a week or two on vacation to a cottage). Mr. Duffy files income tax in Ontario (which has much lower rates than PEI). Mr. Duffy moved from PEI when I was young, and to the best of my knowledge hasn't held a PEI job since his radio days in Charlottetown. Now, I ask you, how can this man be a PEI senator. I'll bet he doesn't even know the neighbours at his 'PEI residence". Shame on him. Shame on the Harper administration who have allowed such an insult to the good people of PEI AND the taxpayers of Canada

    • Bev Collins
      February 10, 2013 - 14:52

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Mike Duffy and the lack of representation he has shown to the people of PEI. I understand he spends most of his time travelling as a speaker at Conservative fundraisers. Perhaps the least he could now do is hold a fundraiser for the people in your / his community to help pay to clear your roads and driveways after this latest storm. Here is a Toronto Star article on what your neighbours had to say. All the best to ya! BC from BC

  • Redneck Ralph
    Redneck Ralph
    February 09, 2013 - 11:51

    If he was an average Joe on EI and received more than he deserved it would be clawed back ,possibly fined . If average Joe was audited by Revenue Canada and they found a discrepency, he would be fined, So you would think Revenue Canada will be on this like stink on crap! Time will tell. SEE YOU AT THE COTTAGE!

  • Let's Support Our 'Duff . . .
    February 09, 2013 - 07:19

    I am one that appreciates all Mike Duffy has done for us; I think he is highly deserving of our respect. Naw, I'm only kidding . . . The real fear is that through some bureaucratic legerdemain he'll somehow be declared an Islander. What will we do then, eh?

  • Way to go Mike
    February 09, 2013 - 07:15

    Way to go Mike. Greed, avarice sloth and pride you pretty well have them cornered... why i even forgot fraudulent liar. Stop embarrassing this province and resign in shame. Maybe you can bunk up with Brazeau.

  • Porky
    February 08, 2013 - 21:26

    This Pig was bought at auction................Jack!!!!

  • redman
    February 08, 2013 - 21:15

    Give it up cabbage head do the right thing and resign

  • amazed
    February 08, 2013 - 19:53

    If Duffy is not officialy recognized as a senator because he never lived here how will that affect all his votes while he was appointed to the senate. Are we now in a constitutional dilemma because of inappropriate senate appointments .While Duffy has been busy representing the interests Ontario and Alberta ,PEI has had one less voice in senate.Aw shucks,lets everyone just forget about it and suck it up,would you rather see him on EI.

  • Island Veteran
    February 08, 2013 - 18:08

    "Trust" is NOT a word that Duffy should use. He was Harper's mouthpiece to PEI not a representative of PEI. How dare this pompous twit who never served Canada for a day, stand outside the Charlottetown Legion and tell Island veterans that Harper's Government was doing them a favour by dealing with them through Service Canada.

  • law upholder
    February 08, 2013 - 17:07

    I'll try again-2nd time! I'm wondering if the LAW and Revenue Canada will get involved. If it was a common Joe, he'd probably be in jail now and the key thrown away

  • concernedislander
    February 08, 2013 - 16:54

    I have too say i remember years ago when the eldery would say, give any political party too much power and they will be sure too hang themselfes, not before destroying many ah good person in there path way, hang on people Harper and the clowns are in power for ah while yet strap in the rough ride is far from over no matter how you see it the crap runs down hill and that just tells you our problem starts with the feds .

  • Dufferdon
    February 08, 2013 - 15:23

    Ten times the man Ghiz is.

    • Way too harsh
      February 08, 2013 - 19:21

      Mike Duffy may be deceptive, but to say he's ten times the man Ghiz is? That's way too harsh an insult to the senator!

    • Dhobey
      February 09, 2013 - 08:28

      I would agree, since Ghiz is an arrogant snob, then Duffy is more than 10 time the man!, 10 times worse though, I'm sure that is what you meant, Right???

  • fred
    February 08, 2013 - 15:06

    He seems kind of quiet these days . Not the big blow bag he usually is.I can;t understand / with that ammount of money they are making ;why there is even a living allowance .There are hundreds of people; every week ; from pei; leaving for alberta looking for and to be closer to their work .Some of them have families here to look after plus pay rent out there/ trying to live on an average wage .guess what . They don;t get a living allowance . If the party wants to lead by example and cut spending/ send this useless bunch of gallery puppetts home and put the extra billions of dollars to better use .

  • Think about it . . .
    February 08, 2013 - 14:56

    There are two meanings of "represent" that come into play here. First, Duffy is appointed to represent the interest of Islanders. Fat chance that's going to happen. Secondly, he also represents what Islanders stand for - our character and values. Think about it. If Duffy represents Islanders, he's certainly living up to Harper's characterization of Atlantic Canadians.

  • Bob
    February 08, 2013 - 14:55

    I was just wondering why these people are getting so many perks with a job the has the most security in the country. As a senator these people have the position for life therefore they should have a residence in or near Ottawa. If they would like a secondary residence that is fine , but it doesn't mean the taxpayers should foot the bill for this "secondary housing." If it were a temporary placement and these costs were incentives or bonuses then that would make sense. A position on the senate is for life To be given such a position should be considered a very high honor, not a reason to further plunder and steal. These costs are not necessary. If someone does not want to be senator then they should decline the job when they are nominated. If they accept it then they live near Ottawa. There should be no extra cost to the taxpayers because these people want more than one residence. There are a lot of homeless and starving people living i this country, while these people are living high in the hog. This kind of thing MUST e stopped.

  • Rob Mac
    February 08, 2013 - 14:21

    As slimy as it is to claim expenses for living at your actual home let's not forget who actually appointed Mr. Duffy.

  • don
    February 08, 2013 - 14:21

    Mike is a real spud islander born here unlike some of the liberals in office today they are implants from off island. they may call them selves islanders but they will never be SPUDS.. so why not whine about implants and leave true spuds alone.

    • xenophobic don?
      February 08, 2013 - 15:03

      Well Don, do you know what xenophobia means? Your comment is that and a tad repulsive at the same time. Then again, I guess that would be redundant, wouldn't it? Do you know what repulsive and redundant means Don?

      February 08, 2013 - 15:40

      Mike is not a true Islander. He has lived and continues to live in Ontario for more than 30 years.To my knowledge, none of the Liberals in office "from away" are asking for a living allowance of $20,000 + a year because their principal residence is in another province.Get over yourself and admit that this Senator is scamming

    • andy
      February 08, 2013 - 16:10

      Nice try at trolling. And what is your opinion of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan's favourite son Pat Binns who now calls Boston his home? Mike Puffy left PEI so he's no longer an Islander. He is an Ontarian. Plain and simple. But you keep on believing what you want. The majority of Islanders despise the man and I know many who would cross to the other side of the street rather than share a sidewalk with Mike Puffy. And no, I don't vote Liberal, NDP, nor Green. I just despise the Alberta Reform Party @##holes that have stolen the Canada I used to know.

    February 08, 2013 - 13:53

    Being borned and raised on the beautiful Province , I am now embarrassed when Mike Duffy goes on National TV saying he is from PEI.He is not my spokesman.

  • jail term
    February 08, 2013 - 13:44

    Hopefully, the LAW and Revenue Canada are on this case. If it was Joe Public, God would have to be on his side to save him.

  • letsbefair
    February 08, 2013 - 13:41

    All politicians who represent us should have their expense claims published on line as they are claimed. We can then assist in the audit process. Imagine the decline of expenses presented.

  • Bill Kays
    Bill Kays
    February 08, 2013 - 13:18

    Throw out the bum. He is no longer welcome on PEI. It is too bad that he is too STUPID to realize it. He sucked as a journalist and he sucks as a politician. He is a poor excuse for a human being.

  • Doug Ives
    February 08, 2013 - 12:35

    Mike, I had great respect for you, the person, and as the weekly political reporter on CTV Halifax. That respect is now gone as you join the ever-growing list of politicians around the globe who, for whatever reason, feel entitled to take what is not rightlfully theirs and then act so smugly about it. For the remainder that play by the rules, you have tarnished their reputation since, at some point, the public will tar all of them with the same brush. Looking at the bigger picture, this is another reason to, if not abolish the Senate, have its members elected. Voters would then become the decision-makers as to who enters the Upper Chamber and who does not return for another term.

  • Lori
    February 08, 2013 - 12:34

    UPWESTER - you are right on the money!

  • SAP
    February 08, 2013 - 12:31

    This guy was given the gift of the goose that laid the golden egg. In his uncontrollable greed, he decided he wanted to eat the goose too.

  • SG
    February 08, 2013 - 12:26

    I was truly astounded when I read that our Senators are receiving a Salary and also Living Expenses in five digit figure amounts and in addition have their Air Travel paid for! I know disabled Islanders that receive a mere $700. per month! They are born and bred Islanders who have lived on PEI all their lives!

  • Really Really
    February 08, 2013 - 12:15

    Obviously Harper took no advice from Island conservatives when picking Duffy as a Senator for PEI! And if he did, what were Islander conservatives thinking!!! Everything I see about Mr. Duffy paints him as an arrogant bully! His main discussion strategies seem to be belittling people, I say this in his discussion/opinions on Premier Ghiz a while ago and most recently in the video of him leaving the back kitchen entrance at a Halifax hotel and telling a reporter he should get an "adult" job. Really, this is Senator material. It infuriates me when people like this get to such positions!

  • lilley
    February 08, 2013 - 12:12

    " I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law." Now, come on Mike, you have a HOME at Kanata, Ontario. What you also have is a COTTAGE at Rustico. You are NOT REQUIRED BY LAW to have a COTTAGE at Rustico!! BUT... you SHOULD be required by Law to submit RESIDENCY HOUSE expense claims that are honest, correct and according to the rules. In this case, you SHOULD BE REQUIRED BY LAW to pay back any monies from these false claims.

  • Jarrod
    February 08, 2013 - 12:02

    If we are willing to crucify the drug addict who steals a poppy donation can, we should be even more outraged at this gluttony. Personally, I'd be willing to overlook the fact he wasn't a permanent resident if he wasn't reaching his grubby paws this deep into the cookie jar. Remember, his $135,000 salary is funded by the taxpayers. But that's not enough - he needs an extra $20,000 allowance (more than some people get by on in a year).. I remember Mr. Duffy was the "honourable" guest speaker at my graduation from Holland College a few years ago. His speech (written by someone else) referenced integrity, honesty and hard work...a few qualities he doesn't seem to have. Time to abolish this useless Senate.

  • irishnannie
    February 08, 2013 - 11:44

    I wondered which road Senator Duffy would take in his response to the matter of PEI residency. Not guessing anymore. I had hoped for better....much better ...

  • John Getson
    February 08, 2013 - 11:41

    Simply put, Mr. Duffy is no more a senator today than the day before his appointment ... What is the status of any of the legislation passed by the Senate while Mr. Duffy was sitting in the senate chamber, since he would have been what is sometimes called "stranger". Does the unconstitutional participation of a "stranger" nullify the actions of this legislative body? We have had at least four years of unconstitutional federal legislation, since the Senate was not legally and constitutionally assembled to act on bills... Repealing all the legislation passed due the time of the 'strangers' (Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, etc) would be the perfect time to fix all of the fundamental problems of the current Canadian political system... starting with... - eliminating election consecutive terms, - staggered MP and senate elections (25% each year) - ensure public vote on significant issues (elected reps can look after day-to-day issues) - adopt "recall" legislation, - all MP/Senate pensions rolled into CPP, - mandate a 'balanced" budget clause, - impliment a 'basic"/guaranteed minimum" income program - fully-fund Post Secondary expenses (1 degree/trade) - and other as required/desired/determined

  • Gerry
    February 08, 2013 - 11:27

    Being born and bred on PEI does not give anyone the right of passage to abuse the system. Mr. Duffy does not represent honest Islanders. The taxpayers of Canada, not just PEI, in no way support Mr. Duffy's, and others just like him, dispicable, arrogant and pompous attitude. Time for taxpayers to rid ourselves of the over-indulgent senators.

  • Concerned Islander
    February 08, 2013 - 11:27

    Owning property is not the same as having a home.

  • Sylvia
    February 08, 2013 - 11:22

    I think Duffy is Harper's punishment for P.E.I. because of 3 Liberal M.P.s being elected.

  • Mr Harper is no fool for greedy fools
    February 08, 2013 - 11:13

    If these Senators were so stupid to grab money they were not entitled, this will be pointed out by arms length audit. Prime Minister Harper of course expects appointees to behave as Statesmen and if they bring him disgrace over their greed he will cut them loose and be done with them, like Madame Guergis. funny eh? The PEI audit of PNP evidenced Breach of Trust and Conflict of Interest but Ghiz did nothing. Ghiz is a fool. Harper will have to cut his losses while he continues to "revamp" the Maritimes and the Senate.

  • Duffy Costing More Money
    February 08, 2013 - 11:12

    So not only is Mike Duffy getting an allowance that he does not deserve as his primary home is not on PEI, taxpayers will be out of pocket even more money due to him as a result of external auditors being hired. The Senate is wasting money (surprise) as there is no need to get an external auditor to look at documents that somebody internally can do. Hopefully the lawyers are government auditors.

    February 08, 2013 - 11:06

    “I represent taxpayers with care, and Canadians know I would never do anything to betray the public trust. I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law. I will have no further comment until this review is complete.”...You did betray the public trust by feasting at the trough. You don't have a home in PEI, you have a summer cottage that you spend some time at in the summer.Did you commission a poll to see if Canadians know you would never do anything to betray their trust? Why is the Senate asking Deloitte to look into whether or not you did wrong? You are playing fast and loose with the regulations.You are a Senator from Kanata, not PEI.

  • David
    February 08, 2013 - 11:06

    So in his staement he says "I have home in Prince Edward Island as required by law" so is he saying if he didn;t have to have ahome by law he would NOT? This guy is complete and total disgrace to PEI and is offensive to the people of Prince Edward Island there should be a petition started in PEI to demand the PM removes this guy from the Senate as he clearly does NOT represent the interests on Islanders and only cares about himself and his fat taxpayer funded pay cheque. He is clearly a disgrace to the Senate as well PEI and everyone who was actually born and bred and lives in PEI.

    February 08, 2013 - 10:57

    You may have been born and bred in PEI, but you have lived most of your life in Ontario, and continue to live in Ontario and not PEI. You do not represent the good people of PEI, rather you were given a political appointment for being a good Tory.So stop with the bull@@@@ and pay back the money you falsely claimed as a living allowance. Mike, you are considered by many Islanders as a CFA, and that we have the likes of you to represent us is reprehenable to all Islanders. Just pay back the money and go away, just like Brazeau.

    • Edward Gregory
      February 08, 2013 - 13:54

      Not only should he repay the money, she should be charged with fraud and have a criminal record. However, I have a criticism of your comment, Upwester, in using the derogatory term CFA. I have been on PEI for 17 years, making it my home on PEI, paying my taxes on PEI (even though, for my job I have to work out west), buying and renovating a home on PEI but still am considered a CFA. Please stop using that term all you "island born" islanders. It's offensive and exclusive and makes you sound small and petty. I am more entitled to be an Senator for PEI than Duffy is!!

  • Northsider'
    February 08, 2013 - 10:51

    The "jig" is up Mike, there's a fine line between lying and not giving all the facts when asked.... The truth of the matter is you're trying to fill your pockets with what you think is owed to you... I'd be willing to bet Catherine Callbeck has a PEI health card and isn't claiming ridiculous amounts of expenses.... It makes me sick that us "real Islanders" have to have your name associated in the same breath with PEI...

  • mej
    February 08, 2013 - 10:48

    "I have a home in PEI as required by law" Well then I guess you should start paying back some of the taxes you've been taking from Ont. taxpayers, because if you live on PEI then you should have a health card for PEI and have those health care cost covered by PEI not Ont. Also, you should be claiming income taxes on PEI and not Ont. "by law" And don't forget "by law" if you are "from PEI" then you should have a PEI drivers license and car registration. You have 4 months to exchange it though. Welcome Back to PEI

  • Not hard to
    February 08, 2013 - 10:42

    check out if there is power or electric turned on would it be?

  • Two Letters Of The Alphabet ...
    February 08, 2013 - 10:37


  • Tom Jacobs
    February 08, 2013 - 10:33

    How can he be representing PEI when the words "Prince Edward Island" haven't come out of his mouth in the senate for over 7 months?

  • jan
    February 08, 2013 - 10:33

    Sounds like he dosen't realize he has done anything wrong. Shows the inteligence of people in the Senate. Time to abolish this useless Body.

  • Marie
    February 08, 2013 - 10:25

    Here we go again...spending millions on the self- serving trough hogs...when common sense says there is nothing legal about these expenses or the claims. And, as proven in past history, it won't matter in the end. The TAXPAYERS foot the bill for the lies, they foot the bill for the lawyer studies and in the end, foot the bill for the money they can't get back. IF I, as a minimum wage taxpayer, pulled this crap on CRA, it would be called fraud against a government agency and PRISON would be the word of the day. CRA is a joke when the wealthy can play the income tax act to the hilt. I know millionaires getting GST cheques....what more do I need to say!!!!

    • JGM
      February 08, 2013 - 12:59

      I was in the military for 22 years, if you were caught stealing you would be sent to jail, and released from the military with no pension. If you worked at Canadian Tire and wer caught stealing from your imployer you would probably go to jail and be fired. Our Politicians are paid more than most people on PEI, they work for the people of Canada and when caught stealing from us, they should be held to a higher account than others. Its too bad for Mike that he will not qualify for EI.