Island Senator calls for audit of MPs' expenses

Ryan Ross
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Sen. Percy Downe moved motion calling for members of Parliament to have expenses audited at same time as senators

P.E.I. Senator Percy Downe. 

With Senate expenses going under the auditor general’s microscope, Senator Percy Downe wants to see the same thing happen in the House of Commons.

Downe said he thinks the public is demanding more transparency and the fastest way to get it is to have the auditor general look at all expenses to help restore faith in parliamentarians.

“I think the whole of Parliament should be audited,” he said.

Last week, Downe moved a motion calling for MPs to invite the auditor general to conduct a comprehensive audit of expenses.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May already tried a motion of her own to get MPs to invite the auditor general to look at the expenses.

May had the support of everyone but the Conservatives, which she needed for the motion to pass.

The Senate has already agreed to allow an audit of its expenses and Downe wanted to see it done in the House of Commons at the same time.

That audit came after senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb were found to have inappropriate expenses.

Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau were suspended without pay in November and Harb has retired.

The RCMP are investigating all four of them.

In pushing for an audit of MP expenses, Downe said every government department has to account for the money it spends.

“Why would Parliament be excluded?”

With the House of Commons spending four times more money than the Senate, the audits should all be done at the same time, Downe said.

“I’m just calling on MPs to reflect on it.”

Downe said his call for an audit of MP expenses doesn’t mean he thinks they are doing anything wrong, but he thinks the public has reached a point where it wants proof.

“MPs tell me that their expenses are in order and I believe them.”

He also said there have been concerns raised about use of House of Commons resources for partisan purposes.

“An auditor general report would clear the air.”

The Senate has yet to vote on Downe’s motion and the debate is expected to continue at a later date.

Organizations: House of Commons, House of Commons.Downe, Green Party Conservatives RCMP

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  • voter
    May 13, 2014 - 18:49

    --downe -save us some money and resign -also guess who hires the auditor ---AND maybe downe SHOULD PAY for his foolish brown nosing jesture --its sad that he would mention this many,many,many years too late and not even realize how phoney he sounds

  • SlyFox
    May 13, 2014 - 16:47

    Mr.Downe also was the senator who wanted to close the loop holes in off shore accounts and charge the people using them to hide their money.

  • Angus
    May 13, 2014 - 16:41

    A political appointee with thousands of dollars in salary and pension being collected calling for an audit on those actually elected by the folks. Now that's funny.

  • Tyler MacNeill
    May 13, 2014 - 11:27

    Percy is the most honest man in Parliament. I hope this motion has legs.

    • peggy
      May 13, 2014 - 20:19

      Sen Downe is just another political flunkie - appointed by Jean Chretien. He is NOT a member of Parliament and was not elected. He has had a political life - ask what he has done for the country as compared to for himself. He is just like so many of the others - in it for himself. He may be a nice person but why after all these years and the senate expense scandals is he raising this as an issue ? Do something positive - like - goodness knows. What skills do you have and how much of what you've been paid have you really "earned". I was told that he was significantly involved in getting a perk position for Bobby Ghiz in government. All the lads helping each other.

  • Billy
    May 13, 2014 - 10:50

    What else has this done or said as an independent senator.

  • What A Can Of Worms
    May 13, 2014 - 07:21

    What a can of worms this will open if passed . One of the best idea's I've heard of in the past little while . I'm sure it will be interesting .

  • don
    May 13, 2014 - 07:10

    members of Parliament to have expenses audited that they can not allow they may say yes but they know it will not happen. but i would like this free ride of the spouse crap to stop. why should tax payers pay for a wife or hubby to get a free ride etc? one mp said it was due o it being hard on the marriage being away for so long. well he needs to get a reg job hat about the men and women in war they are gone for years but he is ok with that. damn we need honest mp's can you tell me here we can find some?