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.