Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Trudeau’s Eviction of Liberal Senators Erases Proactive Disclosure Data from Liberal Website

In June 2013 Justin Trudeau announced his party was making history by posting his MP’s and Senator’s expense statements online.  That started in October (even though it’s already been available on the Parliament website for years).

Effective immediately, Trudeau said, if the government wasn’t going to legislate parliamentarians to publicly post their office expenses, his party was going to lead the way by doing it voluntarily.

All that changed on January 29 when Trudeau arbitrarily announced that his Liberal Party of Canada Senators were being booted from caucus and would sit as independents.  (Or, would they sit as Senate Liberals?)

As of February 4, the Liberal Party website only mentions Liberal Senators like Romeo Dallaire or James Cowan or Joseph Day or Mobina Jaffer in archived press releases.  They are no longer listed as caucus members:

Here’s an archive of the Liberal Party of Canada website on January 27, 2014 that clearly shows the Liberal Senators as “caucus members:”

Two days later, Trudeau’s Liberal Senators became Senate Liberals.

By firing his Senators, Trudeau conveniently erased his promise of posting his Senators’ expense statements online.  The Liberal Party website no longer contains any of the expense reports Trudeau promised of his party’s Senators.

What was Trudeau trying to hide by expelling his Senators from caucus and removing their expense reports from the Liberal Party website?  This conveniently before the Auditor General was ready to “name names” in his review of improper financial reporting in MP’s and Senator’s offices.

As of February 4, the Parliament of Canada website still lists all 32 “Liberal Party ofCanada” Senators.  It only lists a total of seven independent Senators, among them Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau.

So much for that promise.  Not only has Trudeau completely botched his announcement of independent Senate Liberals who are not Liberal Senators, but he’s conveniently removed the expense reports for Liberal Senators he promised only months ago.

If you’re actually interested in reviewing Senators’ expense reports, they are available through the Parliamentary website at http://sen.parl.gc.ca/senproactivedisclosure/default.aspx?language=E

Update February 13, 2014: the Liberal Party confirms those expense statements "might not" be published after all.