Maliseet Senator chooses arbitration on eve of Auditor General report on Senate spending

Julien Gignac
APTN National News
OTTAWA — Liberal Senator Sandra Lovelace Nicholas will be filing for arbitration on the eve of Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report on Senate expenses.

Lovelace Nicholas is Maliseet representing New Brunswick and was the first Aboriginal woman appointed to the Senate by former prime minister Paul Martin.

It is not clear what ran afoul in Lovelace-Nicholas’ expenses in the Senate guidelines.

Reports indicate that of the 105 sitting Senators, 30 are said to owe money for questionable expense claims.

According to CTV, Lovelace Nicholas is going to arbitration along with 21 other Senators and will not have their cases forwarded to the RCMP.

According to a spokesperson in her office, Lovelace Nicholas has written a response to Ferguson stating she does not agree with the findings.

Lovelace-Nicholas will not be available for comment, according to her spokesperson.

Other Senators

The report is also being released as the trial of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy is taking place just a few blocks from Parliament Hill. He pleaded not guilty to every charge at the beginning of his trial in April.

Duffy has been charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust. These charges came after he received $90,172.24 to pay back housing expenses from Nigel Wright, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff.

Suspended Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin was charged in connection to illegitimate travel expenses afforded to the senate. She has likewise been charged with fraud and breach of trust.

And Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau was suspended from the senate in November 2013 and charged with fraud and breach of trust related to expense claims. He sat as national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

The audit that has reportedly cost Canadians $21-million will be unveiled Tuesday.

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