OTTAWA — Sen. Mike Duffy says the Senate has approved his latest housing expenses.
The latest round of quarterly expense reports show Duffy claimed $1,691.59 for living expenses, although there is no breakdown of how much of that was for days spent in his Ottawa-area home and how much was for meals.
Duffy also claimed $627.85 in regular travel, a category set aside for travel between Ottawa and a senator's home outside the capital.
He didn't claim any hospitality expenses.
Duffy is allowed to claim up to $11,286 a year for time spent in the home he owns in an Ottawa suburb, but is limited to $10,636 this fiscal year because he was ineligible to file expenses until the end of April when he was acquitted on 31 criminal charges stemming from his Senate spending.
The senator says he filed his latest claims under the rules and the expenses were approved by Senate administration officials.
Duffy provided a copy of his provincial driver's licence, health card and tax return required by Senate rules to claim housing expenses.
"I filed my claims as the Senate rules provide, as was approved by Senate administration and as Judge Vaillancourt ruled were valid."
Duffy didn't elaborate on the details of the claims.
The report mark the first time in more than two years that Duffy has been able to file claims with the upper chamber.
Duffy landed in trouble with the Senate in late 2012 when questions were first raised about housing expenses claimed against a home Duffy had lived in for years before former prime minister Stephen Harper appointed him to the Senate in 2009.
What ensued were three years of scandal in the upper chamber that included Harper's former chief of staff paying off Duffy's questioned expense bill, Duffy himself suspended from the Senate without pay and an RCMP investigation into Duffy's spending and personal finances.
In April, Duffy's was acquitted on 31 criminal charges at the end of his high-profile fraud trial.
In his ruling, Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt said the Senate's administrative rules were unclear about the terms primary and secondary residence and that the Crown failed to prove Duffy broke the law when he filed the expense claims.
After the acquittal, Duffy was reinstated as a senator in full standing with access to his office and expense account.
The Senate, however, decided Duffy owed yet more money based on evidence presented at trial. Senate officials determined he shouldn't have been allowed to claim expenses that included work with his one-time personal trainer and $8 for personal photos.
Duffy refused the Senate's offer to take the dispute to arbitration, overseen by former Supreme Court justice Ian Binnie and the Senate will claw back his salary until it has recouped the $16,955 Duffy owes.
The Canadian Press
©2016 The Canadian Press
Join the Discussion
paNOW is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules: Keep it clean, keep it civil, keep it truthful, stay on topic, be responsible, share your knowledge, and please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. See full commenting rules.