Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Harper's triple E Senate: Expeditious. Exploitative. Egregious

Senator Brazeau facing increased public scrutiny

Updated Tue. Feb. 3 2009 6:42 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

One of Stephen Harper's recent Senate picks, the former chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, is facing intense public scrutiny amid allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of public funds at his old job.

In December, Patrick Brazeau gave up his position on the congress after he was criticized for wanting to hold two simultaneous jobs. Both his congress job and Senate seat paid six-figure salaries funded by taxpayers.

But controversy has continued to swirl around Brazeau, who is now facing scrutiny over his choice of transportation: a new Porsche SUV.

In a city not known for ostentatious displays of wealth, the vehicle has raised the ire of fellow parliamentarians.

"Senator Brazeau has been running around like he won the lottery," said NDP MP Pat Martin.

"He doesn't have to be Gandhi wearing a hair shirt, but for God's sake, think about the people you're put there to represent."

Brazeau's Senate appointment has also raised controversy because Health Canada is investigating the congress' use of $260,000 in taxpayer's funds.

And a former congress employee has formally lodged a sexual harassment complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, naming Brazeau and other staff members.

Brazeau has denied those allegations.

The 34-year-old Brazeau, who is among Canada's youngest-ever senators, is a father of three who has been publicized as a family man.

But his former partner and the mother of his 14-year-old son told CTV News that Brazeau hasn't spoken to the teen for eight years.

Dena Buckshot said that the family man image is meant "to advance his career or give this impression of something, that to me, he's not."

Allegations of alcohol use at work

Another former employee has complained that Brazeau allowed an environment of heavy alcohol use while leading the congress.

Recently, Brazeau hired Lorraine Foreman and Al Fleming, two former congress staffers who often drank at work, according to staffers interviewed by The Globe and Mail.

The former co-workers also complained that Foreman and Fleming would often drink with Brazeau in his office, according the Globe.

Brazeau was unavailable to speak to CTV News on Monday because of a busy schedule, according to his office.

When he was appointed to the Senate, he told CTV News that: "Being an aboriginal person, a proud Quebecer, and a proud Canadian, I'm also a big supporter of stronger federalism."

"I think the time has come where a debate and a discussion is needed to unite Canadians towards a stronger federal state rather than having these talks about separation all the time, especially in Quebec."

With a report from CTV's Graham Richardson


Dr Mike said...

This guy must be suspended from this patronage posting until these allegations can be cleared one way or the other.

I personally do not want to pay this guys salary until I know for sure & he does work for me.

Move him to the sidelines until an investigation either clears him or fries him.

If he is found innocent , let him back in.

If he is found guilty , boot his ass to the curb.

There are plenty more fine native folks to fill his shoes.

Dr Mike Popovich

Anonymous said...

Let's see: drinking on the job (not just on the job, but at the office!), sexual harrassment, double dipping, really bad judgement, hiring his drinking buddies as aides, ignoring his kids. That is apparently the best we can do for Senate material!


Anonymous said...

Perhaps a little “co-branding” could be pursued here. Maybe a new line of hard liquor called Triple E Senate?

Anonymous said...

Typical CON ... Do as we say - not as we do. One standard for us - another for regular Canadians.
What a perfect representative or symbol for the Cons. He embodies the CON spirit perfectly. No gray area here for where the CONS stand on Aboriginal issues, Children's rights or Women's issues.

Media's interest in this looser seems like a way of covering up another issue. Or a way of distracting Canadians from discussing other more costly and complex issues like the Trust Unit scandal, the economy, the environment, etc.
Or could it be that Stephen Harper appointed this guy to make sure he can make his scheduled changes to the Senate? By appointing this loser - soon enough people will be screaming for Harper to implement his Senate reforms.

Anonymous said...

t is a little strange that of all the Senate appointments by Dictator Harper, this is the one I thought would be considered a Great Appointment.  Wow!  Has it ever come back to Bite Harper!  Harper is Clueless!

CAITI said...


I guess the “quality control” suffers somewhat, when you try to rush through 18 Senate appointments in the limited time afforded by proroguing Parliament?


Dr Mike said...

Looks like one appointment for each blacked-out page.

How fitting is that since the Harper`s seal of approval is on both.

Dr Mike.

CAITI said...

Canada's dead beat dad Senator

Weren’t Canadians told in the last election that Harper was the quintessential family man? So why did Harper pick this dead beat dad to become a Senator?

New senator lagged on $100 child support

Harper's controversy-plagued appointee repeatedly fell behind on payments for his son
Feb 10, 2009
Joanna Smith

OTTAWA–Three times in the past five years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's most controversial new Senate appointee fell behind in support payments for a son he has not spoken to in eight years – payments that totalled less than $100 per month.

Patrick Brazeau, the 34-year-old former aboriginal leader who was appointed to the Senate in December, missed one payment as recently as 11 months ago at a time when he was earning a six-figure income.

In an interview yesterday, he said he did not want to air any personal "dirty laundry," but he acknowledged he had been late on some payments and said he would consider larger monthly payments for the well-being of his 14-year-old son now that he was earning more than $130,000 as a senator.

Brazeau, who is scheduled to give his maiden speech in the Senate today, has faced a series of allegations since his appointment, including a sexual harassment complaint and a draft audit of expenses at the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the congress he led, which resulted in a demand that at least $54,678 in expense claims be repaid.

Brazeau's style and penchant for luxurious trappings have also raised eyebrows, particularly his 2006 Porsche SUV.

"The child support payments are basically less than $100 a month," the son's mother, Dena Buckshot, said from her Gatineau, Que., home last week.