Brazeau used father-in-law's address to get tax exemption
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:05PM EST
Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau used his former father-in-law’s address in a First Nations community when he claimed an aboriginal income tax exemption from 2004 to 2008, CTV News has learned.
Brazeau, who has publicly called on aboriginal leaders to be more financially accountable, listed the residence on the Kitigan Zibi First Nation in Quebec as his mailing address for four years, unbeknownst to his ex-wife’s father.
“I was not aware of that,” Daryl Tenasoco told CTV News.
Neighbours said it did not appear that Brazeau lived in the community.
“I’ve never seen him,” Jean Guy Whiteduck said. “It’s right across from my place. I’ve never seen him there. He may have visited. That’s about it.”
But documents show that income tax exemptions were applied to Brazeau from 2004 to 2008 when he listed the Kitigan Zibi home as his address.
At the time, Brazeau made a six-figure salary working for the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, or CAP, which represents the interest of Canadian aboriginals who live off-reserve.
“I’m not sure how he would have done that,” Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck said. “Normally you have income tax exemption when you live on a reserve and you are employed by a reserve.”
“To put all the focus on accountability, he better be looking in the mirror,” Whiteduck said.
Brazeau said he would not comment on his personal tax issues. But in an email to CTV News, he said he received legal advice from CAP on the matter.
Former CAP president and board member Dwight Dorey said the congress doesn’t have the capacity to authorize an income tax exemption.
CTV News has also learned that Brazeau was delinquent on his child support payments. Revenue Quebec ordered a salary garnishment for Brazeau to pay $800 per month in child support for his oldest son. Sources say a second order required him to pay about $4,000 in arrears.
“I am fully up to date with payments I have been ordered to pay,” Brazeau said in an email.
More recently, Brazeau faced questions over claiming his father’s Maniwaki, Que. home as his primary residence, which allowed him to claim a taxpayer-subsidized housing allowance even though he rents a home in Gatineau, much closer to Parliament Hill.
Canadian senators can charge up to $21,000 in housing and meal expenses annually, if their primary residence is located more than 100 kilometres away from Ottawa.
Brazeau said he’s provided documents to a committee auditing all senators’ expenses that prove he does live in Maniwaki.
The latest revelations come as Brazeau faces heat for mocking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence at a recent fundraiser in Ottawa for a provincial Conservative candidate.
Spence made national headlines when she went on a hunger protest, demanding a meeting between First Nations leaders, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
“Oh poor Theresa Spence,” Brazeau is heard saying in audio recording captured at the event and provided to CTV News by Metroland Media.
But he denies saying Spence looks “fatter” after her six-week liquids-only diet. He says that comment came from someone else in the room.
Since CTV News reported on Brazeau’s comments last week, better quality of the audio recording has emerged, but it’s still unclear who said the word.
With a report from CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife