Brazeau still not ruling out legal action against the Senate, RCMP
Published Sunday, September 17, 2017 11:00AM EDT
OTTAWA – Independent Sen. Patrick Brazeau still isn't ruling out pursuing legal action against the Senate and the RCMP.
"I've said I’d look at every opportunity or possibility to see what I could do to restore the good name that I had, because at the end of the day I didn’t do anything wrong," said Sen. Brazeau.
In July 2016 when the Crown dropped the Senate expense-related charges against him, his lawyer said he was considering his legal options.
In an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period, Sen. Brazeau said he still has "not closed any doors on anything."
In August, Sen. Mike Duffy filed a lawsuit against the Senate and RCMP for nearly $8 million in lost income and general damages after he was suspended without pay during a trial that ultimately found him not guilty of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.
Sen. Brazeau said he’s always followed Sen. Duffy's court case closely, and now he’s considering taking a page from his playbook, by potentially pursuing his own legal venture.
In 2013, scandal fell upon the Senate when the housing and travel expenses of Sen. Brazeau, Sen. Duffy, and Sen. Pamela Wallin, came under review. The trio were suspended from the Senate without pay. Former Sen. Mac Harb retired before he could face suspension.
In the April 2016 ruling that found Sen. Duffy not guilty of all 31 charges, the court strongly criticized the political machinations of then-prime minister Stephen Harper's office.
The Crown then dropped the charges against former Sen. Harb. The RCMP closed its investigation into Sen. Wallin’s expenses without recommending charges.
"At the end of the day everything that happened to myself in particular, and some of my other colleagues, was all political," said Sen. Brazeau.
In August, Sen. Duffy’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon didn't rule out suing the Conservative Party, but said ultimately the damage to Duffy was caused by the Senate.
"The actions of the Senate in their resolution, in suspending/expelling Mike Duffy from [the] Senate are really the action, and the way that it was done, are really the actions that we are attacking," Greenspon said at the time.
Despite all the blowback that stemmed from his living expenses being called into question, Sen. Brazeau said little has changed about the way he bills the Senate today.
"As a matter of fact I am doing exactly now what I was told that I was not able to do… so why were there any charges in the first place?" said Sen. Brazeau.
He said what has changed is the Senate now uses a number of criteria to determine where the primary residence is.
Beyak’s comments 'disgusting'
Sen. Brazeau also weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak.
He said Sen. Beyak’s suggestion that First Nations people in Canada should trade in their status cards for Canadian citizenship is "disgusting" and "hurtful."
"Nothing that she has said with respect to aboriginal issues are based in fact," said Sen. Brazeau.
"Having sat in that Conservative caucus before I know that the majority of those members don’t support what she’s been saying, and whatever happens to her is up to the leadership," he said.
-- With files from CTV News' Laura Payton