Sen. Dennis Patterson insists he lives in Nunavut
Published Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:02PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 26, 2013 11:18PM EST
Conservative Sen. Dennis Patterson tried to dodge reporters on Parliament Hill Tuesday as he faced more questions about his residency claims.
Patterson insists he lives in Nunavut, the territory he represents in the Senate, but insiders tell CTV News he hasn’t paid taxes there in at least three years.
CTV News has reported that provincial land title records show Patterson owns a home in Vancouver. Municipal records show that he claimed a homeowner grant from the government of British Columbia, which is only available to those who primarily live in the province.
Patterson, however, said he rented out his Vancouver home last year and purchased a condo in Ottawa. The senator, who lived and worked as a private consultant in Vancouver before he was appointed to the Red Chamber, has denied any wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, Patterson attempted to dodge reporters by running away from cameras, but journalists caught up with him outside Parliament Hill.
Asked whether he will be interviewed by a senate committee about his housing expense claims, Patterson said: “The committee will make its findings known. They’ve committed to doing that.”
He also said he is co-operating “fully” with the Senate review of its members’ expenses.
Patterson, a former Northwest Territories premier, collects an annual $22,000 housing allowance given to senators whose primary residence is located more than 100 kilometres from Ottawa. He has also racked up $205,369 in air travel since September 2010.
Patterson has appeared before a Senate committee to explain his residency claims along with another senator, whose case has been dismissed, sources tell CTV News.
Independent auditors have been called in to look at the housing expenses of Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy, Liberal Sen. Mac Harb and Independent Sen. Patrick Brazeau.
Conservative Sen. Pamela Wallin’s travel expenses are also being audited.
Duffy, who claimed his primary residence is in Cavendish, P.E.I., has blamed confusing paperwork for collecting a housing allowance for a secondary home in Ottawa, even though he has lived in the capital for decades. He said last week he will repay the allowance.
Wallin has paid back some of her expenses before auditors were called in to look at her claims, CTV News reported Monday night.
With a report from CTV’s Daniele Hamamdjian