Senate committee looking into Brazeau's housing allowance
Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:31PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:47PM EST
Senate Government Leader Marjory LeBreton has asked a committee to look into whether Sen. Patrick Brazeau broke any rules by claiming his primary residence was his father’s home, located 130 kilometres from Ottawa, as CTV first reported.
Senators are given a $20,000 housing allowance if their primary residence is at least 100 kilometres from the capital.
Brazeau claimed his primary residence is his father’s home is in Maniwaki, Que., but when CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife travelled there, others in the community said they had rarely seen Brazeau at the house.
“Only the papa,” said a butcher whose shop is directly across the street from the house.
LeBreton has asked the Senate's board of internal economy to see whether Brazeau should be claiming the annual $20,000 taxpayer-subsidized housing allowance.
Brazeau rents a home in Gatineau, just across the river from Ottawa and a short drive to Parliament Hill. He has lived there since March 2011.
When he was first appointed to the Senate, Brazeau did not collect the housing allowance because he owned a Gatineau home with his then wife.
Brazeau told CTV News on Tuesday that he has always been open and transparent, and again said his primary residence was in Maniwaki.
“All I’m doing is following the rules,” he said.
A source close to Brazeau told CTV News that the senator has had financial difficulties since he split from his wife, despite an annual salary of $132,000.
He has also had a child support dispute with a separate woman, with whom he has a teenaged son.
The source said that over the holidays, Brazeau bakes and sells his own homemade meat pies at a Gatineau bar to make extra money.