Wadena residents consider removing 'Home of Pamela Wallin' signs
Published Tuesday, August 13, 2013 9:59PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 13, 2013 11:10PM EDT
Some residents of Wadena, Sask., want to remove signs that announce the town as being home to Sen. Pamela Wallin, as an audit of the senator’s travel expenses is referred to the RCMP.
The audit also looked into questions around her primary residence and found that she spent more time in Toronto than in Wadena.
Wallin only met one of the primary residence indicators, according to the audit: she has a Saskatchewan driver's license. But Wallin did not have a Saskatchewan health card and did not file her income taxes there.
It is also unclear whether she is registered to vote in the province.
For years, the signs paying homage to Wadena's most famous resident have been a matter of contention in the town, but due to recent problems for Wallin, the divide is growing.
"Fence sitters have gone one way or the other. I would say mostly negative, but those who support her are still supporting her," said Alison Squires, editor of the town’s newspaper, Wadena News.
Squires said that up until now her paper has steered clear of what she called "rumours" about the senator.
"I mean it looks tricky now. Especially with her coming out with her statement yesterday and the release of the audit report today. It will be interesting to watch," Squires said.
On Monday, Wallin called the audit into her expenses "fundamentally flawed and unfair," but added that she will repay all travel expenses the Senate committee deems inappropriate.
Bonnie Wallin, a Wadena resident and member of the town council, said her sister is not a thief.
She told CTV News off camera that this is a smear campaign and that her sister is being unfairly targeted.
She said she welcomes the RCMP investigation to prove her sister did nothing illegal.
Wallin's family has lived in Wadena for decades and both her mother and father still live in the town.
Neighbours say during the summer months, Sen. Wallin spends most of her time at a cottage on a nearby Fishing Lake.
"This is still the town of Pamela Wallin," Wadena's deputy mayor, Ashley Kolach said.
With a report from CTV’s Jill Macyshon in Wadena, Sask.