Last Wednesday, Stephen Harper made a Sherman statement about those he has appointed to the Senate:
“All senators conform to the residency requirements. That is the basis on which they are appointed to the Senate and those requirements have been clear for 150 years,”
That's a bit puzzling. As Tom Walkom writes in The Toronto Star:
That puts someone like Sen. Mike Duffy in a bizarre position. Duffy has acknowledged that he doesn’t live in Prince Edward Island, the province he was appointed to represent. That’s why he’s repaying more than $42,000 in housing allowances that he received to defray the costs of his suburban Ottawa home (which, Duffy admits, is where he actually does live.
All the rules require, says Marjory LeBreton, is that a senator own property in a province. By that logic, any absentee landowner can be a senator. Lebreton's statement is a broadside against what an adviser to George W. Bush called "the reality based community." The truth is what I say it is:
In effect, as Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton explained to reporters Thursday, senators are deemed to live wherever they say they live — at least for the purpose of collecting their $132,300 sessional salaries.
No one is accusing any senators of fraud. But this government is most certainly accusing E.I recipients of that crime. And, when they discover that fraud, rest assured that the offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Oh, the privileges of power. You get to make the rules, then declare who is breaking them.
We live in a nation of men, not laws.