Tom Walkom writes that when it comes to residency, Senate rules are unambiguous:
The constitution act is crystal clear on this. It says a senator must be at least 30 years old, own $4,000 worth of real estate in the province he represents and be “resident in the province for which he is appointed.”
And, try as he might, the Artful Dodger can't dodge certain facts:
As the Senate’s own internal economy committee found, Duffy does not hold a P.E.I. health card. He does not pay income tax to P.E.I. He spends only 30 per cent of his time in the province. How then can he be resident in P.E.I.?
And if he’s not resident in P.E.I., he cannot be a senator from that province. Indeed, the constitution act specifies that if a senator is found not to live in the province he was appointed to represent, his seat is deemed vacant.
The Senate has always been a home for political partisans. But, under Stephen Harper, the Senate has become the last defense against the will of the House of Commons. Micheal Harris reminds his readers that it was the Senate which enforced Harper's denial of climate change. It was the Senate which killed
by stealth Bill C-311 after the House of Commons had passed the climate change bill. And this under a prime minister who once promised that he would never allow an unelected Senate to go against the will of the majority of Members of Parliament.
Walkom puts the case succinctly:
Mike Duffy came from P.E.I. It is a heritage of which he is justly proud. He vacations on the island. But he doesn’t really live there any more. And because of that, he cannot — by law — represent P.E.I. in the Senate.