Roundup: Ineligible expenses? Abolish the Commons!

Oh dear – Conservative MP Eve Adams was found to have claimed hair and nail salon visits to her election expenses, as well as personal grooming products like toothpaste, mouthwash and brushes. $2777 worth of expenses in fact, when the limit Election Canada will allow a candidate to claim is $200. But seeing as we have MPs being accused of improperly claiming elections expenses, I guess it means that the whole institution is corrupt to the core and it’s time to abolish the Commons. “Roll up the green carpet!” as the slogan goes. And the fact that she’s still in caucus and hasn’t been excommunicated for all time? Tsk, tsk. It’s just MPs trying to cover for the entitlements of their buddies. (You see where this argument goes, right?)

The Senate is setting up an internal audit subcommittee as part of the Board of Internal Economy, which is to be headed up by Senator Elizabeth Marshall, a former Auditor General of Newfoundland and Labrador. Of course, this will also mean clarifying the roles of the committee and the Auditor General as he begins to look at Senate expenses, and it looks as though greater clarity needs to be made between Senate staff and financial officers, and the role of Internal Economy in approving expenses. It doesn’t appear, however, that the new audit subcommittee would have outside membership as Senator McCoy has suggested.

On the subject of audits, the Senate is considering getting those four Senators under audit to pay the costs themselves, rather than billing the taxpayer even further for their inappropriate expenses. Meanwhile, Randy Boswell looks back at the career of Senator Pamela Wallin looks at why people are stunned by the revelations of her travel expenses currently under audit.

After his lawyer appeared in court yesterday, Senator Patrick Brazeau’s next court date won’t be until October, because he “needs more time” to examine the photographic evidence. Um, okay then.

Michael Den Tandt looks at the likelihood of a summer reboot working for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, while Paul Wells dismisses the talk of a Harper resignation anytime soon. As part of that shuffle, John Ivison says that Gordon O’Connor and Peter Van Loan need to go, lest the backbenches revolt.

Here’s a look at some of the fallout with regards to Brent Rathgeber’s bill now that he’s left caucus, with questions remaining as to why the government piled on to gut it.

The NDP have now weighed in on the James Bezan/Shelly Glover issue, and apparently they want the Speaker to decide if they should be suspended. But they still think he should have informed the House that Elections Canada wrote to him about it.

It seems that James Moore may be having a change of heart and might restore some funding to Library and Archives Canada because he’s unhappy with the pace of preservation (and little wonder considering how badly things have been cut there).

Tony Clement has introduced new rules for sick days that he intends to present during the next round of collective bargaining, in order to deal with high rates of absenteeism in the public service.

Apparently the Canada Revenue Agency turned down access to that massive leak of offshore tax haven data because they didn’t want to pay for it – only to later institute a policy of paying for information that can lead to collections. This wasn’t the first time either that they turned down leaked information, as with Lichtenstein in 2007.

What’s that? HRSDC was alerted to the fact that their security around personal data was lax months before they suffered that major loss of personal data? You don’t say!

The Federal Victims of Crime Ombudsman has been renewed for another three-year term, and handed over a wish list that includes enhanced powers for her office.

Matt Gurney looks at the coming assisted suicide bill in Quebec, and how the federal Conservatives might be able to live with it.

Here’s a look at how Dr. Arthur Porter appears to have fooled everyone as he became the head of the Security and Intelligence Review Committee – though it’s also unlikely that he did anything with the highly sensitive information that he had access to at that time.

Business professor Mike Moffatt looks at the four iPod tax controversies swirling about, that the government continues to deny the existence of.

And astronaut Chris Hadfield has announced his retirement. He has few plans at the moment other than moving back to Canada. Here’s a bit more about the decision.