Senators Brazeau, Duffy, and Wallin have been banished to Canadian Senate purgatory but taxpayers will continue to support them there. We’ll still be paying their health benefits, which include dental work, vision care and eyeglasses, drugs and other medical benefits.
Their suspensions for alleged misuse of expenses likely will last until 2015, the year all three become eligible for handsome annual pensions. It is likely that their pensions will be unaffected but no one in our massive federal government has been able to provide a definitive answer.
All three were appointed in 2009 and need only six years as senators to be eligible for pension. The Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation estimates that pension will be $58,264 a year for Duffy. The average annual Canadian salary at the start of this year was $47,200. The mean individual income is $27,600. That means just as many individuals earn less than $27,600 as earn more.
Another question is whether Duffy, who has a heart problem, can resign from the Senate for medical reasons and collect a disability allowance of roughly $95,000 a year.
The Federation estimates that we taxpayers shell out close to $100 million a year for Senate salaries, living allowances, benefits, staff, and travel. It has called for a national referendum on abolition of the Senate. It has a petition at https://www.taxpayer.com/resource-centre/petitions/petition?tpContentId=76
Government action on Senate reform or abolition has been akin to a bear cub sitting in the forest playing with itself. Direct action by the people is needed.