Gordon Campbell may have blown a seat in the Senate by running up big hospitality bills in London

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      It's a rare day when Senate scandals aren't part of the news run.

      Today, there are two more stories to add to the archives.

      Former Conservative senator Pamela Wallin has been named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit.

      It relates to her role as a former director of Oilsands Quest, which allegedly overstated its assets by $136 million.

      The company has gone into receivership.

      The other Senate story concerns former Liberal Mac Harb, who announced his resignation from the house of sober second thought.

      He claimed that he was treated "very unfairly" over his expense-account claims.

      Harb has repaid more than $200,000 in housing allowances he claimed for a primary residence where he was rarely seen by the neighbours.

      So far, B.C.'s five senators—Larry Campbell, Nancy Greene Raine, Mobina Jaffer, Yonah Martin, and Richard Neufeld—haven't been caught up in any of the recent expense-account shenanigans.

      But they're not completely in the clear. That's because Auditor General Michael Ferguson has launched an audit of all senators' expenses.

      Harper can fill one B.C. seat

      There's a vacancy for a sixth senator from B.C.

      Under normal circumstances, former premier Gordon Campbell would be a strong contender, given his rapport with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

      However, Campbell's surprisingly costly hospitality bills at the Canadian High Commission in London may have ruled him out for one of the tastiest patronage plums in the country.

      Last year, CBC reported that in the first five months of 2012, Campbell billed taxpayers $67,026 on dinners, lunches, and cocktail receptions.

      That was far above any other Canadian diplomatic mission.

      After news got out, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed there were clerical errors, reducing Campbell's hospitality bill to $33,975. It was a nifty way to defuse the scandal, but no doubt prompted guffaws in some newsrooms.

      Keep in mind that Campbell also stuck taxpayers for $600 for three tuxedo rentals. You would think that he could afford formal wear on his income.

      This autumn, the last thing Harper will want to deal with are more questions in Parliament about senators' expenses.

      If Campbell were to get a Senate seat, the NDP opposition would make hay of the London hospitality costs.

      So B.C.'s last remaining Senate seat stays vacant—for now.

      Please don't shed any tears for Gordo. He's doing just fine with an official residence in London, even if it means he can't bill taxpayers for quite so many parties.



      boris moris

      Aug 26, 2013 at 1:43pm

      I think the hospitality expense gaffe can be explained rather easily. The $67,026. was the total bill for drinks etc for all involved parties and the $33,975.was specifically for Campbell's share of the bar tab. This is, after all, The Right Dishonourable Gordon DUI "Mug Shot" Campbell we're talking about, n'est ce pas?

      Yes, it's so blindingly obvious why David Suzuki, Andrew Weaver and faux environmentalists like Tzeporah Berman have thrown their support behind this "greenest" of earth rapers.

      Forward thinker

      Aug 26, 2013 at 1:47pm

      It looks like it is time to Audit all of out diplomats as well. Wallin was extravegant in her claims and Campbell has been wat excessive. He should be fired but Harper has double standars for his friends.

      Michele Baillie

      Aug 26, 2013 at 2:52pm

      Has anyone tried to check and see if either he or his wife have a Vatican Bank Account?


      Aug 26, 2013 at 2:56pm

      This article was disappointing, I thought it said Gordo was caught blowing a goat


      Aug 26, 2013 at 4:42pm

      Surely an inflated expense bill is exactly the kind of thing you need to provide in order to be considered for nomination to the Senate.


      Aug 26, 2013 at 5:59pm

      @Harry.....damn, I didn't want to laugh at that but I did.
      Heh heh, heh, heh heh heh


      Aug 26, 2013 at 6:56pm

      He spent how much on cocktails?


      Aug 26, 2013 at 7:16pm

      He still would have clobbered Adrian Dix and the NDP.


      Aug 26, 2013 at 7:46pm

      bash the senate for expenses etc but they are the last hope for killin bill c-377


      Aug 26, 2013 at 8:28pm

      As usual, when they have their snouts in the trough they know how to feed. Should you expect anything different El Gordo.