February 8, 2013 12:39 pm

Duffy housing flap raises questions about Wallin’s eligibility to sit in Senate

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OTTAWA – Controversy over potential abuse of a Senate housing allowance by Mike Duffy has mushroomed into a bigger question: Is he entitled to sit in the Senate at all? 

That question is extending to another Conservative senator and fellow former broadcaster, Pamela Wallin. 

At issue is whether they reside in the provinces they were appointed to represent, as required by the Constitution. 

The Senate’s internal economy committee is seeking legal advice as to whether Duffy, who owns a home in Ottawa, is actually resident in Prince Edward Island, where he owns a cottage. 

Committee chair David Tkachuk says Duffy spends more than 60 days a year on the island. 

But whether that’s enough to qualify as a resident is murky, since the Constitution doesn’t define the term. 

Wallin represents Saskatchewan, where property records suggest she owns a lakeside plot of land and co-owns two properties with family members in her hometown of Wadena. But at least one of those records lists her home address in Toronto, where she owns three condos.

 

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