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MPs, senators seen as cheaters: poll

Senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau, are pictured.
Senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau, are pictured. Files/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – A new poll suggests Canadians overwhelmingly believe MPs and senators are cheating on their taxpayer-funded expense claims.

And an overwhelming number of Canadians questioned want to be able to check up on them by requiring all parliamentarians to publicly post all their expenses online.

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey results come after weeks of sustained controversy over questionable living and travel expenses claimed by four senators – Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb.

While only unelected senators have been implicated in the expense scandal thus far, the poll suggests it has blackened the reputations of MPs as well.

A whopping 86 per cent of respondents – including overwhelming majorities in all regions and across all age groups and party affiliations – feel it’s likely that MPs and senators are claiming improper expenses. Of those, 56 per cent feel it’s very likely.

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The telephone survey of 1,005 Canadians was conducted June 6-9 and is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times in 20.