November 7, 2013 6:16 pm
Updated: November 7, 2013 9:03 pm

Suspended senators still eligible for pensions


Video: The pensions of Senators Wallin, Duffy & Brazeau won’t be affected by their suspensions. Mike Le Couteur reports.

OTTAWA –  The Senate says the three suspended senators will be eligible for their pensions.

But Treasury Board President Tony Clement says the government will work to change the rules to ensure they don’t qualify.

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Despite being suspended without pay for at least two years , Senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau will still be eligible for their parliamentary pensions in 2015.

Suspension regulations made under the Parliament of Canada Act require pension contributions to be made during the period of a senator’s suspension, spokeswoman Annie Joannette said in an email. A senator is eligible for a pension after six years of service.

“Therefore the period of suspension counts as pensionable service,” Joannette wrote.

It is not known whether the three senators will contribute to their pensions while suspended.

Claude Carignan, government leader in the Senate, has said the original intent of the suspension motion was to see the senators stripped of their pay and Senate perks, “including (the) pension plan.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has repeatedly said the senators should be off the public payroll because they claimed inappropriate expenses. The senators have each professed their innocence but the Senate voted on Tuesday to cut them off from all but life, dental and health insurance.

On Wednesday, Wallin’s lawyer told Global News the Senate has no authority to take away her pension and he would consider legal action if it did.

– with a file from The Canadian Press

© 2013 Shaw Media

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