OTTAWA — In the midst of a raging scandal over the abuse of taxpayers’ money by senators, the Senate has hired two speakers to help denizens of the maligned upper chamber feel better about themselves.
All senators, their staff and Senate employees have been invited to attend talks by communications consultant Barry McLoughlin and motivational speaker Marc-Andre Morel.
According to an email sent out Tuesday morning by the Senate clerk’s office, the pair will talk about “the enduring value of the Senate and help bring a little perspective to the current situation.”
The subject line of the email invitation tells recipients that “the Senate values you and the work you do — come find out why.”
The talks are scheduled for Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. (ET) — when the Senate is supposed to be sitting.
It was not immediately clear how much the Senate is paying for the speakers but it appears the decision was made by Senate clerk Gary O’Brien.
Marjory LeBreton, government leader in the Senate, said the idea was discussed in principle at a meeting of the internal economy committee’s steering committee.
But it was never approved by members of the committee.
“I was shocked when I saw that (email invitation),” LeBreton said outside the Senate chamber.
“I would strongly suggest that the administration cancel any plans they have for motivational speakers.”