Wall disappointed over expense scandal

REGINA — Premier Brad Wall says there is disappointment in Saskatchewan over an expense scandal involving Sen. Pamela Wallin, who represents the province in the upper house.

REGINA — Premier Brad Wall says there is disappointment in Saskatchewan over an expense scandal involving Sen. Pamela Wallin, who represents the province in the upper house.

An audit of Wallin’s spending flagged more than $121,000 in inappropriate expenses and called for further review of nearly $21,000 in additional claims. The RCMP has been called in to investigate.

Wall says he was surprised and disappointed to hear the dollar amount.

“On the face of it, the information that’s there, absolutely there’s disappointment. We’ll have to see how it all works out,” Wall said Tuesday at the legislature.

“You know, I think all of us in public life, we need to be very careful with these sorts of things. Obviously we’re not spending our money. We’re spending someone else’s money — the people for whom we work — and we need to err on the side of caution. It doesn’t seem like that happened in this case.

“Again, we won’t know all the details, not all the process is out, but there are a lot of details out, and I think it’s just a reminder for the rest of us that this is someone else’s money that we’re using to try to carry out our duties and we need to be stewards of that.”

Conservative fundraisers, a short hop to catch a flight to the sunny Caribbean and awards galas are just some of the expenses Wallin billed to taxpayers as Senate business.

The former broadcaster has called the audit into her travel claims “fundamentally flawed and unfair.”

She has repaid $38,000 and has said she will pay back other disallowed expenses with interest.

Members of the Senate committee that reviewed the audit said Wallin’s ability to travel on the taxpayers’ dime will be restricted for at least the next 12 months. They also said they would keep a close eye on her future claims.

Wall said he has not spoken to Wallin, who is from Wadena and has held a membership in the Saskatchewan Party. The senator has spoken at party events in the past, but the premier couldn’t say what her role might be going forward.

“There was a few occasions when there was an involvement there. I don’t think it’s been a very active relationship. I don’t see where it would go in the future frankly. We won’t have a lot of events coming up where the request would go out anyway.”

The premier used to advocate for Senate reform, but changed his mind this spring. He says he’s come to believe reform is impossible and the upper chamber should be abolished.

A resolution on getting rid of the upper house was defeated in a split decision at the party’s convention last November. But Wall said in May that only about 250 people voted at the convention and that the recent expense scandal prompted some to ask that the issue be revisited.

Just Posted

Red Deer council says ‘yes’ to Riverside Meadows upgrades, ‘no’ to fence at CP Rail Bridge

Fence will cause social problems to move elsewhere, says Coun. Lee

Highway 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange is now open

Work began on the $80-million interchange in 2016

Witness testimony delayed until Tuesday in Red Deer murder trial

Jury dismissed on Monday morning while evidence issues discussed

Failing Kinex Arena will need replacement soon: city manager

Red Deer’s capital budget talks start amid gloomy forecasts

Curlers’ behaviour ‘unacceptable’ and ‘disrespectful’ at Red Deer Curling Classic

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Death of young Thai kickboxer brings focus on dangers

BANGKOK — The sight of two preteen boys pummeling each other with… Continue reading

Teenage driver survives spectacular crash at F3 Macau GP

MACAU — Teenage driver Sophia Floersch was set to undergo surgery Monday… Continue reading

David’s Bridal files for bankruptcy, but your order is safe

David’s Bridal is filing for bankruptcy protection but there is no danger… Continue reading

Taiwan president defends pro-independence film award winner

BEIJING — Taiwan’s president expressed her support for the prestigious Golden Horse… Continue reading

Pamela Anderson calls Australian PM’s comments ‘smutty’

LOS ANGELES — Pamela Anderson is criticizing Australia’s prime minister for making… Continue reading

Trump on Khashoggi death tape: ‘No reason for me to hear it’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said there is no reason for him… Continue reading

Searchers in California fires step up efforts ahead of rain

CHICO, Calif. — Searchers combing a Northern California town levelled by a… Continue reading

Disney details new ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ attractions

ORLANDO, Fla. — “Star Wars” fans will soon be able to pilot… Continue reading

Most Read