News, Politics

Canadian Senators Being Investigated

Mike Duffy. Image: Ayelie
Mike Duffy. Image: Ayelie

The Canadian Senate is an important part of the Government of Canada, but now some senators are being investigated to find out if they took money they weren’t entitled to.

A senator’s job is to give the final approval to a bill before it becomes law. Senators are appointed by the governor-general of Canada on the advice of the prime minister.

Some Senate members have been accused of taking money for things that are not covered by their Senate budget.

The expenses of senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Mac Harb, and Patrick Brazeau are being looked at.

Mike Duffy used to be a journalist before he was appointed to the Senate. In the Senate, he represents Prince Edward Island.

He was accused, along with the other senators, of taking money for things that he had no right to.

For example, Duffy was paid money to run his main home, which is okay.

But Mike Duffy said his main home was in Prince Edward Island, when in fact he has lived and worked in Ottawa, Ont. for many years. He goes to PEI only once in a while.

Until recently, he didn’t even have a PEI health card, only an Ontario one.

He was asked to pay back the money given to him for his PEI home, and he did.

But now it has been discovered that the prime minister’s chief of staff (his most important advisor), gave the money to Duffy to pay back his debt. This is wrong because this might say to the public that the prime minister’s office had something to do with it.

Now the chief of staff has resigned (quit his job) from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Canadians are waiting to find out what the investigation will reveal.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
When it was discovered that Mike Duffy was spending money on a home that wasn’t his main address, he had to pay the money back. Do you think that is a fair consequence?

In your opinion, what should be the penalty for people who take advantage of their position in the Senate?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrate Understanding
Read the article carefully and use a highlighter to identify key pieces of information. Then use this information to write a two sentence summary explaining what the article is about. Share your sentences with a partner and see if you identified similar ideas.

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing and explaining important ideas and citing relevant supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Grammar Feature: Commas
One way commas are used in this article is to interrupt a sentence with additional information. For example,He was accused, along with the other senators, of spending money on things that he had no right to.” The additional information – “along with the other senators” – is not necessary to the sentence so it is placed in-between commas.

What other ways are commas used in this article?