A Liberal senator is weighing in on the Pamela Wallin spending controversy.
Lillian Dyck hails from the George Gordon First Nation.
In an interview, she said several people have written her angry letters, saying they’re frustrated the Senate can’t seem to get rid of senators who are breaking the rules.
Dyck hasn’t spoken to Wallin recently about the controversy, noting they travel in “different circles.”
However Dyck said she often ran into the same difficulties Wallin did when it came to booking direct flights from Ottawa to Saskatoon.
According to Dyck, there used to be a direct flight between the two cities but it was only offered between June to September.
She routinely was forced to touch down in Toronto, Winnipeg or Calgary and then catch another flight.
She estimates this could take anywhere between five-and-a-half to eight-and-a-half hours.
Dyck says she is glad the audit of Wallin’s expenses has been made public.
She says she too is frustrated over the spending controversy because it throws the entire Senate into a bad light.
Dyck says she recently emailed the Senate committee handling the situation, saying they should look at suspending senators who break the rules.
“If a committee decides that a senator has done something that he or she should be suspended or put on a leave of absence, that can be done,” she says. “In fact, that was done with Senator Brazeau after a charge was laid against him. From my understanding, we could have actually suspended people like Senator Duffy or Senator Harb or Senator Wallin.”
Dyck says she also can’t understand why the issue wasn’t taken more seriously sooner.
“I think she could have been put on a leave of absence,” she says. “I actually don’t really understand the difference between leave of absence and suspensions. I was just looking at the rules to determine what could be done. But the thing about the calendar entries, it does make you wonder, you know the public is unsure as to what all that means.”
Dyck has put information on her website to answer some frequently asked questions about rules governing Senate expenses, in an effort to inform the public.