Michel Samson is no Mike Duffy.
In February he asked the Speaker’s Office to review his living situation to ensure that the way he’s been using his living allowance is above board. The Speaker’s Office has yet to issue their report.
People have written us comparing Samson to Senator Mike Duffy. We don’t agree with that comparison. Michel Samson is engaged in debating Nova Scotia politics in Halifax. He asks questions daily in Question Period. He introduces bills. And he does so while some of his Liberal colleagues can’t even be bothered to show up at all.
Duffy lived in the Ottawa suburbs, even before his appointment to the Senate. Senators are required to keep a home in the province they represent. If a senator’s primary residence is more than 100 kilometres away from the National Capital Region, he or she is eligible for an allowance to offset the costs of keeping a second home.
Duffy came under fire last year for claiming $33,000 in housing allowances since 2010 after he reported his primary residence was his cottage in Cavendish, PEI – the province he represents in the Senate.
According to the rules, MLAs from outside the Halifax-Dartmouth area are eligible to claim a $1,499 monthly allowance for apartment rental in Halifax. The rules say that those accommodations cannot be an MLA’s principal residence. Samson represents Richmond, and his family now lives in the South End of Halifax, but his principal residence is in Arichat.
Mike Duffy has not paid back the tens of thousands of dollars in housing expenses he said he’d return almost two months ago. And now when questioned by journalists, he says he isn’t sure he’s “required” to.
Michel Samson, on the other hand, has not dodged questions. In fact, he has asked them.
Michel Samson is no Mike Duffy, and we hope the Speaker’s Office speeds up their review.