The CBC, Canada’s national public broadcaster, must be chortling at the recent developments in the Canadian Senate. Two recent resignations from the Conservative Caucus, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, were both prominent CTV journalists prior to taking their appointed seats in the Upper Chamber. The CTV, main private national competitor to the CBC, can’t be held responsible for the actions of its former staff, but you’ve got to wonder what they teach them!
Duffy got caught up in a scandal regarding housing expenses and Wallin has recused herself while her travel expenses are looked into. Reporters and media-types in general, have long been accused of liking freebies: food and drink at news conferences, a bit of swag to induce attendance at events. (How many times have you heard a radio announcer mention that he/she really enjoyed their dinner last night at so-and-so restaurant? Think they paid for that dinner?)
But these two senior members of a national broadcaster, seasoned veterans, seem to have taken that to extremes. This isn’t a bit of mooching that they are being questioned about. This is about large sums of Canadian tax payers’ money being spent irresponsible by members of the Canadian Senate.
What surprises me most isn’t that some of those in public office might work the system a bit, but that, as former journalists, Duffy and Wallin should have known they wouldn’t get away with it. In their former positions with CTV, assuming they were diligent in their work, they would have been the ones poking around in the expenses of Senators, just as they are now being poked. These would be the last two I would have thought to be questioned about expenses, simply because they had been on the other side of the coin, as it were.
It’s a bit like a rogue cop turning bad; he/she should know exactly what pitfalls to avoid given their knowledge.