The Globe and Mail reports today that Nova Scotia Auditor General Jacques Lapointe has called in the RCMP to investigate four former and one current member of the legislature for possible criminal activity involving their expense claims.
But NL’s constituency allowance scandal still leads the way with six charges (and six convictions).
Nova Scotia’s AG is to release a report today that doesn’t name names or many other details about the five cases.
The AG began the deeper forensic investigation after an initial report in February highlighted a number of inappropriate purchases — big-screen TVs, custom-built furniture, etc. — by members of the legislature between July 2006 and June 2009.
The scandal led to one resignation and, as The Globe reports, caused the government to announce changes in the way expense accounts for members of the legislature are governed and how they are publicly reported.
Here in NL, our constituency allowance scandal eventually led to convictions against four MHAs (Tory Ed Byrne, Liberals Jim Walsh and Wally Andersen, and New Democrat Randy Collins), as well as convictions against Bill Murray, the House of Assembly’s former director of financial operations, and businessman John Hand.
It’s hard to believe that MPs have refused to allow the auditor general of Canada to review the books of the House of Commons and Senate, considering what's been found in NS, NL and the United Kingdom.
The seeds of suspicion have been planted and are sure to grow.