Canada Politics

Annoyed Canadians ‘swamp’ prime minister’s office with emails about Senate expense scandal

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Stephen Harper (Patrick Doyle,Canadian Press)

Canadians are raising a little hell over the Senate expense scandal.

Under an Access to Information request, the Toronto Star has obtained copies of emails sent to the prime minister's office in the wake of the expense scandal and revelations that the PM's chief of staff gifted Senator Mike Duffy $90,000.

Here are some excerpts of emails:

"The more I hear of the expense accounts and salaries of the senators, the more (nauseated) and outraged I become."

"Get rid of these people. Are these the best Canada has to represent us. Unbelievable."

"In the private sector, where I spent my career, falsifying expense claims was and still is a firing offence."

"No Canadian could get away with what you Frauders (sic) are doing! We would be charged and jailed! How can there be a double standard for a corrupt government?????"

The Star notes the PMO was "swamped" with correspondence about the Senate; they did reply to most of them at least to acknowledge receipt.

The full article can be read here.

[ Related: More bad news for Tories as details of RCMP case against Mike Duffy emerge ]

The emails underscore the importance of this issue and highlight Canadians' anger about it.

As explained by the Canadian Press, Conservative MPs have also been flooded with calls and emails from their constituents furious about the scandals.

"My office received calls and emails from taxpayers and I also heard directly from many constituents while at home on the recess week," New Brunswick MP John Williamson told CP in early May.

The polls further reiterate the public's annoyance.

A Nanos survey found 95 per cent of their respondents were aware of the Wright/Duffy scandal, while the latest Ipsos Reid survey suggests that 70 per cent of Canadians "disapprove of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s handling of the affair."

[ Related: Can a cabinet shuffle help the Conservatives change the channel on the Senate scandals? ]

The Prime Minister receives over 1 million letters and 1 million emails a year, according a 2007 story in the Toronto Star.

All of Stephen Harper's incoming correspondence is screened by a group of 35 people with only the "most pressing matters" going to the Prime Minister.

It's good to know that Canadians aren't a passive bunch.

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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