Tired of the fat cats

If I played hockey for the Ottawa Senators, I would put in a bid to have the name changed, or at the very least request a trade, in light of the recent scrutiny by the Auditor General into the expenses claimed by those privileged few who sit in the Senate.
I wouldn’t want to be called a Senator even if I played hockey.
Senators are appointed; all 105 of them, assigned as per regional considerations. They are considered the “upper” house of Parliament, an implication of the class structure due to its being modelled after Britain’s House of Lords.
That alone gives me pause. Add the fact that the Senate Chambers that house these 105 appointed individuals (not elected, though I’m repeating myself) is decadent and lavish seals my poor opinion of the Senate.
I listened to the news earlier this week when Nancy Ruth defended her choice to pass on airline food and instead submit an expense for a “proper breakfast,” and she said so with absolutely disgust in her voice.
She also was fairly certain the Auditor General had no idea of the “difficulties of travel” for senators to get to Ottawa. She went further to say that he had no idea what the whole “senate business” is all about.
Cry me a river, Nancy. The people you regionally represent don’t live in luxury and many of them are lucky to have breakfast—even if it is “ice-cold Camembert cheese.”
Nancy Ruth has done many good things in her time on the planet, but behaving like someone entitled to better treatment than everyone else is not one of them.
You and I are not allowed to claim the cost of our meals when we are at work, nor are most of us reimbursed. The base salary for the Senate in 2010 started at $132,300. For doing what exactly?
The Senate is to keep an eye on the House of Commons and the Senate is to reject poorly thought-out bills when put forth by the Commons. The Senate has rejected fewer than two bills per year over a period of 120 years.
I think they’ve had a lot of free time on their hands.
A 15-year-old girl recently was found beaten nearly to death in Winnipeg. She was under the care of Child Services—a system that fails far too often.
Perhaps if we diverted the payment of these ridiculous Senate salaries and expenses to Child Services, we could better ensure a future for our children who are sliding through the cracks, who are living in poverty and doing without what every child in this country should be guaranteed of: safety and protection.
And then we wouldn’t have to house foster children in Winnipeg hotels.
I’m sounding rather cynical and I hate that. But I’m so tired of reading and hearing about fat cat senators claiming travel and expenses that far exceeds what most of us make in a year.
We also could transfer the Senate salaries to pay off the student loans of our young people.
We could find endless places to put this money to good use. I’m going to make a list.
wendistewart@live.ca

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