Maple Ridge MP says Senate controversy needs to be fixed

It's hurting the party, and threatening institute itself, says Randy Kamp

Conservative MP for PittMeadows-Maple Ridge-Mission Randy Kamp says the Senate expense scandal is hurting morale within the party.

Conservative MP for PittMeadows-Maple Ridge-Mission Randy Kamp says the Senate expense scandal is hurting morale within the party.

The controversy regarding Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy’s expense claims is hurting morale within the party, so improvements are needed, says local MP Randy Kamp.

Actually, the Senate has to change soon, or it could disappear, Kamp said Wednesday, adding changes to unelected upper house are already underway.

A ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada on reforming the non-elected body in the next year could make the body a little more palatable to the public.

The government introduced a bill in 2011, the Senate Reform Act, proposing to limit senators’ terms to nine years and allowing for appointment of senators who’ve been elected in their own provinces.

The bill reached second reading before being referred to the courts. “We think that’s constitutional but the Supreme Court is going to rule on that,” Kamp said Tuesday.

The court also could comment on the option of abolishing the Senate, he added.

Efforts also are now underway to reform Senate fiscal management.

Kamp agreed the controversy over Duffy’s expense claims, paid by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright, who recently resigned, has hurt the Conservatives.

The only way to remove Duffy from the Senate, who’s resigned from the Conservative caucus, is if he was persauded to resign. Kamp’s colleague in Coquitlam, Heritage Minister James Moore, has called on Duffy to step down, but Kamp wouldn’t go that far.

“It think that’s a decision he’s going to have to make.”

Read related story: B.C. minister Moore calls on Duffy to quit

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