How unsurprising to hear that Pam Wallin stuck taxpayers with the tab for dinner meetings with Michael “Midge” Decter.
As reported in the gutter press, the RCMP claim Wallin committed fraud and breach of trust by billing the Senate for travel expenses, including dinners with Decter, the prominent investment thingy and her onetime legover.
Decter told the RCMP that although their “intimate relationship” ended a decade ago, he and Wallin remained friends and saw each other about six times a year, “usually for dinner while she was in Toronto.”
Decter also told the Mounties he and Wallin often discussed Afghanistan because of her work on the file.
No surprise there, either, considering how Wallin banged the Afghanistan file for all it was worth when she was a member of the Independent Panel on Canada’s Future Role in Afghanistan in 2007-2008.
The “eminent persons” boondoggle also included John “Beaker” Manley, former Mulroney chief of staff Derek Burney, former Tory cabinet minister Jake Epp, and Paul Tellier, chief executive of Canadian National Railways. They were to report on what Canada’s future role should be in Afghanistan.
Naturally, the Great CanadiansTM were eligible for generous per diems. Manley, as supremo, stood to collect between $1,200 and $1,400 per day. Fellow panellists were in the $850-$1,000 range for their patriotic efforts.
But, as befits public-spirited Canadians, each of them declined any remuneration—all, that is, save for one, who insisted on milking the gig dry, and billed taxpayers for $45,000, plus expenses.
Manley et. al. were furious that a Globe and Minion story gave the impression they were in it for the money. But they were reluctant to rat out a colleague, for fear of getting the mission off to a bad start.
Step forward, Pam Wallin!