Colin Kenny: The Naked Senator!

Kenny’s treatment of his staff created a revolving door. Typical was the special assistant who handed the senator her letter of resignation at the Ottawa airport in March 2000.

Suggesting I was deliberately “fucking you” is inappropriate

She had been scheduled to fly with Kenny on Senate business, but the previous day he had reamed her out and she was fed up.

The morning of their scheduled departure, she went to the Senate and dropped off her keys and pass. Then she drove to the airport, met Kenny in the departure lounge, handed over his luggage (the senator loved to have staff tote his bags), and walked out, leaving the dumbfounded Kenny with her letter:

“Whatever alleged mistakes I have made while employed in your office, I should not be berated with profanity. Admonishing me for a mistake by suggesting that I was deliberately ‘fucking you’ is an inappropriate way of addressing a complaint about my work. I will not work in such hostile conditions.”

Kenny’s decades-long charm offensive hasn’t been limited to employees, either.

In the mid-nineties, his misadventures were making headlines in the satirical press (“Stalked by a Senator!”—Frank, May 1996).

Then married to Petra Horne (his wife of some 35 years) Senator K. had been having an affair for nine years with Pamela Heneault, a government consultant. According to Heneault, when she took business trips, Kenny would tag along, sometimes using his Senate pass to cover travel expenses.

The affair was prone to frequent bust-ups. “I’ve left him all over the world—Paris, California…” Heneault told Frank.

After her final exit, things got ugly. Kenny wouldn’t take no for an answer and, according to Heneault, began a harassment campaign that would last two years. On one occasion, she came home to find Kenny in her house. The QPP were called in, but no charges were laid.

Heneault also said she received threatening phone calls in which a mysterious voice—not Kenny’s—would leave messages: “Fucking bitch, I’m going to kill you,” “Hi, slut. Have a nice day.”

Kenny countered by claiming that Heneault was a bunny-boiler and she was harassing him. Eventually, both sides signed a legal agreement to stay the hell away from each other.

Whichever way the balls bounce for Senator Kenny in this latest sexual harassment contretemps, he’s unlikely to escape the notice of Auditor General Michael Ferguson, currently snuffling around senators’ expenses.

Kenny’s $75,777 travel bill for 2012-2013, while no chart-topper, is nonetheless impressive considering he lives within walking distance of the Red Chamber.

And when it comes to combining senate business with personal pleasure, Kenny is ne plus ultra.

Sheela Basrur and Colin Kenny—say it ain’t so!

Example: In 2003, Kenny hooked up with the sainted Dr. Sheela Basrur. The Ontario chief medical officer of health, who died of cancer in 2008, was renowned for her work during the SARS epidemic in Toronto.

A torrid affair ensued—for Valentine’s Day 2004, Basrur sent a pair of red, edible panties to Kenny’s Senate office—and they had their staffers coordinate their schedules so they could travel together to various destinations around the globe, including Vancouver, Paris and Hedonism II, the swingers’ resort in Negril, Jamaica.

Dr. Sheela Basrur
Dr. Sheela Basrur

A document obtained by Frank, entitled “Colin and Sheela’s Checklist,” might be of interest to the Auditor-General, as it itemizes some of Kenny’s weekend trips in 2004: July 16 to Toronto, stay at the Airport Marriott; Friday, Aug. 2 to Calgary, stay at the Marriott Hotel for two nights.

What Senate business was conducted on weekends in Toronto and Calgary is a mystery, as is their Vancouver excursion, Aug. 30-31, 2004, at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel.

At the bottom of Colin’s column, under Paris/Gouda/Amsterdam, someone has written: “Find a reason to travel to Europe on business!”

Colin soon found urgent Senate business on the continent, and they stayed together in Paris, Oct. 8-14, 2004.

Another classic “fact-finding” junket on Afghanistan Kenny finagled during his chairmanship of the high-profile national security and defence committee might also trip Ferguson’s gag reflex.

Despite being warned the committee couldn’t visit Kandahar, the main purpose of the exercise, Kenny pushed ahead with the rest of the trip to England, the Netherlands and Dubai—at a cost to taxpayers of some $150,000. The hotel bill in Dubai alone was $30,000 for six days.

The lavish boondoggle didn’t go unnoticed. Tory Senator Terry Stratton tabled a motion in November 2006 to hold hearings into the botched trip. When Kenny asked long-suffering Senate legalist Audcent for an opinion, he went to Gowling Lafleur Henderson for advice. The blue chip Ottawa firm charged the Senate/taxpayers $35,000.

Eventually, the internal economy committee, which conducts its meetings in camera, ruled the trip was not a misuse of funds. Among the Internal Economy members who voted thus? Step forward, Senator Colin Kenny!








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