News / Canada

Most Canadians think senators should be suspended with no pay

Three quarters of Canadians feel that the three senators caught up in the ongoing expenses scandal should be suspended immediately without pay, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll done exclusively for CTV News.

The poll, conducted this past Friday and Monday, found that just 27 per cent believe that senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau should be allowed to continue to sit and be paid while an RCMP probe into their expenses continues.

The view that the trio should be suspended with no pay is widely held across the country, the poll found. Only in Alberta was there a slim majority (54 per cent) in favour of suspension without pay.

The poll also found that just 35 per cent of Canadians say they believe Prime Minister Stephen Harper when he says he didn’t know about his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, writing a personal cheque for $90,000 to pay Senator Mike Duffy’s inappropriate expenses.

The Senate scandal has grabbed the interest of Canadians, as six in 10 say they are closely following developments in the scandal.

The lowest interest in the subject is in Quebec where only 44 per cent of respondents said they are watching it closely.

Other findings in the poll:

  • About two thirds of respondents (62 per cent) don’t believe the Senate can be trusted to do a through and trustworthy review of issues related to expenses by its members;

  • Eight in 10 (81 per cent) agree that the government should have a public inquiry into the expenses scandal.

  • Nearly half (49 per cent) of Canadians believe the Senate should be reformed to make it, for example, an elected body.

For the survey, 1,102 Canadians were surveyed online. The poll is considered accurate plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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