Earlier this afternoon Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed Senator Patrick Brazeau from the Conservative caucus for "reasons that are personal but very serious."
For NDP MP Charlie Angus: "Kicking him out of the caucus isn't good enough." The Timmins MP thinks Brazeau should be removed from the Senate. Even though public opinion might demand just that, according to the Constitution Act, his crime is not serious enough to warrant such a hefty punishment.
According to Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton, "In light of the serious nature of the events reported today, Senator Brazeau has been removed from the Conservative Caucus. As this is a legal matter, I cannot comment further." While he may not be a member of the Conservative majority in the Senate, he will still seat as a Senator and drew a hefty public salary of $132,300 while enjoying all the benefits of a government official.
The now independent 38-year-old Senator has been an embarrassing character for public service as well as aboriginal youth. He could and should have been a great role model in the way many Senators have been. For instance, memorable past and present Senators such as Michael Kirby have been great voices for issues like mental health while Romeo Dellaire has been a great proponent of child solider issues.
Senator Brazeau could have chosen to be such a Senator but he instead chose to take the low road. He could have been a voice for the plight of aboriginal youth but chose to play petty politics with the potential of his position.
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Among the many allegations against him during the time he has served as a Senator are
sexual harassment, mismanagement of public funds, tax issues, failing to pay child support and cheap child-like name calling of high-profile Canadian personalities, including a noted female journalist.
This morning, CTV's Robert Fife reported how "Brazeau used the Quebec address of his former father-in-law to claim an aboriginal tax exemption over four years, despite not actually living in the First Nations community."
Brazeau tweeted back how Fife "has become a racist against FN ppl/issues. Do the homework and regardless of the position, he never has anything+ to say."
In a heated exchange with Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence a month ago, Brazeau tweeted how she perfected "the typical 'traditional' angry, victim speech I've heard all my life, which is why I got involved in politics." He then told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network that he didn't think Spence was setting a good example for Aboriginal youth.
The fact is that Senator Brazeau had so far led a public life full of shortcomings while being an example of wrong perspectives and ways.
His crime might not be as serious as treason that requires the Constitution Act to remove him from office, but he has lost the public and moral support to be an effective Senator as he continues to serve in name only.
Canadians will remember him for being the opening act of a (potential) Justin Trudeau premiership rather than for anything worthy he has done as a public servant.
And that is what is tragic and sad about the now arrested Senator.