05/21/2013 02:53 EDT | Updated 07/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Duffy scandal has smeared entire Senate, Baker says

A Liberal Senator from central Newfoundland wants all expense claims from all MPs and Senators to be open to public scrutiny, in light of the widening scandal about Mike Duffy's expenses.

George Baker said making such reports public would increase transparency and accountability, and help prevent transgressions.

"Everybody is in a position of trust, and if you've got nothing to worry about, why not open up the books?" said Baker, reacting to revelation about fellow Senator Mike Duffy, who was forced out of the Conservative caucus last week.

Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff to Stephen Harper, quit his post this weekend after revelations that he wrote a cheque for $90,000 to pay Duffy's improper claims for housing expenses.

As well, Duffy was found to have been listed on official Senate business in Toronto in 2011 when he was campaigning for Conservatives in the Toronto area.

Last week, Senator Pamela Wallin recused herself from the Conservative caucus amid an investigation into her expenses.

Both Duffy and Wallin are now sitting as Independents.

Baker, who sat in the House of Commons between 1974 and 2002 before his appointment to the Senate, said the Upper Chamber needs to take action to restore public trust of how taxpayers' money is being spent.

"I think that the senate should look at this and make a determination on its own, completely outside of the rules, given that Senators and MPs are in positions of trust," Baker said.

"This event has really smeared the entire Parliament Hill."