06/26/2013 08:16 EDT | Updated 08/27/2013 05:12 EDT

Pamela Wallin Says She Has Saskatchewan Health Card


Senator Pamela Wallin has broken her silence about her health card, saying she's got a Saskatchewan one.

Staff for the senator who calls Wadena, Sask., her home told reporters Wednesday that Wallin indeed has a Saskatchewan health card. Reporters have been asking her that question for months.

However, when asked how long Wallin has had a Saskatchewan health card, Wallin's office didn't answer.

The question of which province, if any, provides Wallin with a health card has lingered in recent months as part of a larger debate about her residency and eligibility to represent Saskatchewan in the Senate.

Wallin, who has an apartment in Toronto and owns property in Wadena and Fishing Lake, Sask., maintains that she meets all the residency rules set down by the Senate.

When CBC News asked Wallin about her health card in February, she repeated that she owns property in Saskatchewan and considers it her home but did not address the health card question.

Wallin expenses under review

Wallin is among four senators — the others being Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau — whose expenses have been under official scrutiny in recent months.

She removed herself from the Conservative caucus and now sits as an independent. She told CBC earlier this month she has paid back $38,000 in expense money.

The health card issue, while not part of the Senate rules, relates to residency in the sense that Saskatchewan Health requires people to live in the province six months out of a 12-month period to qualify for a card.

In recent interviews and letters to the editor, Wallin has said last year she spent 168 days in Saskatchewan, which is just over 5½ months.

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