08/17/2013 07:18 EDT | Updated 10/17/2013 05:12 EDT

Conservative Party Should Pay For Wallin Audit, Mulcair Says

The Conservative Party of Canada should cover the costs of the audit of Senator Pamela Wallin's expenses by independent consulting firm Deloitte, Opposition Lader Tom Mulcair said in an interview with host Chris Hall on CBC Radio's The House.

"I think that Stephen Harper and his party at least should be obliged to reimburse the amount of money that taxpayers are going to be on the hook for, because since the beginning everyone's known that there's a problem, and they stalled and denied," said Mulcair.

The Senate will pay the independent auditing firm $126,988 for their work, digging into the travel and expense claims for Wallin, who resigned from the Conservative caucus under pressure last May. Wallin was ordered to repay $121,348 in total, of which she has already paid $38,369.29.

Mulcair pointed to Harper's quick defence of Wallin in the House of Commons last winter. At the time, the prime minister said he had looked at her expenses and found no fault. “Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from that particular area of the country over that period of time,” Harper said in Question Period in February. The Prime Minister's Office has since said that Wallin's expenses were not out of the ordinary, and Harper was not basing his comments on specifics.

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