10/29/2013 11:53 EDT | Updated 12/29/2013 05:12 EST

Kathleen Wynne: Senate Scandal Not The Reason Ontario Tightening Housing Allowance


TORONTO - Premier Kathleen Wynne says legislation to close a loophole in the housing allowance for members of the Ontario legislature has nothing to do with the Senate expense scandal.

Toronto-area Progressive Conservative Peter Shurman lost his job as the Opposition's finance critic after he claimed a $20,000 housing allowance for a home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Shurman didn't violate the rules, which allow members who live more than 50 kilometres from the legislature to be reimbursed for keeping a residence in Toronto.

He maintained he had informed PC Leader Tim Hudak about the change in his residence, but lost his shadow critic's job anyway.

The rules will be tightened to make it clear the housing allowance will go to members of the legislature who represent ridings that are more than 50 kilometres from Queen's Park.

Wynne says the changes will be a direct result of the Shurman case, and have nothing to do with Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin's claiming housing allowances for provinces they represented but didn't live in.

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