OTTAWA — The Speaker of the Senate says the upper chamber is moving towards having an arm's-length body that will oversee senators' spending. Leo Housakos says a proposal to create the independent oversight body will be before Conservative, Liberal and Independent senators when Parliament returns. He says the Senate will soon hire a chief financial officer as a step in the process. The move follows a recommendation from the auditor general that senators no longer have the final say about whether an expense claim by one of their peers falls inside or outside Senate rules. Housakos also says he has yet to speak with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau about the future of the Senate. As prime minister, Trudeau has the right to decide who will be Senate Speaker and fill any of the 22 vacant seats in the upper chamber. Trudeau has yet to announce a government leader in the Senate who would usher through his government's legislation.
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