Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3 Canadian senators suspended without pay

On Tuesday Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted for the first time that he smoked crack “probably a year ago,” during a “drunken stupor, but he refused to resign.

Associated Press

On Tuesday Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted for the first time that he smoked crack “probably a year ago,” during a “drunken stupor, but he refused to resign.

Canada's political scandal update has three disgraced senators suspended without pay and Toronto's embattled crack-smoking mayor considering his options.

The Senate voted to suspend Sens. Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin for the balance of the term — about two years — for inappropriate expense claims.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who appointed the three in 2009 and has since had them lose their Conservative party affiliation, said they had to pay a price for their actions.

The three were ordered to repay expenses totaling about $278,000 while a fourth senator, former Liberal Mac Harb, retired and repaid $231,649.

They will not be able to collect their salaries of $135,200 a year but continue to receive extended health benefits during their time-out.

A police investigation continues into possible fraud and breach of trust by the three.

"I think it's an extremely sad day for democracy if we can't expect the rule of law in Canada, then where on earth can we expect it," Wallin said after being suspended.

In Toronto, Mayor Rob Ford has apologized as a "drunken mistake," a profanity-laced video in which he threatened to kill someone a week after admitting to having smoked crack cocaine as purported in an earlier video.

Attorney Dennis Morris said the mounting pressure on Ford to resign has him considering his options including taking time off and going into rehab.

Economy grows; unemployment 6.9%

The Canadian economy grew last month with an additional 13,200 full-time jobs while the pace of housing construction continues its upward momentum.

Statistics Canada reported the modest job growth kept the unemployment rate at a post-recession low of 6.9 percent for the second month.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said there were 17,033 housing starts in October, for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 198,282 units.

That continues a trend that started in July with more housing units being built in Ontario and fewer in British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, the Prairies and Quebec.

News in brief

• The Canadian government wants to give priority for federal jobs to soldiers released from the military for medical reasons. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino said the proposed bill will move qualified veterans ahead of government workers displaced or laid off. The Conservative government has been criticized about wounded soldiers being discharged before 10 years of service needed to receive a pension.

• The Quebec government's controversial "values charter" will be put to a vote soon in the National Assembly and, if defeated, could trigger a provincial election. The proposed bill would order state workers to remove headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans and large crucifixes or be fired. Cabinet minister Bernard Drainville said it will guarantee equality for men and women as well as the religious neutrality of the state.

Facts and figures

Canada's dollar is lower at 95.35 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar is worth $1.0487 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.

The Bank of Canada's key interest rate is steady at 1 percent while the prime-lending rate is 3 percent.

Stock markets are mixed, with the Toronto exchange index higher at 13,380 points and the TSX Venture index lower at 933 points.

Lotto 6-49: (Nov. 6) 21, 26, 32, 34, 36 and 39; bonus 28. (Nov. 2) 9, 12, 13, 26, 35 and 43; bonus 2. Lotto Max: (Nov. 1) 11, 12, 16, 22, 30, 32 and 49; bonus 35.

Regional briefs

• Former Liberal cabinet minister Denis Coderre has been elected mayor of Montreal. He received 32 percent of the votes and defeated Melanie Joly, Richard Bergeron and Marcel Cote. Two previous mayors quit over a corruption controversy in the ongoing Quebec construction industry kick-back inquiry.

• The last of Canada's plastic-like bills were officially put into circulation at ceremonies in Longueuil, Quebec, and Vancouver. The $5 polymer bill depicts Canada's contribution to space exploration. The $10 note pays tribute to railway heritage, showing Via Rail's Canadian passenger train in the Rockies.

• Ferry service between Saint John, New Brunswick, and Digby, Nova Scotia, was canceled for two days after the Princess of Acadia ran aground briefly. There were no injuries on the ship that carries up to 650 passengers and 155 vehicles. An initial inspection showed no damage but further inspections and testing equipment caused the cancellations.

Jim Fox can be reached at

3 Canadian senators suspended without pay 11/08/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 9, 2013 1:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  2. Manuel Noriega, Panamanian strongman toppled in U.S. invasion, dies at 83


    Gen. Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman and onetime American ally who was toppled from power in a 1989 U.S. invasion and who spent more than two decades imprisoned on drug dealing and conspiracy convictions, died late Monday. He was most likely 83.

    Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to newsmen after a state council meeting, at the presidential palace in Panama City, where they announced the new president of the republic in 1989. Panama's ex-dictator Noriega died Monday, May 29, 2017, in a hospital in Panama City. He was 83. [Associated Press]
  3. Austin Mahone talks Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, his pop evolution and more


    Austin Mahone has vivid memories from his childhood visits to see his grandparents in Tampa Bay.

  4. Motorcyclist killed in Pinellas Park crash, prompting road closures


    A motorcyclist was killed early Tuesday morning when he left the roadway and possibly struck a parked vehicle in Pinellas Park.

  5. Meet the five finalists for St. Petersburg College president


    ST. PETERSBURG — In the last month, five finalists for the job of St. Petersburg College president have taken campus tours and answered questions from students, faculty and staff.

    The Douglas L. Jamerson, Jr., Midtown Center of St. Petersburg College, opened in 2015, is considered a major accomplishment by outgoing SPC president William Law. [SOPHIA NAHLI  ALLISON  |   TIMES]