Brazeau chooses Senate, but still has questions to answer
Despite his stated plan to do otherwise, Patrick Brazeau's recent appointment to the Senate confronted him with a choice:
He could be a Senator or the National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Obvious potential conflict of interest prevented him from doing both.
Today, Brazeau finally announced a decision.
"My goal is and has always been to serve Canada's aboriginal peoples and my country to the best of my skills and abilities, in a manner that is accountable, responsible and transparent," Brazeau announced. "I am committed to bringing this same discipline to my role as a senator in the Parliament of Canada."
Yet some may wonder precisely how disciplined Brazeau has been as the National Chief of the CAP. On Thursday, the CAP suspended Walker Menard, its Manitoba director. Menard had commented negatively on the internal inquiries that had cleared Brazeau and one other senior employee of the CAP of sexual harrassment allegations.
Menard had also questioned Brazeau's qualifications to sit in the Senate.
The CAP insists that Menard's suspension has more to do with misrepresentation of membership numbers by the Manitoba branch of the CAP.
That the two complainants in the sexual harrassment allegations would be unsatisfied with the results of the inquiry is far less than surprising. However, Menard's comments cast even further doubt on the inquiry process. Clearly, further investigation is called for.
There are few ways to look at Menard's suspension other than as suspicious.
This kind of suspicion is unbecoming of a Canadian Senator. Considering the numerous black eyes that institution has suffered over the past few decades, it cannot stand another.
Brazeau and the CAP need to submit to a full investigation into not only the allegations that have been raised, but also into Menard's suspension.
Canadians have the right to expect transparency and accountability from both houses of government. If Brazeau won't deliver these things as National Chief of the CAP Canadians have every reason to be concerned about whether or not he'll deliver them as a Senator.