Fair’s fair. I criticized Mike Duffy yesterday for pinkly wallowing in the Senate trough, but Liberal Mac Harb, once my MP in Ottawa-Centre, deserves even more public opprobrium in this respect.
Once a mediocre right-wing Ottawa City alderman, Harb became an equally mediocre Liberal MP in 1988. When members of my union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, went on a massive strike in 1991, he walked the picket line with us, pledging undying support, wanting to be everybody’s friend. When his party formed the government in 1993, he vociferously supported the firing of tens of thousands of federal public employees. His earlier opposition to the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement vanished overnight when the Liberals swept into power, as did that of his capo di capi, Jean Chrétien, who had campaigned against it but signed the thing almost immediately after he became Prime Minister.
Harb has, in other words, never been other than a trained seal, with no apparent deep beliefs of any kind—perfect Senate material. Accordingly, he was lodged there by Chrétien in 2003, where his natural propensity for sleaze continued to manifest itself.
Like that other Liberal David Dingwall, Harb is one who considers himself entitled to his entitlements. This includes $31,237 worth of housing allowance that we have all paid out of our own pockets, even though he has lived in Ottawa since 1977.
Mike Duffy may have a dacha in PEI, but Harb makes him look like a piker. To justify the housing allowance, he claims that his primary residence is in Pembroke, but he won’t say where. He owns a house on the Ottawa River near Beachburg and a property on Muskrat Lake, and he owns or co-owns several properties in Ottawa: a house on Somerset Street West, another house in McKellar Park, yet another one near Hunt Club Drive, and a condo near Hog’s Back that he claimed as his actual address earlier this year.
What a privilege to be able to help keep a roof over his head.