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RCMP looking into Senate expenses scandal, but no investigation yet

Senator Mike Duffy.

CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The RCMP has yet to launch a formal investigation into the Senate spending scandal.

At a news conference on Monday, Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the police force is still engaged in a document review and meeting potential witnesses.

Asked if a formal investigation has started, he said: "No, we are looking into it."

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He refused to speculate on the time that it will take to come to a conclusion on the matter in terms of launching a probe or closing the file.

Still, Assistant Commissioner Michaud insisted there will be no political interference in the matter, asserting the RCMP's independence over operational matters.

"I cannot answer how long it is going to take. It depends where the evidence leads us, the number of witnesses that we will have to meet with. However, that being said, our objective is always the same, to try and establish the facts as much as possible, independent of the time it may take," Assistant Commissioner Michaud said.

The news conference was held after a ceremony in which the RCMP formally established its new "National Division," which is responsible for the security of the Prime Minister and key federal agencies, as well as upholding the integrity of Canada's political and economic institutions.

Assistant Commissioner Michaud said that the new National Division will provide "more focus" to the RCMP's investigations into allegations of corruption or fraud, such as the Senate spending scandal.

"We have got resources that are solely dedicated to these types of investigations, which hopefully will be done in a more timely fashion," he said.

He said that the RCMP will not depend on receiving outside complaints before it launches so-called "sensitive" investigations into matters of political corruption.

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"One of the keys to our success will be being proactive," he said.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Daniel Leblanc studied political science at the University of Ottawa and journalism at Carleton University. He became a full-time reporter in 1998, first at the Ottawa Citizen and then in the Ottawa bureau of The Globe and Mail. More

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