Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Senate committee debates sanctions against Tory senator who hired girlfriend

OTTAWA - A Senate committee is debating what — if any — sanction to level against a Quebec Conservative who was found to have breached parts of the upper chamber's conflict-of-interest code.

Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu got a chance Monday to testify behind closed doors about why he continued to employ his girlfriend as an assistant, even though it violated Senate guidelines.

Boisvenu renewed a job contract for his girlfriend on two occasions, and tried to ensure a two-week special leave for her as she moved from one job to another in Senate administration.

A few weeks ago, the chamber's ethics officer Lyse Ricard found that even though he broke the rules, the actions were "an error of judgment made in good faith."

She recommended no sanctions against Boisvenu, a former victim's rights advocate appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010.

Ricard says Boisvenu first met Isabelle Lapointe in 2010 at a charity event and eventually hired her to work as his executive assistant.

Shortly afterward, they began having an affair and during that time he renewed her contract twice before she moved to another job within the Senate.

Liberal Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette filed a complaint against Boisvenu, claiming he'd violated the Senate's ethics code by using Senate resources to benefit a family member, but Ricard's report concluded Lapointe was not family.

Boisvenu was found to have acted inappropriately by not only renewing the contract but also by lobbying Senate leadership over how time off Lapointe had taken was to be counted.

Going into Monday's closed-door hearing before the Senate ethics committee, Boisvenu offered no comment on the report's findings.

Conservative Sen. Raynell Andreychuk said the committee will want to reflect on Boisvenu's arguments before making a decision.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version incorrectly identified Conservative Sen. Raynell Andreychuk as a Liberal.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media