Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu has resigned from the Conservative caucus after learning that he is the subject of an RCMP investigation into his expenses.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Boisvenu to the upper house five years ago.

Boisvenu was a key, high-profile senatorial appointment for the prime minister.

He was a senior public servant for the government of Quebec. 

He is also founder of a victims’ rights organization. His daughter was raped and murdered. 

In the Senate, Senator Boisvenu devoted himself to law and order and security issues. He has been one of the most vocal and enthusiastic government-side supporters of Harper’s so-called anti-terror bill, C-51.

In fact, Boisvenu is the seconder, in the Senate, of C-51, which was moved by former Ontario Conservative cabinet minister Senator Bob Runciman.

That Bill had been due to come to a final vote in the Senate yesterday, on Thursday, June 4. But, at the last minute, the vote was postponed to Tuesday of next week.

Now, the fact of Senator Boisvenu no longer being a member of the government side caucus could present a problem.

It is not yet clear whether Boisvenu will remain the seconder of record, or whether the Conservatives will try to designate a different seconder.

The latter option may not be permitted by Senate rules. That, too, is not clear.

Stay tuned. This story is unfolding in all its dramatic and complex elements.  

Karl Nerenberg

Karl Nerenberg joined rabble in 2011 to cover Canadian politics. He has worked as a journalist and filmmaker for many decades, including two and a half decades at CBC/Radio-Canada. Among his career highlights...