OTTAWA — The youngest senator in the upper chamber also has the poorest attendance record for this session of Parliament.
Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau, 37, was absent for 25 per cent of the 72 sittings between June 2011 and April 2012, the Senate attendance register shows.
By the end of that period, the Quebecer was four days away from being fined. Senators are allowed to miss up to 21 days in each parliamentary session for religious holidays, family illness or obligations, and funerals and grief.
They can also be away on public business, such as travel or a parliamentary delegation, as long it was unavoidable.
After that, they can be fined $250 for each day missed.
The records for May and June have not been submitted yet.
Between June 2011 and April 2012, Brazeau also missed 65 per cent of meetings at the aboriginal peoples committee on which he sits.
And he was away for 31 per cent of the meetings of the human rights committee, where he is deputy chair.
The senator, appointed in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, sent an email response to a request for comment.
“The very simple answer to your question with respect to my attendance or lack thereof is for personal matters,” said Brazeau, former national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.
He did not elaborate, but later posted a public message on Twitter directed to this reporter: “while u smile Jen, others suffer. Change the D to a B in your last name and we’re even! Don’t mean it but needs saying.”
The reporter’s last name? Ditchburn.
Senator Brazeau, that is not what needs saying. What needs saying is:
“Effective immediately, I, Patrick Brazeau, hereby resign….”