Algonquin Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau Crash-Lands in Jail, Charged With Assault
Conservative Algonquin Senator Patrick Brazeau, known for everything from lashing out at critics to losing a charity boxing match to penning a song in honor of the country’s missing and murdered aboriginal women, landed in jail last week on one charge each of domestic and sexual assault.
Appointed to the lifelong position by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008, Brazeau was thrown out of the Conservative Party caucus on February 7 as he sat in jail overnight. The 38-year-old Senator still was planning to return to work on Monday, as an independent.
He was arrested at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday February 7 at his home after 911 received a call from that residence, CBC News reported.
On Friday February 8, according to The Star, Brazeau appeared in court in Gatineau, outside Ottawa, and released on $1,000 bond. He had to agree not to contact the alleged victim in any way and to stay away from her home and place of employment; as well, he must exhibit “good behavior,” The Star reported, and may not possess firearms. He must also notify police if his address changes.
Brazeau is no stranger to controversy. He is being investigated, as are several other senators, for claiming a primary residence outside Ottawa to obtain tax breaks while collecting a housing allowance. He got into hot water last year when he suggested on Twitter that the first letter of reporter Jennifer Ditchburn’s name be switched from D to B, after she reported on his shoddy attendance record. In March of last year, he earned notoriety with his cockiness toward Liberal Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau before a charity boxing match, then proceeded to be trounced.
Most recently, he and a Conservative Member of Parliament disparaged Idle No More and Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence during her fast in protest of government policies toward aboriginals.
“I was sick two weeks ago,” Brazeau said, according to The Star, after referring to her “so-called hunger strike.” “I had the flu and I lost five pounds.”
Brazeau cannot be fired from the senate unless convicted of a crime, and he at this point has only been charged, as Postmedia News reported. However, Postmedia News noted, his ouster from the Conservative caucus does cut off the party’s funding to his Senate office. And he could be forced by the Senate to take a leave of absence, though he would still collect his salary of $132,300.
“It is extremely appalling and disappointing, and we all feel very let down,” said Harper following Brazeau’s arrest. “Obviously, in the recent period, something has been going very wrong.”
Brazeau is scheduled to appear in court again on March 22.