Sen. David Tkachuk has announced his decision to step down as the chair of the Committee on Internal Economy from Thursday onwards, stating that he is scheduled to undergo a “preventative treatment for cancer.” Tkachuk was appointed to the Senate in 1993 by Brian Mulroney and has been chairing the committee since 2011. In his statement to the Senate, Tkachuk stated that “because (the) treatment will take me through the summer, there’s no guarantee of success; it makes it impossible for me to fulfill my duties in these very trying times.” He added that “it is in the best interest of the committee and of the Senate that I step down as chair, though I will remain as a member the committee.”
The committee monitoring the financial administration of the Senate has been in the lime light since the expense scandal erupted, including Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb. Now, the Senate has agreed to allow Auditor General Michael Ferguson to conduct a comprehensive audit, for which he was to meet with the committee on Tuesday.
Tkachuk mentioned that “I don’t like to leave jobs unfinished, but at the same time, I don’t want to add to the committee’s problems.” He added that “given the present preoccupation of the committee, its chair needs to be available to deal with situations as it unfolds — whether that means meeting next week, or meetings over the next few months, when the Senate is not sitting. Given my present state of health, there is no guarantee that I would be available for these meetings.”
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