Sen. Mike Duffy loses appeal over lawsuit seeking damages from Senate


OTTAWA — An attempt by Sen. Mike Duffy to overturn a decision blocking him from suing the Senate for millions of dollars over his suspension without pay has been rejected.

The Ontario Court of Appeal is upholding a 2018 lower court ruling that said the Senate’s decision to suspend Duffy is protected by parliamentary privilege.

In a unanimous ruling today, the judges say the courts do not have jurisdiction to rule on matters decided by the Senate, which can only be adjudicated by the Senate itself.

The appeal was part of the Prince Edward Island senator’s efforts to receive $7.8 million in reimbursement and damages from the Senate, RCMP and the federal government.

Duffy was suspended without pay for nearly two years over the Senate expenses scandal, for which he was ultimately acquitted of 31 criminal charges in 2016.

His lawyer Lawrence Greenspon had argued the decision to suspend Duffy in November 2013 came at the direction of then-prime minister Stephen Harper’s office, making it a politically motivated decision that forfeited the Senate’s immunity.