Records obtained by The Guardian Tuesday from the provincial taxation and property division office show Duffy and his wife Heather are identified as non-resident owners of their Cavendish cottage and thus pay higher property taxes.
Prince Edward Island charges 50 per cent more in property taxes to owners who are not permanent residents of the Island. In order to get the lower tax rate, one must reside in the province for 183 days consecutively. The P.E.I. government does not currently offer Duffy the lower permanent resident rate and identifies him as a non-resident.
Senator Duffy also wasn’t on the PEI voters list in 2011 and cast a ballot in that year’s Ontario election. This matters because Section 23(5) of the Constitution Act specifies that a senator “shall be resident of in the Province for which he is appointed.”
Last December, it was reported that Senator Duffy was claiming living expenses for his time in Ottawa. Amid an audit of the expenses claimed by some senators, Senator Duffy appealed to the PEI health minister’s office to expedite a request for a provincial health card. The Star has video of Senator Duffy’s Cavendish cottage.
None of this would be of concern if the Senate was abolished.