OTTAWA – Sen. Mike Duffy, the former Conservative at the centre of an ongoing housing expenses scandal, says he is taking medical leave from the Senate.
In a letter to Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella, Duffy says he’s been advised by his doctor to avoid stress and stay off work until his medical team clears him to resume normal activity.
Duffy, who underwent open heart surgery in 2006 for three blockages, says he suffered an attack of “unstable angina” in late August and spent two and a half days in hospital.
He says his doctor fears Duffy’s heart disease has progressed and has ordered immediate tests.
Duffy is one of four senators under investigation by the RCMP amid allegations that he fraudulently claimed living expenses to which he was not entitled.
The RCMP is also investigating a transaction in which Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, gave Duffy $90,000 to reimburse the Senate for his inappropriate expense claims.
Here’s the text of Duffy’s letter to the Speaker of the Senate:
I am writing to bring you up to date on my health status.
When I had open heart surgery in 2006, they found 3 blockages. Because of bleeding, broken ribs and various complications, they ended up fixing the main problem, but did not want to keep me on the table longer to fix the other 2 blocked vessels. They suggested that surgery could come later.
At the end of August this year I suffered unstable angina at home on PEI, and spent 2.5 days in the QEH.
On examination here this week, my Ottawa GP fears the disease has progressed. He is suggesting immediate tests. My GP suggests that to avoid further stress on my system, I stay off work until I get the all-clear from my medical team.
Hon. Mike Duffy