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The Hon.
 Patrick Brazeau

Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 8, 2009
Preceded by Marisa Ferretti Barth

Born November 11, 1974 (1974-11-11) (age 35)
Kitigan Zibi, Quebec
Political party Conservative
Profession activist

Patrick Brazeau (born November 11, 1974) is a Canadian aboriginal activist and senator sitting with the Conservative Party. From February 2006 until January 2009 he held the position of national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

Brazeau is an Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi reserve near Maniwaki. He served with the Canadian Forces Maritime Command aboard the HMCS Carleton, and also earned a degree in social sciences and has studied civil law at the University of Ottawa.

Brazeau joined the Congress in 2001 and was elected vice-chief in April 2005. He served as acting national chief from February 2006 until his election later in November of the same year. He is a member of CAP's affiliate, Alliance Autochtone du Quebec Inc. also known was the Native Alliane of Quebec, or the AAQ or NAQ.[1].

Fluent in both official Canadian languages, English and French, Brazeau's language preference is French.

On December 22, 2008, Brazeau was named to the Senate of Canada on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.[2] He was sworn in as a senator on January 8, 2009.

Controversy

Brazeau was criticized for his initially stated intention to serve in the Senate and concurrently remain national chief of the CAP thus collecting two publicly-funded six-figure salaries, a decision which he subsequently retreated from by resigning as CAP chief. [3] He has also come under fire over a sexual harassment complaint made against him to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario [4] and for allegedly condoning heavy drinking during business hours. [5] Brazeau resigned [6]from his position of national chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples on January 9, 2009, issuing the following statement [7] on the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples' website:

"In December 2008, I was honoured by my nomination to the Senate of Canada by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Such an appointment is a great privilege and affords me the considerable opportunity to continue my public service to Canada. My goal is and has always been to serve Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and my country to the best of my skills and abilities, in a manner that is accountable, responsible and transparent. I am committed to bringing this same discipline to my role as a Senator in the Parliament of Canada. To this end, I have decided to step down from my position as National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples effective immediately. I am eager to fully embrace my new role and to contribute to the important work of the Senate of Canada. I am committed to continuing my advancement of Aboriginal issues and opportunities across Canada. Further, I relish the opportunity to build upon the achievements of Prime Minister Harper’s government."

In addition, he has faced allegations around the spending of funds received by the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples for aboriginal health programs. The Globe and Mail reported on January 19, 2009 that Health Canada auditors rejected almost $260,000 in congress expenses out of a budget of $472,900 allocated to the congress by the ministry, alleging that much of the money had been spent on board meetings where health issues were not discussed.[8] Conservative Party spokesman Kory Teneycke indicated that the alleged misspending occurred before Brazeau became chief of the organization, and that Brazeau took steps to address the problem once he took over the leadership.[9]

References

External links

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