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 The skeletons in Senator LeBreton’s closet

The skeletons in Senator LeBreton’s closet


When I heard that Senator Marjorie LeBreton was stepping down, as leader of the Conservative government in the senate, I wasn’t surprised. Many ignore what could be the real reason about the powerful senator throwing in the towel: a marital scandal that until now the senator has managed to keep very hush-hush.


Recently, Canadian commentator Rex Murphy wrote: “For a government that fought its way into office to clean up Ottawa, things are not looking so good. The capital city has been roiling the past few days over something as basic as the expense accounts of a few senators.” Murphy, who’s been a journalist since the 70s was alluding to Conservative senators—Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau—that had to leave the caucus because it would have seemed like the three were using taxpayers as their personal piggy bank to loot.


Allegedly, they were charging the public treasury for personal expenses. “Perhaps most damaging,” Murphy also wrote, “the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Nigel Wright has resigned over his reaching into his own back pocket for $90-thousand to bail out Senator Mike Duffy, who was on the hook for his questionable housing expense claims.” As chieftain, LeBreton has been dealing for months with the Senate expense scandal involving the housing and travel claims of her colleagues.  


What happens in the Caribbean LeBreton wants it to stay in the Caribbean


In the Dominican Republic there is a mother who blames Senator Marjory LeBreton for losing her two daughters. It is a story that most Canadians ignore because unlike in the United States, in Canada some politicians’ dirty laundry is top secret. Susana Hamilton-Reyes has not seen her twin daughters since they came to visit their father in Canada over a decade ago. She blames Senator LeBreton for not being able to see them or fight for her rights as their mother.


Susana met her husband Keith Hamilton a former employee of the senator in Puerto Plata in 1997. They met while she worked as a bartender in Costambar where Mr. Hamilton owned a small hotel. She traveled to Canada for the first time on a visitor visa in May of 1997, which was issued for two years. However, after spending less than ten weeks in Canada, she went back to the Dominican Republic.


A couple of years after, a man by the name of Douglas LeBreton came to visit for a week. Who was he? He was the husband of Senator Marjory LeBreton, the most powerful senator of the Conservative Party. Susana says that she didn't know who the man really was until later, when something happened.


The day he arrived in Puerto Plata, Mr. LeBreton asked Mr. Hamilton to call him a cab. “I am going for a drink,” he said. Mr. LeBreton ended up at Amadito, a well-known prostitution bar in Puerto Plata, from where he took a young escort service home. He offered her 3000 pesos for her services or the equivalency of approximately $70.


According to the prostitute, the influential tourist refused to pay after she spent the night with him. “I was too drunk; there was no sex between the two of us,” Mr. LeBreton said. “I don’t care if you didn't perform. You still have to pay me. I stayed with you all night. This is my job,” the young companion said. Several of the hotel's employees heard them arguing. Susana did what she thought was right. She went over to the room and offered the young prostitute …a person she didn't know… the equivalency of $15 and asked her to leave.


She left, but came back in the evening. It would’ve been around 9 p.m. when the hotel security guard saw her arrive with two beers in her hands. According to sources, the woman went up to Mr. LeBreton’s room and knocked on his door.  He opened it and she stayed with him all night. At approximately 10 a.m. one of Susana’s female employees went and knocked on Mr. LeBreton’s room. Apparently, he communicated that he wasn’t feeling well. He was shaky and having problem walking.


That evening, Susana told her husband that she was concerned. “I don’t want to go to bed and leave your friend like that.” Mr. Hamilton asked her to call a cab and “take Doug to the hospital; I will stay with the girls."


He was admitted to the clinic, where he stayed for a few days. The official diagnosis from the doctor was that “something was put” in his drink that made him sick. This was likely done by the prostitute after she returned. It is possible that she came back to get even, but this is unclear.


Mr. LeBreton begged Susana to talk to the doctor, so he wouldn’t divulge his finding. “I don’t want my wife (Marjory LeBreton) to find out about this; she is a senator with the government and this is going to cause me problems.” Eventually, the senator found out about it after Mr. Hamilton called to let her know that her husband was ill.


Senator LeBreton got the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and the Dominican Police involved. “Marjory LeBreton did it to intimidate us,” said Susana.


In 2003, Susana’s twin daughters travelled to Canada to visit their father and that was the last time she saw them. Shortly after they travelled to Canada for what the mother thought was a short visit or until she rendezvoused with her husband, he wanted custody. He sent Susana court documents in the Dominican giving her a couple of weeks to come to court and fight for her daughters.


Distraught, betrayed and broken-hearted, Susana ran to the Canadian embassy in Santo Domingo and applied for a visa, so she could travel to Canada and fight for her daughters. She was denied a visa because according to immigration, she had a criminal record in Canada.  As a result, they awarded full custody to her husband. Despite being in Canada three times and leaving the country willingly, she has repeatedly applied for a visa to come and see her daughters, and the Canadian government always turns it down.


The Dominican mother believes that Senator LeBreton has used her influence not only as senator but as the leader of the government in the senate to separate her from her daughters. Susana has not been the same person since her daughters were taken for her. For a while, she was suicidal. She has knocked on many doors during her quest to see her daughters, again. And quite frankly, now that Senator LeBreton is stepping down as leader is unlikely that the mother will ever be allowed into Canada to see her daughters.


She has visited the Catholic Church in Santo Domingo several times, where she spoke with the Dominican cardinal. She has told her story to the Dominican media, and she even visited the office of the former Dominican’s First Lady, but to no avail. She even contacted the National Council for Children and Adolescents in the Dominican capital.


What did they tell her?


“Your case has very little chance of ever changing, because of the strong opposition you have to enter Canada, especially now that that lady (Marjorie LeBreton) has more state power, as she was appointed Leader of the Government in Parliament.”


Senator LeBreton believes that her husband was poisoned in the Dominican Republic and she blames the wife of (Keith Hamilton) her former employee. When tourists visit the island, it is what many do; they enjoy their holidays. However, quoting Susana after what he said to her, it seems like the senator’s husband was looking for comfort in the wrong place.  


“Douglas said that he hardly spends time with his wife in Canada because she is always gone doing her things with the government,” said Susana. “He showed me his hands…his fingernails were dirty…he said that he does everything at home, from cleaning to cooking.”  Susana believes that Senator LeBreton is embarrassed about what her husband did and said while he was on vacation in the Caribbean and this is why she helped with separating her from her daughters.


Dalbert Sánchez


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