Since the collapse of the pedestal Patrick Brazeau called home, little has been heard beyond the initial reactions. Perhaps the changing of the guard in Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AANDC), which saw John Duncan replaced with Bernard Valcourt as minister, had some positive results for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Certainly it bought this government some time to get certain problem areas out of the media spotlight. There was the hunger strike, the media coverage of the Idle No More movement, the murdered and missing women issue, Patrick Brazeau, Senate reform and a host of other negative stories dominating the media.

The desire to put these concerns on the back shelf has led First Nations to believe the Harper administration doesn’t take their concerns seriously and hopes they will simply go away. Many point to Brazeau’s appointment as a senator as an example of this. Harper’s Aboriginal golden boy was a concern from the start as the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) had no real credibility. They claimed to represent off-reserve Aboriginals, yet their leaders were “elected” by only a few people and mostly bureaucrats at that. But they said what the government wanted and received greater funding while organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) saw their finances being cut. Brazeau was front and centre stage as Harper’s sycophant.

Touted as an Aboriginal expert, Brazeau could safely criticize any Aboriginal person or organization, something that was more difficult for his non-Native higher-ups.

Any concerns over financial mismanagement, both personal and professional, were ignored and the same went for the allegations of sexual harassment. These red lights included Brazeau’s salary being garnished by Revenue Quebec for falling behind in child-support payments and other financial irregularities.

For example, Patrick Brazeau used his former father-in-law’s address in a First Nations community to claim an Aboriginal income tax exemption from 2004 to 2008. He was head of CAP at that time and this confused a few people, including Kitigan Zibi Chief Gilbert Whiteduck, who said, “I’m not sure how he would have done that. Normally you have income tax exemption when you live on a reserve and you are employed by a reserve.”

Remember, this is the behaviour of the senator who loudly proclaimed, “I have been a strong proponent of accountability and sometimes of the lack of accountability.”

While it’s all quiet on the western front, it might be time for the government to ensure it remains so. If Brazeau can extend the time he is in court and delays his final sentencing past December 2015 before he resigns from the Senate, he will get a pension for life. This will create an uproar.

It might just be easier to look at his tax evasion practice, however. The $21,000 per year housing allowance he falsely claimed works out to over $80,000 since he was appointed to the Senate. Add in the non-payment of income tax from the past with fines and Brazeau may have to claim bankruptcy, which, according to Senate rules, would lead to his expulsion from the Red Chamber. It could be a quiet way out for a government that likes the silence of the land.