An expense scandal involving Senator Mike Duffy has sparked a loud response across Canada, but perhaps nowhere more so than in his home province of Prince Edward Island.

Duffy has been a household name in P.E.I. for many years but some residents say his reputation has been tarnished since his residency on the island was called into question.

“I don’t see him an as island resident,” says Samantha Johnson. “I’ve seen the picture of the home he apparently owns, and it definitely doesn’t look like he’s been living there.”

CTV News reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote a personal cheque to Duffy to cover the expenses he repaid to the senate.

The $90,172 in expenses were related to improperly filed claims for housing expense reimbursement.

The personal cheque was a gift from Wright, who is a former Bay Street executive.

"Mr. Duffy agreed to repay the expenses because it was the right thing to do. However, Mr. Duffy was unable to make a timely repayment," Andrew MacDougall, Harper's director of communications, wrote in the email.

"Mr. Wright therefore wrote a cheque from his personal account for the full amount owing so that Mr. Duffy could repay the outstanding amount."

In a Feb. 20 email, Duffy said Wright worked out a “scenario” where all of his claimed living expenses would be covered, including “cash for the repayment.”

Two days later, Duffy publicly vowed to reimburse the taxpayers, saying he "may have been mistaken" when he filled out Senate housing allowance forms, claiming a cottage in Prince Edward Island as his primary residence.

In March, Duffy repaid $90,172. Last week, the government praised him for showing “leadership” in paying back the funds.

“He paid it back, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” says Charlottetown resident Allan Flynn. “He knows where he lives.”

Don Desserud, a political science professor at the University of Prince Edward Island, says there are two different issues at hand.

“One is whether travelling back and forth to Ottawa from a residence somewhere in the country would be a legitimate expense. If you don’t have to, it’s an illegitimate expense,” says Desserud.

He says the other issue is the role of the senator and what residency requirements senators have.

“And the theory is that being a resident in that province, you have a different attitude or a different perception of that province than you would if you didn’t, if you lived somewhere else.”

Desserud says that was probably the role of what was imagined for senators in 1867.

The president of the P.E.I. Progressive Conservatives did not comment on the matter today.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Martin Poirier and