Senator Mike Duffy took a back exit through a Halifax hotel kitchen after delivering a speech Wednesday night and declined to answer reporters’ questions about his claims for living allowances for an Ottawa residence.

The former broadcaster told a journalist to do “adult work” such as writing on energy issues, as kitchen staff barred reporters from approaching Duffy.

Opposition MPs are questioning whether the senator’s primary residence is a cottage in Cavendish, P.E.I., as he has repeatedly stated.

The Senate is currently auditing its members to ensure they live where they say they do.

The inquiry came as a Postmedia report in December said Duffy spends the majority of his year in his Ottawa house, yet has claimed more than $33,000 in living allowances since 2010.

Duffy was in Halifax to give the keynote address at the Maritime Energy Association and he used the occasion to suggest that the public should focus on economic development and not “other issues.”