Senate to Arrive Decision on Spending Scandal Suspensions

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Senators Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau might be walking into the Senate building for the last time on Tuesday, possibly until 2015, as it prepares to finally vote on a previously tabled motion. The motion to suspend three senators without pay was tabled two weeks ago, since when debates were continuing, but now the Senate has determined to limit any more debate and finally reach a decision on Tuesday afternoon. The motion seeks to suspend the three embattled senators without pay, though still allowing their health and dental benefits and their titles until the Senate lifts the suspensions, or the parliamentary session comes to a close.

The Conservatives influentially used their majority in the Senate on Monday to approve a motion limiting further debate on motions to suspend the three senators without pay. However, the vote still did not result in unanimous consensus among the governing party. Conservatives Nancy Ruth, John Wallace and Hugh Segal voted against their party’s move, while Don Plett and Don Meredith abstained from voting.

During the same session on Monday, Brazeau made a last minute attempt in persuading his fellow senators not to force a vote on Tuesday. He mentioned in a letter addressed to all parliamentarians that “colleagues, if this can happen to me, it can happen to you.” He also took the opportunity to reiterate that external auditors found that he meets all four criteria for claiming a housing allowance for a secondary residence in Ottawa, concluding that Senate policy on the allowance was vague to determine if anyone had claimed it inappropriately.

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