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Senators vote to suspend Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin


 

OTTAWA – Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau were cast Tuesday into political limbo — suspended by the Senate and reviled by their former Conservative colleagues, including the prime minister who appointed them.

All three have maintained they’re the victims of a politically motivated witch hunt aimed at putting a lid on a Senate expenses scandal that has engulfed Stephen Harper’s government for almost a year.

“I think it’s an extremely sad day for democracy,” Wallin said as she exited the Senate chamber after the vote, her voice heavy with emotion.

“If we can’t expect the rule of law in Canada, then where on earth can you expect it?”

Brazeau said nothing as he left the Senate. Duffy did not show up for the vote.

The trio retain the title of senator and their health, dental and life insurance coverage, but get no pay and lose their Senate privileges and resources for the duration of the current parliamentary session, which could continue for two years.

Harper’s office expressed satisfaction with the suspensions, which followed weeks of emotional, often explosive debate, punctuated by bombshell revelations from Duffy that directly implicated the Prime Minister’s Office in the scandal.

“Removing these three senators from the public payroll was the right thing to do,” the PMO said in a statement.

“They should not be collecting a public paycheque.”

While the vote to suspend the trio marks the end of a protracted and politically damaging debate, the shock waves wrought by Duffy are still reverberating for Harper and his Conservative government.

The RCMP is investigating the three senators, as well as former Liberal senator Mac Harb, and the steady drip of revelations from police documents filed in court is sure to continue to keep the scandal front and centre.

Indeed, just hours before the Senate voted to suspend the three, Harper endured another question period grilling, this time about a leaked letter that shows the RCMP is seeking documents that “may potentially be evidence of criminal wrongdoing” by some in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In particular, investigators are looking for emails related to a “script” Duffy said he was given by the PMO to cover up the fact that Nigel Wright, Harper’s chief of staff at the time, gave him $90,000 to repay his disallowed expenses.

Duffy has alleged that Wright, under instruction from the prime minister to make a political embarrassment go away, orchestrated a “monstrous” conspiracy to cover up the transaction. He claims PMO concocted a false story about him taking out a bank loan.

The move to suspend the three one-time star Conservative Senate appointees caused tensions within Tory ranks. But in the end, only one Conservative senator, Hugh Segal, voted against all three suspensions.

Six more Tory senators abstained on the motion to suspend Brazeau, four abstained when it came to Wallin and Duffy.

Most Liberal senators voted against the suspensions but seven, including Liberal Senate leader James Cowan, abstained — taking the advice of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

In the end, senators voted 50-29 to suspend Brazeau, with 13 abstentions, and 52-28 to suspend Duffy, with 11 abstentions. In Wallin’s case, the vote was 52-27, with 12 abstentions.

Brazeau, who voted against the motion, sat hanging his head as the vote proceeded, then stood and shook the hand of Liberal colleague Jim Munson before leaving the chamber after the results were announced.

Wallin sat on the edge of her seat, her hands clenched in front of her, twitching her thumbs as the Yes votes were catalogued. She voted against suspending Brazeau and Duffy but chose to abstain when it came to the vote on her own fate.


 
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Senators vote to suspend Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin

  1. Being whipped by House whips when your political future depends upon craven obedience is one thing.

    Being whipped by Marjorie LeBreton when you have absolutely nothing to lose is a whole other level of bonelessness.

    Feel proud, distinguished Senators. If you thought your country’s opinion of you could go no lower, you were wrong.

    • “another whole level of bonelessness” has me in stitches. And they were whipped by Carignan, but that too is astonishingly boneless. Maybe craven and boneless are the key attributes harp looks for in an appointee.

  2. Canada sinks to a new low….due process just went out the window, as mob rule walked in the door.

    • I have to be honest, it felt like I was watching a lynching take place in the senate by the PMO. Did you ever see the movie with Kirk Douglas ” Paths of Glory ” , the only thing missing was the firing squad. it was quite the experience, especially if you believe in our Canadian judicial system. Four of my family members offered the ultimate sacrifice in both 1st and 2nd world war for justice, freedom and rule of law for due process this country. I would say they are rolling in their graves today. this is a very sad day for justice in our history. Good bye to justice, and hello to a banana republic.

      • I agree….guilty or innocent, we’re supposed to find out FIRST before any punishment.

        The rule of law was the cornerstone of our society….now the PM can just call for someone’s punishment….and poof it’s a done deed.

  3. Don’t feel too sorry for those three senators.

    Yes they were expelled without their day in court. But that means they were expelled without a criminal record.
    Had they went to court they the evidence would probably have been so overwhelming against them that a conviction would have resulted.

    Then they would have been expelled with a criminal record and possibly a prison sentence.
    All involved knew at the end of the f=day this was the best way out.

    Plus those three can now play the role of victim, although nothing could be further from the truth.

    • If that had been what had happened I would have had no disturbed feelings about the travesty I watched today to live with. I like many people only wanted a reasonable due process followed, which clearly never happened in this case. Instead I felt like I was watching a drumhead courtmartial and worse taking place not out of noble principle or for justice but to get rid of a political problem for a sitting PM who wanted to kill a scandal swirling around him and his government and especially his office.

      There was so far ZERO proof of theft by these Senators, last time I checked theft required proving criminal intent/mens rea/guilty mind, and given by the auditor’s own comments in the reports stating the rules were very unclear allowing for significant overcharging without malicious intent to happen. I also know that there was no fair process for the Senators to defend their actions ever provided in all of this, no hearings, no chance to actually confront the charges being leveled and refuting them aside from this farce of an expulsion process, which I might add was cut very short by the government with time allocation preventing even what little due process existed there from being allowed to occur.

      I have never had much use for any of these three as Senators from the moment their appointments were announced. I thought they were poor choices (although Wallin less so, she actually had some actual public service record and the gravitas from good service in it unlike the other two), but that does not mean I think they deserve to be clearly treated in an unjust, partisan political manner solely to deal with a political scandal troubling the PM (as opposed to having been actually even charged let alone convicted for misuse of Senate resources) either.

      This was one of the ugliest things I have seen in Canadian federal politics in my lifetime, indeed one of the ugliest in our history, there is nothing positive to be found in this day except for Harper partisans. Too many Canadians fought and died in two World Wars to keep us in a nation where the rule of law, equality under that law, and due process was respected, having this travesty happen so close to Remembrance Day underscores just how much this act dishonours those sacrifices by stampeding on those core Canadian values IMHO. Regardless of the merits or lack thereof of the Senators, the lack of proper due process is the real scandal and that was driven by PM Harper (anyone that actually believes this was pushed only by the Conservative Leader in the Senate on his own initiative, got some lovely land in Florida for you, not to mention this bridge in Brooklyn) for his own political needs.

      Worse, he enacted another scandal to cover up the damage from a prior scandal he is so closely related to, namely his CoS appearing to have bribed a sitting Senator for his silence to prevent a political problem of perception for him and his party given how closely linked that Senator was in fundraising and other respects since his appointment Dec 22 2008 through to the 2011 election. Not to mention being the face for the last CPC policy convention 2 years ago. How anyone can find anything good about this entire stinking mess, even a partisan, is something I find truly mind boggling.

      Scotian

  4. the canadian government has sunk to a new low i do belive they are gulity and need to be held accountable for the tax payers money, payback or not you still did it in the first place..

  5. Mr. Speaker, may I ask your name? A deafening silence ensued
    – on orders of the PMO. But Mr. Speaker,
    should we be concerned that our presently reviled institution prefers JUDGEMENT
    over DUE-PROCESS where the heretic’s repartee is ‘I COULD’T CARE LESS’. More
    silence and insecure moments ensue, on the orders of the PMO. But Mr. Speaker, should we not be concerned the
    future now involves ‘litigation-hell’ for Senators with available ‘existing paper-trails’ which may be inspected
    any time, by anyone, including the RCMP? After all, Mr. Speaker, those
    documents are online. Another embarrassing pregnant pause, halted abruptly by –
    But Mr. Speaker, this is concerning abject corruption in the PMO – THIS IS THE
    COUNTRY’S BUSINESS! By your leave Mr.
    Speaker, should we believe the politically motivated D-Audit was cynically and
    criminally altered for political expediency by the highest office in the land? Must
    we believe the Senate belongs only to the heretic? Let me be absolutely clear
    Mr. Speaker, does there exist in (the bowls of) the PMO a ‘paper trail’ digitally
    erased or perhaps an absent Hard Drive? A
    monologue of prevarication ensues to the exhaustion of all. Mr. Speaker; the trashing
    of one’s character and livelihood appears to be a serious business and apparently
    the perversion of Common’s decency is, by most accounts, a contemptuous,
    outrageous, effrontery – an affront upon truth & justice ‘at its BASE’. But to be absolutely clear Mr. Speaker, one
    may contact tens of thousands of local fair-minded folk and, then, at the ‘Wright’
    opportunity take punitive action against the heretic cohorts. Apparently Mr.
    Speaker the majority of peoples will not forget infamous ‘Back-Room Deals’ or ‘Contempt
    of Parliament’ regarding the avoidance of questions from Her Majesty’s Official
    Opposition. Apparently, the majority of peoples will not forget those in
    highest authority who practice overt deceit and duplicity, such that their blessings
    shall be metered with similar perverted injustice. Mr. Speaker please ‘feel
    free’ without threat of sanction, to respond. Should we, the people, TAKE
    ACTION to immortalize in glass the ‘Iron Laddie’ and place the residue of toxic
    substance in a museum of Lost Souls, adjacent to the Hill, so future parliamentarians
    will be succinctly addressed, daily, regarding the REAL POTENTIAL THREAT to this,
    the fragile constitution? Apparently, Mr. Speaker, comfortable apathy is no
    longer acceptable and our sense, (and sensibilities), demand atonement, which,
    no doubt, will be metered by the majority who await that delicious moment in great
    anticipation.

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