No due process in Senate vote, says Callbeck
Catherine Callbeck only P.E.I. senator to vote against suspending Mike Duffy
P.E.I. Senator Catherine Callbeck says she voted against suspending Mike Duffy and two other senators on Tuesday night because due process was not followed.
She wanted the public to see and hear more from senators Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau.
"Each day brought new questions and new developments, and many of those questions remain unanswered," Callbeck wrote to CBC News in an email.
"That's why I supported a motion to send this to the rules committee where these senators, with their counsel, could testify under oath, with cameras present and allow the public to see the process."
That motion was voted down earlier on Tuesday.
Callbeck goes on to says she does condone the actions of her colleagues, but is concerned by the vote to suspend them. She also said she is concerned that the RCMP investigation may be hampered by the vote.
The Island's two other Liberal senators, Percy Downe and Libby Hubley, abstained from the votes.
For mobile device users:Was the Senate right to suspend Mike Duffy?
Full transcript of email to CBC News from Senator Catherine Callbeck
Thanks for the email. I voted against the motions to suspend. I believe in due process and these three Senators did not get it. Each day brought new questions and new developments, and many of those questions remain unanswered. That’s why I supported a motion to send this to the Rules Committee where these Senators, with their counsel, could testify under oath, with cameras present and allow the public to see the process. The public has the right to know what happened and the fact these suspensions have passed means the Senate investigative process has been shut down. I think it’s really important to get to the bottom of these allegations and find the true facts before we pass judgement.
I want to make it very clear that I’m not defending the alleged actions of these Senators, but I do support due process, and everyone should be entitled to that. I’m also very concerned that by voting to suspend, the Senate may prevent charges being laid by the RCMP. Many have made this double jeopardy argument and it’s one I’m very worried about. The last thing we want is for the RCMP to try and lay charges and not be able to because of the decision of the Senate to pass these motions.
The Senate has great powers and with that comes great responsibility. Voting no was certainly not the easy decision, but I believe it was the right one for me personally.