Wallin lashes out over Senate suspension

Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin says being suspended from the upper chamber is the same as being expelled for life.

Wallin says Senate suspension = being expelled for life

Senator Pamela Wallin, left, speaks with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a federal election campaign rally at which Harper spoke to local Conservative candidates in Saskatoon in April, 2011. (The Canadian Press)

Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin says being suspended from the upper chamber is the same as being expelled for life.

Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau were suspended Tuesday by the Senate in the midst of an expenses scandal.

Wallin told NewsTalk radio in Saskatchewan that she can't imagine Prime Minister Stephen Harper changing his mind on the issue if he's re-elected in 2015. And she says if the Liberals win, they likely won't want three seats in the Senate filled by people who were appointed by Conservatives.

When you fall from favour then bad things happen, nasty things happen.- Sask. Senator Pamela Wallin

"Because it's unprecedented, we don't know what it means, but for all intents and purposes, we have been, I think, expelled for life," Wallin told John Gormley on his radio show Thursday.

When asked if she plans to resign, Wallin says she hasn't focused on that and needs to know what the suspension means.

"You know everything has been locked down. We're out. Our staff was fired unceremoniously yesterday," she said.

"This is a brutal, brutal process, but there are very few answers at the other end of it.

"They don't know because it's never happened before and they're kind of making it up as they go along. So we're all kind of in that process of waiting to see how they're going to implement this and what it will mean," she added.

Liberal Senate Leader James Cowan said Wednesday that the confusion is further evidence the government rushed through the suspensions to solve a political problem, without giving any thought to the possible consequences.

Health perks intact

Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau retain the titles as senators and their health, dental and life insurance coverage, but get no pay and lose their Senate privileges for the duration of the current parliamentary session.

All three are under investigation by the RCMP for making allegedly fraudulent expense claims.

All three maintain they're the victims of a political witch hunt.

Wallin, who is from Wadena, Sask., has voluntarily repaid almost $150,000 in disallowed travel expenses.

She told NewsTalk that she did what she was asked to do as a senator and was proud to serve. She also recalled that Harper once praised her work.

'Nasty' things have happened

"When you fall from favour then bad things happen, nasty things happen. I just couldn't have in my wildest dreams imagined this."

She said she doesn't have any plans for the future.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," she said. "I've reinvented myself before, I'm sure I will again."


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