Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wallin describes PMO's ultimatum

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TORONTO -- Senator Pamela Wallin says the Prime Minister's Office gave her an ultimatum last month -- resign from the Conservative caucus within one hour or she would be fired.

Wallin gave an interview to the CBC Thursday night to give her side of the story on questionable expense claims that have dogged her for months.

She says the prime minister's new chief of staff, Ray Novak, and the Tory Senate leadership told her she was not "representative of the views" they wanted to have in public and had to go.

Wallin has kept a low public profile while awaiting the results of an independent audit of her expenses, but says she decided to give her side of the story because the audit has been delayed.

Wallin, who now sits as an Independent in the Senate, has repaid $38,000 in expenses and says she may have to pay more. She blames the problems on failing to properly deal with the paperwork required to submit expenses.

"There's a lot of paperwork, particularly in government, every time you move, every time you go anywhere," she told CBC's The National.

An examination of Wallin's travel expenses from September 2010 to Nov. 30, 2012, showed she claimed $29,423 in what's deemed regular travel to and from her home province of Saskatchewan, while racking up another $321,000 in other travel elsewhere in Canada and abroad.

Wallin said the questionable expenses concern business flights related to her membership on several corporate boards but were not for the Conservative party.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 14, 2013 A18

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