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'We have been... expelled for life': Wallin

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Pamela Wallin will reinvent herself.

SEAN KILPATRICK / THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Pamela Wallin will reinvent herself.

SASKATOON -- 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 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.

"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 the station 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 (Wednesday)," 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," she added.

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

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 parliamentary session. The three are under investigation by the RCMP for making allegedly fraudulent expense claims.

They say 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 she did what she was asked to do as a senator. She also recalled Harper once praised her work. "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. "I don't know what I'm going to do," she said. "I've reinvented myself before, I'm sure I will again."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2013 A19

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