Senate scandal to loom over Tories in Calgary
OTTAWA - The Harper government's bid to suspend three disgraced Conservative senators is poised to drag on into next week, despite a last-ditch effort to make the move more palatable within the governing party's own ranks.
That means the Senate expense scandal cloud will hang over the entire Conservative party national convention, which starts Thursday evening in Calgary.
The government leadership in the Senate is proposing a last-minute amendment to the proposed suspensions, without pay, of senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, allowing the trio to keep their medical benefits.
However, Sen. Hugh Segal â€” leader of the Conservative move against the suspensions â€” says the proposal doesn't change the fact that the three are being sentenced without a fair hearing or charges, much less convictions.
The Conservative Senate leadership had hoped to limit debate on the suspension motions and force a vote before the Tory convention.
However, the Liberals have complained the move to limit debate is out of order and the Speaker of the Senate is now mulling the matter over.
Deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale says the government is "completely, 100 per cent" responsible for creating the "procedural chaos" that has surrounded its bid to suspend the senators.