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Updated: Thu, 24 Oct 2013 11:37:17 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

Senate expense scandal front and centre in Ottawa today



A shot of senators Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy Composite image

A shot of senators Patrick Brazeau, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy Composite image

Senators will continue debating motions Thursday that would see three former Conservative senators suspended from the chamber without pay.

It's not yet clear when a vote on the motions will take place.

But the debate itself will give some indication of how many Conservative senators are siding with their Liberal counterparts in opposing the motion.

Critics complain that Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau are facing a sentencing without being convicted of wrongdoing.

At least one Conservative senator, Don Meredith, has said he supports a Liberal motion to have the matter sent to committee for further study.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, however, has told the House of Commons he sees nothing wrong with the Senate expulsion motions.

Wallin has called the motion an affront to Canadian democracy, motivated by politics and personal vendettas against her.

On Wednesday, Wallin told the upper chamber that her reputation has been left in tatters by personal and political vendettas involving confidantes of Harper.

Wallin accused fellow senators Carolyn Stewart Olsen and Marjory LeBreton of leaking information about her to the media. Wallin said they hoped she would resign, but she says her spirit won't be broken.

Wallin, Duffy and Brazeau have all fired back at a bid by Conservative senators to have the three suspended without pay and benefits for inappropriately claiming Senate expenses.

Duffy alleges Conservative scheme to oust him

Harper mounted a vigorous defence in question period on Wednesday against explosive remarks made yesterday by Duffy in the ongoing scandal.

Duffy alleged, in a speech to the Senate on Tuesday, there was a Conservative scheme to have him removed from the upper chamber unless he went along with a plan to repay his Senate expenses, although he believed he had followed the rules.

Less than 24 hours after Duffy made those remarks, the prime minister denied Duffy's allegation that he was more concerned about the perception of Duffy's expenses in the media than whether he violated parliamentary rules because the expense rules were “inexplicable to our base."

Harper rebutted Duffy's version of events saying, "the issue is not a matter of perception … you can not claim an expense you did not incur. That is not right, that is not proper, and that will not be tolerated in this party."

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