This is a decision for the courts, or a formal judicial hearing, not for this chamber.
By throwing a member of this Senate under the bus, finding her guilty without a fair hearing such as any other Canadian could expect – a right guaranteed us by the Charter – to proceed without the evidence having been adduced and considered on which the charge in the motion is based – is a fundamental affront to Canadian democracy – and makes a mockery of this chamber.
This charade is supposedly about preserving the reputation of this place – but the real intent is to remove a perceived liability – namely me.
“Gross negligence” is not found in Internal Economy’s nor Deloitte’s reports – although you don’t officially know that because neither has been tabled and debated here.
This issue is no longer about expenses or audits or transparency or accountability or even about the reputation of this chamber – it about the abuse of power.
If, as I suspect, Senator Carignan is taking direction from the PMO, then this process is not in the interests of an independent, functioning and effective Senate – although it is most clearly in the interests of those who want to abolish this chamber.
It’s also designed to appease the party faithful before the Conservative party convention at the end of the month.
It is intended to intimidate – not only me but others in this chamber. It is about political expediency – to get rid of someone it considers to be a political liability.
They are doing this based on negative public opinion whipped up by the news media who used confidential and sometimes personal information leaked to them by members of this chamber – at least that is what I have been told by some knowledgeable people.
These were targeted leaks, many of them incorrect, designed to cast my conduct in the worst possible light.
They were personal and vindictive – and violated all the rules of this place.
My lawyer wrote to the Senate and to the chair of the subcommittee months ago asking for an investigation into 14 documented leaks – there were many more – but we never even received a reply – and of course there was no investigation.
We are entitled to that investigation under the rules.
We believe those leaks were orchestrated in large measure by Senators LeBreton and Stewart-Olsen.
This whole proceeding against me, plus the leaks and the lack of an opportunity and legitimate forum in which to defend myself is backroom politics of the most odious kind – rooting out those that have fallen from favor or sending them into exile – it is, as my lawyer has said, Kafka-esque.
For example, one of the senators who sits in judgment of all of us, who had her sights trained on me from the beginning, Senator Stewart-Olsen, has recently had questions raised about her own probity in relation to her residential expense claims.
But of course there will be no Deloitte audit in her case.
Apparently, the Committee on Internal Economy, of which she has long been a member, intends to consider her matter in private.
This is a double standard – she gets kid glove treatment and I’m unfairly singled out for a retroactive audit.
She and Marjory LeBreton could not abide the fact that I was outspoken in caucus, or critical of their leadership – or that my level of activity brought me into the public eye and once garnered the praise of the prime minister. They resented that – they resented me being an activist senator.
In this chamber, Senator Marjory LeBreton derided me, accusing me of having an inflated view of my role.
“This narcissism” … she said … “is the crux of the situation before us.”
In fact, the crux of the situation is not about narcissism – not hers or mine or anyone else’s – the crux of this matter is the lack of due process and a flawed system that allows personal vendettas to be indulged.
In my case, there was a secret investigation of my activities and expenses that went on for months – I only learned about that much later. I was not even told last November when Senator LeBreton made her allegations and refused to cite her basis for alleging I had misspent Senate funds.