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Suspended senator Pamela Wallin to guest host Toronto radio show

Pamela Wallin speaks with the media as she leaves the Senate in Ottawa on Nov. 5, 2013.


In a return to her broadcasting roots, suspended senator Pamela Wallin will co-host a Toronto radio show on Thursday afternoon – an appearance the station is hinting could turn into a larger role.

Ms. Wallin is scheduled to join host Ryan Doyle on Newstalk 1010's The Live Drive. In addition to co-hosting the three-hour show, she will take questions on her suspension from the Senate last fall.

The guest role came about after Ms. Wallin contacted program director Mike Bendixen in early April to discuss possible "opportunities," Mr. Bendixen said. The station's late-afternoon show had long been hosted by John Tory, who left in late February to run for mayor of Toronto.

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"This was kind of an interesting opportunity for someone to come in and spend some time on the radio and we can see what the audience reaction is and she can put her name out there," he said.

However, Mr. Bendixen said Ms. Wallin's appearance on Thursday is not a formal audition. Since Mr. Tory left, the station has had guest co-hosts in the 4 to 7 p.m. time slot.

"I wouldn't say that there is any thought process in that direction at this point," he said. "Let's see how things go today and see whether or not it's something that she enjoys doing."

Ms. Wallin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ms. Wallin will speak openly about being suspended from the Senate, Mr. Doyle said on Wednesday's Live Drive program.

"We will address all of the Senate fallout. … We'll talk about her and her life and what has gone on," he said.

Ms. Wallin, a former CTV and CBC broadcast journalist, has largely avoided speaking publicly since she was suspended without pay from the Senate in November amid allegations that she claimed tens of thousands of dollars in improper expenses. Senators Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau were also suspended at the same time over similar accusations.

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An RCMP investigation into Ms. Wallin's expense claims is ongoing.

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