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article imageCanadian Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin quits caucus

By Karl Gotthardt     May 17, 2013 in Politics
Ottawa - Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin has resigned from the conservative caucus and will sit as an independent pending the completion of the external audit into her expense claims. She is the second senator in as many days to resign from the caucus.
In a short statement Wallin said that she has been involved in an external audit since December 2012 and that she has cooperated fully and willingly with the auditors.
I have been involved in the external audit process since December 2012 and I have been cooperating fully and willingly with the auditors. I have met with the auditors, answered all the questions and provided all requested documentation,” Wallin said in a statement issued Friday evening.
I had anticipated that the audit process would be complete by now, but given that it continues, I have decided to recuse myself from the Conservative Caucus and I will have no further comment until the audit process is complete.
Senator Mike Duffy resigned yesterday after it was revealed that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff had cut a personal cheque to repay the $90,000 that he was asked to repay for primary residence claims. It was later revealed that he may have double dipped claiming expenses from campaigning and also for working for the senate. This has yet to be proven.
The National Post reports that Wallin's travel expenses amounted to $321,000 since September 2010 and have been subject to an external audit since December 2012.
CBC reports that Prime Minister Harper has defended Wallin's travel expenses in the past stating that her expenses were comparable with parliamentarians from that part of the country.
Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from that particular area of the country over that period of time," Harper said in the House of Commons in February. "For instance, last year Senator Wallin spent almost half of her time in the province she represents in the Senate.
Wallin had a distinguished career in broadcasting, starting at CBC in CBC radio's news division in 1979. In 1981 she joined CTV and became a co-host on Canada AM. Wallin was hired by CBC in 1992 and started as a co-host with Peter Mansbridge on Prime Time News, a show that did poorly in the ratings.
Wallin's Broadcasting career came to an end, when she was appointed by the Liberal government of the time to become Canada's Consul General in New York in 2002 for a four year term.
Afterward she became a senior advisor to the president of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in New York.
In March 2007, she was appointed the seventh Chancellor of the University of Guelph, being installed in June of the same year, and she is also now a corporate director of CTVglobemedia and sits on the Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan, chaired by former cabinet minister John Manley.
She was also appointed by the Governor-General as an honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
On January 2, 2009 Wallin was appointed to the Senate and represents Saskatchewan, where she resides.
More about Pamela Wallin, Senate, Travel Expense Claims, Canada, Canadian Politics
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