Vote on Senate suspensions will come before convention, Segal predicts

OTTAWA – Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal is predicting senators will vote on the controversial motions to suspend without pay three of their own before his party’s convention gets underway Thursday night in Calgary.

And despite recent hints the government is willing to soften the motions to expedite their passage, Segal says he’s seen no evidence to that effect.

Sen. Claude Carignan, the government leader in the Senate, has indicated he might amend the motions to give senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau shorter suspensions.

But Segal — a vocal opponent of the motions from the beginning — says regardless of their duration, suspension without pay would still amount to the Senate pronouncing a sentence without due process, and he would vote against the motions.

None of the senators on hand for a Conservative caucus meeting would comment on Duffy’s claim that the party arranged to pay his legal bills, part of a “monstrous” coverup orchestrated by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Carignan and Sen. Marjory LeBreton, his predecessor as government Senate leader, refused to speak to reporters.

When Conservative Sen. Pierre Claude Nolin was asked whether Duffy’s speech Monday changed his opinion of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he said, “That’s something else.”

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