LISTEN: 'You will never break my spirit': Sen. Wallin
Pamela Wallin says a government move to expel her from the Senate is purely politically motivated and an affront to Canadian democracy.
The embattled senator, who has reimbursed almost $150,000 in travel expense claims the Senate has ruled invalid, says her travails are the result of "personal vendettas'' against her by confidantes of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"For the better part of a year, the government has sought to embarrass me and undermine me in the public eye," Wallin said. "It has said things about me which simply are not true. This has left my reputation, hard-earned over the last 40 years, in tatters.
Wallin specifically blames Sen. Marjory LeBreton, former government leader in the Senate, and Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen, a former Harper aide who was a key member of the committee which oversaw an audit into Wallin's expenses and referred the matter to the RCMP.
Stewart Olsen announced today that she was stepping down from the Senate subcommittee that oversaw the audits.
Wallin wrapped up her speech by suggesting she was being thrown under the bus by her fellow Tories.
"They hoped all this would force me to resign," she said. "But despite the clear, vindictive intent of this motion, you will never break my spirit."
The RCMP is also investigating allegedly improper expenses claimed by fellow former Conservative senators Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau, as well as former Liberal Sen. Mac Harb.
Wallin is taking her turn defending herself one day after Sen. Mike Duffy dropped bombshell accusations that implicated Harper in a conspiracy to intimidate him into accepting $90,000 from Harper's chief of staff to reimburse the Senate for his ineligible expenses.
Duffy also implicated LeBreton and Stewart Olsen.
Meanwhile, in the House of Commons today, the opposition continued to hammer away at prime minister Stephen Harper over the allegations raised by Duffy yesterday.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says the only way to restore public faith in the Senate is for Harper to testify under oath about what he knew and when he knew it.
And NDP Leader Tom Mulcair says Duffy has directly implicated the prime minister, who insists he knew nothing of his former chief of staff's scheme to pay back Duffy's disallowed housing claims.
Mulcair says Harper has fostered a "culture of corruption'' that's to blame for the expense scandal and the campaign within the Prime Minister's Office to cover it up.
Richard Deschamps contributed to this report.