TORONTO - Senator Pamela Wallin says the Prime Minister's Office gave her an ultimatum last month — resign from the Conservative caucus within one hour or she would be fired.

Wallin gave an interview to the CBC on Thursday night to give her side of the story on questionable expense claims that have dogged her for months.

She says the prime minister's new chief of staff, Ray Novak, and the Tory Senate leadership told her she was not "representative of the views" they wanted to have in public and she had to go.

Wallin has kept a low public profile while awaiting the results of an independent audit into her expenses, but says she decided to give her side of the story because the audit has been delayed.

Wallin, who now sits as an Independent in the Senate, has paid back $38,000 in expenses and says she may have to repay more.

She blames the expense problems on failing to properly deal with the paperwork required to submit expenses.

"There's a lot of paperwork particularly in government, every time you move, every time you go anywhere. Sort of more paperwork than is humanly possible to keep on top of. So I made mistakes," she told CBC's the National.

An examination of Wallin's travel expenses from September 2010 to Nov. 30, 2012, showed she had claimed $29,423 in what's deemed regular travel to and from her home province of Saskatchewan, while racking up another $321,000 in other travel elsewhere in Canada and abroad.

Wallin said the questionable expenses concern business flights related to her membership on several corporate boards but were not for the Conservative party.

"I did very little direct party work," she told the CBC. "Obviously in Saskatchewan, I went and campaigned for some of my colleagues, obviously I would do that. But, there weren't charges associated with that, because I'm actually at home."

Wallin said she never talked to Prime Minister Stephen Harper about her expense woes but did keep his then chief-of-staff Nigel Wright in the loop.

She said Wright never offered to help repay any of her expense claims as he did with Sen. Mike Duffy.

Wright resigned last month and was replaced by Novak after a firestorm of negative publicity for ponying up $90,000 to bail out Duffy, who also is out of the Conservative Senate caucus.

Wallin said her expense woes are completely different from Duffy's and those of Senators Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau, who have been told to repay money they claimed as a housing allowance.

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  • Pamela Wallin

    Pamela Wallin, at Tory senator from Saskatchewan, also found her expense claims under close scrutiny in Februrary when it was revealed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/13/pamela-wallin-travel-expenses-harper_n_2680229.html" target="_blank">she billed taxpayers $142,190.26 for trips between March 1, 2011, and Feb. 29, 2012</a>. But only $10,551.99 of her expenses were related to travel between Ottawa and Saskatchewan, while the remaining $131,638.27 was filed under "Other." Questions were also raised about whether or not she satisfied the residency requirement needed to represent Saskatchewan in the Upper Chamber. Wallin split her time between Toronto and New York prior to being named a senator in 2008, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/08/senate-residency-pamela-wallin-duffy_n_2648325.html" target="_blank">does own a plot of land in the province and two properties with family members.</a> <em>With files from CP</em>

  • Patrick Brazeau

    Patrick Brazeau first came under fire in December of 2012 amid reports he was using <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/08/patrick-brazeau-charges-sexual-assault_n_2643606.html?utm_hp_ref=patrick-brazeau" target="_blank">his former father-in-law's address </a>in Maniwaki, Que., to claim a Senate housing allowance, while actually living in Gatineau, just across the river from Parliament Hill. The Senate Board of Internal Economy subsequently asked an auditor to look at Brazeau's residency claims and expenses. In early February, Brazeau was arrested and charged with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/08/patrick-brazeau-charges-sexual-assault_n_2643606.html?utm_hp_ref=patrick-brazeau" target="_blank">assault and sexual assault </a>after a heated argument with his girlfriend turned violent. The charges promptly got Brazeau turfed from the Conservative caucus. On February 12, Brazeau was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/12/canadians-growing-ever-we_n_2667332.html" target="_blank">suspended indefinitely </a>from the Upper Chamber. <em>With files from CP</em>

  • Mike Duffy

    Conservative Mike Duffy also courted controversy over his housing allowance. The P.E.I. senator <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/22/mike-duffy-paying-back-money_n_2744800.html" target="_blank">claimed his cottage in Cavendish as his primary residence</a> and his long-time in home in Kanata, a suburb of Ottawa, as a secondary residence for which he collected $33,000 in living allowances he since 2010. While always maintaining he was entitled to the compensation, Duffy <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/02/22/mike-duffy-paying-back-money_n_2744800.html" target="_blank">vowed on February 22 to repay the money</a>. He blamed the entire issue on confusing and vague Senate paperwork. <em>With files from CP</em>

  • Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu

    Pierre-Hughes Boisvenu, a Conservative senator from Quebec, came under fire in early March when it was revealed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/03/pierre-hugues-boisvenu-senate_n_2803052.html?utm_hp_ref=pierre-boisvenu" target="_blank">he collected a housing allowance of $20,000 despite living little more than a drive across a bridge from Parliament.</a> Boisvenu claimed his primary residence was in Sherbrooke, but sources said he had been staying at his secondary residence in Gatineau since separating from his wife in February, 2012. Boisvenu was then forced to admit in March that he had been <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/26/pierre-boisvenu-affair_n_2957596.html" target="_blank">carrying on a relationship with an aide, Isabelle Lapointe</a>. The Senate ethics officer had told him last year that he couldn't have his girlfriend on the office payroll but Boisvenu ignored the warning for months. The two have since split up and Lapointe is now working elsewhere. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/26/pierre-boisvenu-affair_n_2957596.html" target="_blank">Boisvenu has repaid the $900 stipend he collected while living with Lapointe for three months near Ottawa.</a> <em>With files from CP</em>

  • Mac Harb

    Liberal senator Mac Harb also had his expenses audited after it was discovered that he claimed <a href="http://metronews.ca/news/canada/560000/senate-controversy-senator-mac-harbs-home-in-the-spotlight/" target="_blank">about $40,212 in living expenses for a secondary residence in Ottawa from Nov. 30, 2010 to Nov. 30, 2012</a>. Harb, a former Ottawa MP, claims his primary residence is <a href="http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/senator-harb-rarely-seen-in-area-he-calls-home-neighbours-1.1198184" target="_blank">a bungalow in the tiny village of Westmeath</a>, but neighbours claim that nobody lives there year-round and that it is basically a cottage.

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