Analysis: Trudeau to his senators: You're fired!

David Akin , Parliamentary Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 6:25 PM ET

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau fired all his senators Wednesday morning.

And in doing so, the third party in the House of Commons effectively resigned its position as the official Opposition in the Senate.

Supporters hailed the move as the most bold and dramatic bit of Senate reform in a century. Opponents scoffed at it as a flip-flopping "smokescreen" ahead of a potentially damaging audit of the spending habits of all senators.

What Trudeau did was to tell the 32 senators that had been appointed by Liberal prime ministers Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and -- yes -- Pierre Trudeau that they they were no longer members of the Liberal Party of Canada national caucus.

They still had their jobs. They are still honourable senators collecting their base salary of $135,200 a year.

But they are no longer on Trudeau's team.

"These independent senators will no longer be part of the parliamentary and operational team of the Liberal Party of Canada," Trudeau later told reporters. "As far as political operatives, these senators will no longer be Liberal organizers, fundraisers, activists in any form."


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