OTTAWA — With little time remaining to pass government legislation before summer, Independents and Conservatives are clashing in the upper house.

Tensions came to a head this weekend with a nonpartisan senator copying all Senate staff on a saltily-worded, midnight-hour email to a Tory colleague — a scuffle that appears emblematic of rising frustrations in a more-independent Senate.

Sen. Frances Lankin accused Sen. Leo Housakos of playing “partisan games” and giving a “blatant misrepresentation” of facts to the press after Housakos accused the government of blocking his motion to study a recent Bombardier bailout.

Housakos moved Thursday to have the Senate’s transport committee conduct a two-month study on the as-yet-unreleased terms of the Liberal government’s recent $373-million loan to Bombardier.

Lankin supported the idea. But she and other independents — who are soon to hold a majority — voted in favour of an adjournment motion from the government deputy in the Senate, Diane Bellemare, postponing debate until this week.


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