Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is removing senators from the party caucus and forcing them to sit as Independents.
The move, a bid to reform the Senate, blindsided both Liberal senators and veteran political observers.
It will see some life-long Liberals and key party operators and fundraisers effectively expelled from the party's caucus and forced outside its inner circles.
The Liberal leader spoke to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons, at 9:30 a.m. ET — before he told his own MPs.

"These proposals, while bold and concrete, are not the final word. They represent our judgment of how far we can go without guidance from the Supreme Court," he said.
"If the Supreme Court says more can be done, we are open to doing more."
Trudeau's surprise move came as all parties held their caucus meetings in Ottawa.
Those meetings typically include both MPs and senators.

Long-running scandal

There are currently 32 Liberal senators who sit in the Upper House as official members of the Liberal Party and represent the party's positions and political interests.
Those senators also sit and vote on Senate committees that do important political work reviewing legislation.

Trudeau says his decision Wednesday will effectively remove his party formally form all of the Senate's institutions — including its committees.
The move stunned both Liberal senators and senior Liberal Senate staffers, who had not been advised of the decision.

Sources tell CBC News Trudeau advised senators of his decision just after 9 a.m. Wednesday. Trudeau is said to have read a copy of his statement to senators.
Sources say Liberal senators listened and did not ask many questions.
Only one senator rose to speak.

In a news conference just a few minutes later Trudeau explained why he had made his decision.

"The Senate is broken and needs to be fixed," he said.
"The Senate was once referred to as a place of sober, second thought. A place that allows for reflective deliberation on legislation, in-depth studies into issues of import to the country, and, to a certain extent, provide a check and balance on the politically-driven House of Commons.
"It has become obvious that the party structure within the Senate interferes with these responsibilities."

Trudeau proposed the Senate should be made non-partisan, in order to better serve Canadians.

"Instead of being separate from political, or electoral concerns, Senators now must consider not just what’s best for their country, or their regions, but what’s best for their party," Trudeau said.

"At best, this renders the Senate redundant. At worst — and under Mr Harper we have seen it at its worst — it amplifies the prime minister’s power."

Audits and investigations

The Senate scandal that has dominated political news in Ottawa for more than a year has had political implications for both the Liberal and Conservative parties.
Although most of those senators under investigation are former Conservatives, the Liberals have not escaped being tarred by the scandal's politically sticky brush.
Former Liberal senator Mac Harb has been accused by the RCMP of committing fraud by filing inappropriate expense claims, according to documents filed in Ottawa court.
A Senate committee investigating senators' expenses ordered Harb to repay more than $230,000.
'The Senate is broken and needs to be fixed'- Justin Trudeau, Liberal leader
He retired in August after paying it back.

Canada's auditor general has been called to audit the Senate's spending — including the expenses of all senators.

That review is currently underway.

Trudeau's move could serve to isolate the party from criticism if any of its — now former — senators are found to have had spending trouble.

But when asked about the spending scandal, Trudeau said avoiding criticism was not his motivation.

Instead, he said he'd come to believe the Senate was in need of reform, notwithstanding the debate about expenses.
Trudeau said the current system of having the prime minister responsible for naming senators is one key problem.

"We are all poorly served by the way in which senators are appointed. Canadians especially, yes, but also members of the House of Commons, even senators themselves are discredited by the antiquated convention that sees senators appointed by one person, and one person only," he said.

Trudeau suggested Stephen Harper had abused that system, appointing 59 senators over his tenure.
"All of these people share one characteristic," he said. "The prime minister, and the prime minister alone, judged them to be useful to himself, and to his party. Mike Duffy, Pam Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, Irving Gerstein are particularly egregious examples of where that leads."