"We are good to go from the PM"

Eighty pages of documents were placed in front of a judge today by RCMP investigators probing the senate scandal. In them, we learn that, in addition to Senator Mike Duffy, the RCMP now believe Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, also committed a fraud on the government and is guilty of breach of trust.

Nothing has been proven in court, yet, but there is much jaw-dropping information in them.

Here, though, are the bombshell quotes, given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has personally and frequently told the House of Commons that, whatever happened involving Duffy, Wright, and that $90,000 cheque, Harper knew nothing about it. Continue reading "We are good to go from the PM"

Mike Duffy to the PMO: I'm just telling the truth

On CTV’s national newscast on the evening of May 14, the network’s Ottawa bureau chief Bob Fife had some disturbing news for federal Conservatives and gob-smacking news for the rest of us:

Anchor Lisa Laflamme set it up this way: “CTV News has learned that while auditors were going over Conservative Senator Mike Duffy’s living expenses, Harper’s right-hand man, his own chief of staff, was already reaching out with a secret offer, an agreement to help pay off the money Duffy owed taxpayers and make the problem go away.”

Continue reading Mike Duffy to the PMO: I'm just telling the truth

Transcript: PM Harper on talk radio tour says Wright was fired over Duffy cheque

Maritime Morning aired an interview this morning by host Jordi Morgan of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. After the interview aired, Morgan explained that the interview took place under “certain conditions”, likely that the PM would come on if he got the chance to talk about the Throne Speech and the big Canada-Europe trade deal. The interview was taped on Friday. The brief interview started there but finished with this exchange on the Senate. (I have bolded the line that raised eyebrows in Ottawa):

MORGAN: … this unholy mess in the Senate. Senators are voting on the expulsion of Senators Wallin, Duffy, and Brazeau, all your appointments. What responsibility for all this lies with your office? Continue reading Transcript: PM Harper on talk radio tour says Wright was fired over Duffy cheque

Dynamite Duffy: The speech that stunned the Senate

Mike Duffy
Senator Mike Duffy arrives outside the Centre Block on Oct. 22, 2013 (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Senate Hansard will have the official version tomorrow but, in the meantime, worth reading from start to finish: Here are the draft remarks Senator Mike Duffy took with him into the Senate earlier this evening (the remarks were distributed to reporters by Duffy’s office):

Honourable Senators;

I rise today against the orders of my doctors who fear my heart condition has worsened after months of unrelenting stress.
But given the unprecedented nature of today’s proceedings, I feel I have no other choice than to come here to defend my good name.
Like you, I took a solemn oath to put the interests of Canadians ahead of all else.
However the sad truth is, I allowed myself to be intimidated into doing what I knew in my heart was wrong, out of a fear of losing my job, and a misguided sense of loyalty.
Much has been made of the $90 thousand dollar cheque from Nigel Wright.
I hope I’ll be able to give an explanation of the chain of events, and the circumstances surrounding that gift, without impinging on the rights of others to a fair trial should criminal proceedings follow. Continue reading Dynamite Duffy: The speech that stunned the Senate

The stink from the Duffy-Wright scandal: Readers write

Senator Mike Duffy
Senator Mike Duffy on Parliament Hill in May. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

Across our newspaper chain today, I opine:

The Duffy scandal is the stench that just keeps getting worse for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government.
Newly released court documents filed as part of an RCMP request to get more evidence into potential fraud by three sitting senators – Duffy, Patrick Brazeau, and Mac Harb – contain explosive new information about the deal that brought down Harper’s top aide and shook the government to the core. Continue reading The stink from the Duffy-Wright scandal: Readers write

Duffy lobbied for Sun News Network? News to us.

Tonight, CTV’s Parliamentary Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported that Senator Mike Duffy tried to use his influence on a CRTC decision involving Sun News Network. Fife cited unnamed sources for this allegation.

The application Sun News Network has before the CRTC is pretty important to me and my colleagues.

Here’s what our network’s vice-president Kory Teneycke has to say about what CTV reported tonight:

Senator Duffy does not, nor has he ever, been employed as a lobbyist for Sun News/Sun Media. Nor have we asked Senator Duffy act as an agent on our behalf.

The CRTC process is a quasi judicial process, not a political one.

We believe we have made a very clear, compelling, and public case for Sun News. It is now in the hands of the CRTC Commissioners, who will make their decision.

We appreciate the support we have received from tens of thousands of Canadians who have mailed letters, signed petitions and emailed the CRTC as a part of their public consultation process.