Peter MacKay pressured to enforce parliamentary law in Senate expenses scandal

OTTAWA – Federal Liberals are trying to drag Justice Minister Peter MacKay into the Senate expenses scandal.

Liberal justice critic Sean Casey has written MacKay, arguing that he has a legal duty to ensure that public affairs are conducted lawfully.

In particular, Casey says MacKay has a statutory obligation to ensure that Sec. 16 of the Parliament of Canada Act is enforced.

The section says it’s an indictable offence for anyone to offer compensation to a senator for services rendered in relation to any claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest or other matter before the Senate.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, has admitted giving $90,000 to Mike Duffy so the senator could reimburse the Senate for disputed living expense claims.

The RCMP is alleging that Wright and Duffy engaged in bribery, fraud and breach of trust, as defined in the Criminal Code. Neither Wright nor Duffy has been charged with any offence.

RCMP documents filed in court have shown that more than a dozen others, including senior PMO staffers, senators and Conservative party officials, were involved in hammering out a deal with Duffy, whereby he publicly announced he’d repaid the Senate in return for a watered-down audit and Senate report on his conduct.

So far, the Mounties have not cited the Parliament of Canada Act, an omission that has struck some parliamentary law experts as curious. Nor has there been any indication that their investigation has been expanded to include any of the other individuals who were involved in the scheme.

In his letter Friday, Casey reminds MacKay that the Department of Justice Act “places an explicit duty on you, as minister of justice and attorney general, to ‘see that the administration of public affairs is in accordance with the law.’”

He asks MacKay to provide a detailed list of the actions he’s taken to fulfill his statutory obligation to ensure Sec. 16 of the Parliament of Canada Act is enforced.

“I note that while the RCMP continues Criminal Code investigations into the actions of Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy, there seems to be silence about the actions of these other individuals and whether they might be prosecuted under the Parliament of Canada Act,” Casey writes.

“It is critical that the public affairs of Canada be conducted in full compliance of the law.”




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Peter MacKay pressured to enforce parliamentary law in Senate expenses scandal

  1. id wish the left would just get over this, its not like they stole any money for real. its also not like they stole 40 million in an ad scam……

    • as I understand it, it’s not like ANYONE stole 40 million in adscam.

    • Notice that this was tagged by Need to Know as Mac Harb. Although he’s not even mentioned in the piece, I do believe this law would apply to him as well as Duffy.

      • even more so, he stole far greater amount of money and hasnt paid anything back. harb is also under an actual police investigation where charges will be laid

        • Harb also took money – and Duffy and Wright are under criminal investigation. They’re all in the same boat as far as I’m concerned.

    • Is theft the only punishable crime in your list of “real” misdemeanors? If so, why are your law and order Cons intent on jailing people for so many other alleged felonies (like propagating a few cannabis plants for personal use)?

  2. The issue appears real but I’m not convinced that particular buck stops with MacKay.

    Still, remember 2005 when they were all puffed up about how they’d create a special department for going after politicians who break hte law? How convenient that never materialized.

    • Wright wasn’t a politician…he was a staffer who paid for his error with his job. Duffy got the boot……….
      I think the law was meant to go after politicians who STOLE money or committed fraud….you know, like Mac Harb or Judy Sgro.
      Strange the Liberals don’t want MacKay to look at that area.

      • The RCMP are talking about bribery, *fraud* and breach of trust in the Wright/Duffy case. And it seems like the law should apply to all Canadians, even the PM’s right-hand man.

        • What happened with the Duffy thing is not fraud, or breach of trust. The RCMP corporal who wrote the report is just trying to cover all his bases. He clearly doesn’t understand the difference between what happened, and what he thinks happened.

          • So the RCMP doesn’t know what happened, but you do? What’s YOUR source, and have you introduced them to the RCMP?

          • Another keyboard expert.

          • Thanks for clearing that up!

      • I think it was intended to go after Liberals alone. Much like the committee to review improper political appointments, by the time they could put in place the result would have made them stink pretty bad.

  3. Why don’t the Liberals just let the RCMP do their job instead of trying to play politics? I also think it’s pretty stupid of them to ask Peter Mackay to stand in the way of due process in order to lay charges that have never been tried in a court in this countries history. Untested laws have a strange way of letting people walk.

    • In particular, Casey says MacKay has a statutory obligation to ensure that Sec. 16 of the Parliament of Canada Act is enforced.

      The section says it’s an indictable offence for anyone to offer
      compensation to a senator for services rendered in relation to any
      claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest or other matter before
      the Senate.

      What part of the law don’t you understand? Of course its politics, but it is still an indictable offence.

  4. The law and good[smart] politics meet it seems.

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