Tale of the Tape Redux: "I, Dona Cadman ... make oath and say" ... - Macleans.ca

Tale of the Tape Redux: “I, Dona Cadman … make oath and say” …


I finally managed to track down Dona Cadman’s second affidavit, which was sworn last Wednesday. I was going to say that there are no real surprises in it, but actually, that in itself was a bit of a surprise. I’ll admit that I was expecting a little more in the way of context – maybe a more detailed description of how — and where — Zytaruk and Harper met, since that appears to be the most significant disagreement between the two versions of events. Then again, it is billed as a supplementary affidavit. The exhibits might be helpful, though. I’m trying to get hold of them, and will post them if I do.

Anyway, here it is, in all its very, very succinct glory:


I, DONA CADMAN of the City of Surrey, British Columbia, MAKE OATH AND SAY:

1. On September 9. 2005, I met with Stephen Harper in my home located in the City of Surrey, British Columbia. Our meeting was private and we were alone the entire time Mr. Harper was in the house. Nobody came inside my house while Mr. Harper was in the house with me.

2. I did not introduce Tom Zytaruk to Mr. Harper on September 9, 2005.

3. I attach as Exhibit “A” photographs of the front of my house.

Sworn before me in the City of Surrey, in the Province of British Columbia on the 2 day of July, 2008.


Tale of the Tape Redux: “I, Dona Cadman … make oath and say” …

  1. This is Sparrow or somebody else freelancing. This can’t be Harper.

  2. Goodness. So the goal of this was the headline. Mission accomplished.

  3. So I guess I have to ask Kady, are the pundits and press gallery on Parliament Hill actually buying this latest attempt that there’s really nothing there to see, other then the Ottawa Citizen’s headline writer?

  4. Yeah, but: one headline in a Canwest paper nobody reads (plus Kadey’s debunking piece). I hope the CPoC isn’t trying to spin the news by paying too much attention what we that agonize over this stuff on the blogs are thinking. Cuz we’re the only ones on the planet that read the story.

    Someone once wrote: The blog is not the world! Someone should tell that to the Tory braintrust.

  5. Question: If there is something there to see, why would the Conservatives tempt people into looking for it again, despite the fact that the RCMP exonerated them? Unless, of course, they actually think they did nothing wrong.

  6. To be totally honest, I’ve been so focused on the story, I’ve not had time to think about how other people of the journalistic persuasion are responding to the story. Other than Colleague Wells, of course. I’ll report back when I have a better answer.

  7. Whenever I’m writing a declaration that says nothing while sounding like it does, it sounds a lot like this.

  8. Dennis speaks of the RCMP “exonerating” Harper and the CPC.

    Interesting word “exonerate”.

    I assume that choosing to discontinue an investigation does not actually mean that the party under investigation has been “exonerated” of wrongdoing as would be the case, say, if a matter went to trial and someone was, well, exonerated of the charges.

    Discontinuing an investigation, I presume, simply means that the investigation did not turn up actual evidence of wrongdoing that, in the judgement of the investgators, merited further pursuit and possible prosecution.

    Given the cozy relationship between the RCMP and CPC, this reluctance to pursue the matter was hardly a big surprise to me.

    Nor was it surprising that the RCMP felt obliged, once again, against standard policy, to announce the status of an investigation.

    I’m trying to think when else the RCMP broke with its policy of not commenting ont he status of investigations. Hmmmmm…

    Oh yeah, it was during the last election. And the political benficary was, once again, the CPC.


    – JV

  9. If the affidavit concerns what happened inside her house, why are pictures of the front of her house — its outside — germane?

  10. Dennis, “you can’t prove it” is not the same as “I didn’t do it”. Harper is pretty comfortable at the former, which is why the RCMP gave up since they’re saddled with that whole “burden of proof” thing. “Exonerated” seems generous.

  11. If I purchases shares of Canwest’s robust stock, do I have to report it to the Chief Electoral Officer as a political donation?

  12. Dona Cadman in a phone interview with CTV on the day the story broke said that she considered the offer was a bribe. Her words. Heard all over British Columbia. Will she have an affidavit for that now? What offer? All Harper has to do is say what the offer was, and why Dona Cadman would say on air that she considered it a bribe.

  13. a) Gee, I recall that, not too long ago, the Harper controlled RCMP raided Conservative party headquarters and humiliated the government in the process — with the media and Liberals watching.

    b) I see that some people believe it’s the duty of Canadians citizens to prove they didn’t do something. Did Canada become some bizarro legal jurisdiction while I wasn’t watching?

    Hey, I think you’re guilty! Prove me wrong, Harper!

    In fact, one could argue that it’s what he’s trying to do now, and he still gets heat for it.

  14. Dennis – I hope you understand that one way the LPC will be able to defend themselves is by proving something did happen.

    In a civil suit the LPC will have more tools than the RCMP during an investigation, including the ability to compel Harper to give evidence, under oath. They will also be able to question the two individuals who are suspected of having these discussions with Mr. Cadman (something else the RCMP could not compel).

    I would suggest to you that what Harper is doing now is trying to strong-arm the LPC into settling the lawsuit before he has to present himself for cross examination. That is the most reasonable explanation for the increase in the demand, which happened after mandatory mediation and does not appear to be connected to any new evidence.

  15. “If the affidavit concerns what happened inside her house, why are pictures of the front of her house — its outside — germane?”

    Who cares what the germanes think? Its enough that you’re always pulling this “I speak French” thing on us. Now you’re showing off your worldliness again? Deflate your head, Paul Wells!

  16. Innocent before being guilty doesn’t mean that evidence doesn’t get to be presented against you. If you can’t refute that evidence you’re guilty. All we need is for Stephen Harper to explain what he meant when he said he was aware of financial considerations being offered to Chuck Cadman in exchange for his vote.

  17. Sitting Prime Minister’s can duck cross-examination, can’t they? If this sucker goes to court, I don’t expect to see Stephen Harper testifying!

  18. The only reason I can think of to explain why Dona Cadman included photos of the front of the house might have something to do with the driveway. Could it have something to do with the length of it? And could this have something to do with how close someone might be to the sidewalk or front door? Might this be leading us towards what a third party overheard?

    Just my two cents worth.

  19. Kady, did you read the book?

  20. Actually, yes, I did – although admittedly, I skimmed a lot of the earlier stuff, as I was mostly focused on — well, you know.

  21. Cara: I have to assume you’re right — my guess is that it shows the stairs in question as being outside the house, and not, like, interior steps leading up to the second floor, but honestly, at this point, I don’t know. I’m waiting patiently for the Conservative Party to send me the images — or even a pdf file of the entire filing, including the pictures. Well, “patiently” might be stretching it, but still.

  22. Can someone explain why the Conservative party website features pictures of Dion prominently while relegating Harper – even his G8 photos – to a small corner? Are they not proud of their leader?

  23. Read the end again, there’s something in there near the end about heaven and the vote that strikes me odd. I think it’ll clear up soon enough though,

  24. If the government is prorogued does that mean that the PM and MPs are still ‘sitting’?

  25. Also, I recall Dona Cadman standing by Zytaruk’s version of the events that day. I’ll have to hope to find the original news article and tape, but you know how sometimes that data appears to become unavailable…

    However, the Courts have force behind them and can make sure the newscasts are retrieved.

  26. Also, didn’t Dona Cadman and her family authorize Zytaruk’s book? One would think the family would make sure all the I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    I wonder how Dona Cadman will do when she runs for the Conservatives.

  27. Liz asked “If the government is prorogued does that mean that the PM and MPs are still ’sitting’?”

    The House of Commons website says “The principal effect of ending a session by prorogation is to end business. All government bills that have not received Royal Assent prior to prorogation cease to exist; committee activity also ceases. Thus, no committee can sit after a prorogation.”

  28. comment by bigcitylib on Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 6:46 pm:”

    “If the affidavit concerns what happened inside her house, why are pictures of the front of her house — its outside — germane?”

    Who cares what the germanes think? Its enough that you’re always pulling this “I speak French” thing on us. Now you’re showing off your worldliness again? Deflate your head, Paul Wells!”

    bigcitylib: you’re such a card! What a brilliant play on words. You must work as a philisophical linguist. Well done indeed, sir.

  29. “I recall Dona Cadman standing by Zytaruk’s version of the events that day. I’ll have to hope to find the original news article and tape, but you know how sometimes that data appears to become unavailable…”
    Liz on Wednesday, July 9, 2008 at 2:15 am:

    Sure do. I seem to recall very shortly after the story broke seeing news video of Zytaruk and somebody (an interviewer?) on Dona Cadman’s driveway (there was a rather long flight of stairs to the front door, and a driveway that sloped down to the road). Googling for anything at all turned up nothing at all. Has big brother managed to purge anything that might be considered troublesome from the internet?

  30. Yes, “questions”, it’s all a vast conspiracy. Oliver Stone is on the case as we speak.

  31. Not sure why this hasn’t been talked about yet:

    Harper’s lawyers want Zytaruk to testify in court.

    Not exactly sure how this fits into the theory that the lawsuit is part of the Conservative campaign to intimidate its opponents. Maybe adherents to that theory can provide some insight.

  32. Dennis – I actually meant to post on that yesterday, but got waylaid by assorted other events. I’m officially off work today – Friday long weekends for July, not that anyone cares – but let me say that, contrary to what you seem to be implying, this is absolutely in line with the shock and awe strategy that the PM’s lawyers are likely to deploy against the Liberals: They want Zytaruk in deposition – and, eventually, on the stand – so that they can *discredit him completely*. That’s why they’ve been nibbling away at his recollection of the details of the September 2005 encounter: do this for long enough on the stand, and it will undermine both his credibility and his confidence.

    Is it irrelevant to the main issue – which is the conversation itself? I’m sure the Liberals’ lawyers will make that argument, but I suspect a judge would ultimately – if grudgingly – allow that line of testimony, since it goes to the provenance and legitimacy of the tape itself, which Harper’s lawyers assume will be central to the Liberal defence.

  33. “Friday long weekends for July, not that anyone cares”

    I’ll bet Giorno does. No GiornoWatch posts today :-)

  34. It’s not beyond the realm of the possibility that ITQ would briefly return to regularly scheduled programming should any significant – or even minor, but still worth noting – news trickle out of the Giornosphere. Provided y’all keep me posted of any major developments, that is. Hint, hint.

  35. Kady, I don’t get it. Why would Zytaruk be on the defensive, especially if he has a clean original tape in his back pocket?

  36. Being deposed – or cross-examined – is incredibly stressful, even – and in some cases, especially – if you truly believe that you have the truth on your side. There’s a reason why the term “hostile witness” exists; usually, the lawyer doing the questioning is every bit as hostile. Again, that’s why the concerted effort to erode his credibility – the theory being that, when it comes to the tape itself, there will be sufficient doubt over his recollection of events – and his motivation in coming forward, even, if the Harper lawyers decide they want to play hardball – to render it ambiguous, at best, as far as evidence. I’m not saying it’s going to work, necessarily, but that seems to be the strategy. It’s also no coincidence that this latest news comes on the heels of the supplementary affidavit – which, despite being put forward as a categorical denial of his version of events, simply isn’t. It’s all part of the pre-trial gameplan, which is ultimately designed to destabilize the Liberals to the point that the party will be begging to settle the case.

  37. Wait a second. Zytaruk writes a book that includes some sensational accusations against Harper. He says he has an original tape backs up his version. Yet, somehow, he’s now the victim?

    In other words, he throws the first punch, but is now surprised that someone would punch back?

    It seems as though you’re starting with a premise, and trying to make events fit into that premise.

    The RCMP found nothing.

    No one has provided any evidence of any wrongdoing.

    The Conservatives want to clear their name, based on the actual evidence, and they’re still depicted as the bad guys.

    At some point, critics of Harper in the Cadman affair have to come up with something. Anything.

  38. Kady, discrediting Zytaruk is one thing but what about the window, dauther and son-in-law?

    Even if they can show that the tape was indeed doctoted, how do you get around three different testimonies which support what the taped conversation relates?

    Maybe all the Tories really want is the ability to stop the LPC from using the tape during an election.

  39. “sensational accusations against Harper” Seems a little ‘cart before the horse.’ Harper seems to be deflecting and muddying the water. It remains that his voice is on tape….

  40. To many lawyers….to many games. The Prime Minister is trying to Bully the author.. bully.. intimidate..same thing.. What a guy.. no wonder Canada has lost it’s international respect.

  41. Dennis, i’ve got an idea – an innocent man would proclaim such to all and sundry, most likely at the quickest convenience, whot? You’d offer up your version and explanation, too, typically, right?
    Please tell when your leader has done exactly that. Instead of hiding behind a lawsuit.
    Oh, did i mention he’s already looked uncredible/discredited in a court of law when former CON candidate sued the party.