Mike Duffy: King of the Hill - Macleans.ca

Mike Duffy: King of the Hill

Maclean’s preview: A sneak peek at what Jonathon Gatehouse has learned about the senator non grata


Ryan Carter

No one recalls exactly when Mike Duffy got the nickname “the Senator”—within a couple of years of his 1972 arrival on Parliament Hill as a chubby cub reporter for the CHUM radio group is the best guess. The mock honorific had certainly stuck by the time he made the transition to CBC television in 1977. And by the mid-1980s, when he was the biggest name in Ottawa—vastly more popular than the politicians he covered—it wasn’t really a joke anymore. Mike knew everyone.

And everyone knew he wanted a seat in the red chamber.

In our Maclean’s ebook, senior writer Jonathon Gatehouse tells the complete story of Canada’s senator non grata.

As Gatehouse explains in the video below, Duffy may be on his way out, but he’s not going quietly:

More on the ebook here.


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Mike Duffy: King of the Hill

  1. Why hasn’t one of these federal crooks been arrested yet! This is an outrage!

    • You are an outrage. I guess when it comes to Conservatives they are guilty until proven innocent. Nobody condones what Duffy or the others have apparently done but until he is convicted in court he is an innocent man. I am still waiting for Chretien to go to jail for adscam. Duffy’s crime is peanuts compared to that mess. See two can play the game.

      • No has anyone gone to jail in the in/ out scandal. Nobody has gone yet in the robocalls matter either. The Liberals are getting no better break that the Conservatives. All politcal offenders seem to get more consideration that the rest of us.

        • Once again. What is it with some of you people. This is Canada. We have laws and the law states that there needs to be evidence and someone is innocent until proven guilty. If in fact there is proof and it is adjudicated in a court of law and if they are deemed to have broken the law they will suffer the consequences. Trying to convict people on these boards is silly and a waste of time.

          • Apparently you did not read my post. You stated that you are waiting for Cretien to go to jail for Adscam and imply that the Liberals are getting a pass while Conservatives are being convicted without a trial.
            My point is that you are convicting Cretien when no charge has been laid while whining that the Conservatives are being unfairly judged. That is not true. Both party’s have been judged by thier opponents, including you, without the benifit of trial. You point to Adscam and I point out in/ out and Robocalls.
            You need to practice what you preach.

          • You are the one having a problem reading. Mt whole point was unless someone is convicted of a crime they are considered innocent. That includes everyone. You are tilting at windmills.

          • Really? Then why your attack on Cretien? Is not innocent Until proven guilty as well? You are a hypocrite.

          • The other thing is – Martin called a full judicial inquiry that did bring the guilty to justice.

            Harper is running away as fast as he can and in the act, he is making himself and his party look very guilty.

          • So Wright’s admission that he personally gave money to the Duff is not proof? Stupidity but typical Con position.

      • This isn’t about right, or left, but corrupt politicians getting away with their crimes. Comparing Chretien to Duffy is irrelevant. They’re both corrupt politicians that should be in jail.

        • Says you. As I have already said it is the criminal justice system that determines guilt or innocence not people who do not have all the facts.

          • And yet you question why Chretien is not in jail. I presume it is because the evidence was not there to support a charge. Why do you not afford him the right of innocence that you demand for the Conservative Senators?

          • Partisan prats are all hypocrites. It doesn’t matter the party.

          • but it is the voters who decalre a party guilty in the court of popular opinion.

            if you truly love your party – you will start demanding answers to the real questions Canadians have and the same questions you would be bellowing if it was the Liberals in power.

            Your unbending support is truly hurting the right of Centre in Canada.

          • No..I am not going to jump on the bandwagon of Harper haters on the boards. Yes would I like answers but I happen to believe in justice & the rule of law. All will be revealed in the fullness of time. The anti Harper crowd have been trying to convict him of anything since he was elected but the voting public keep giving them increased seats. So much for your argument about the court of public opinion.

          • so what exactly does in time mean?

            Does that preclude a investigation and a trial if necessary?

            About the court of public opinion – you just don’t get it.

            Chretien rode the same bell curve and justifiably so, the Liberals were kicked to the curb. If Harper doesn’t want to experience the same fate, he will need to address these issues head on.

            He ran on a platform of accountability and openness and that is what earned him the majority. In order to retain his seat in power, he now has to practice what he preached. The Voting Canadian public can be extremely fickle and nothing you or I say will change that – they have to see action that is not merely plausible but reflects reality and events that are clearly public now.

            it is not good enough for a leader to say “I know nothing”

            It didn’t help Nixon and it won’t help Harper.

          • Don’t act all high and mighty, you’d be one of the first to jump on someone who wasn’t a Con. You’re side is corrupt as sin, but do keep trying to defend them. It’s funny watching someone make an @$$ of themselves.

        • Yes I agree. But until the police have finished thier work and the Crown has had a chance to look at it charges cannot be laid. This type of investigation takes more time than one might think. I would perfer they get it right to being in a hurry.

          • Explain why they’re getting fast results in Quebec. The longer the RCMP drag their feet, because they’re too busy molesting each other, or stealing guns, the long Harper has time to cover his tracks. Just look at all the evidence, like security videos, that were lost to feet dragging in the robocalls affair.

            Not to mention, the longer tis goes on, the more time the guilty parties can cause damage.

          • Again, would you perfer a thorough investigation and appropriate charges which are sustained in court or rush to charges and lose in court. The matters are complex with a lot of nebulous language in describing what is allowed and what is not. The RCMP know the eyes of the nation are on them. I think they will lay charges, but where the thing may go off the rails is when the matter gets to court. Will they settle out of court to avoid embarrassing evidence being aired.
            I reference what happened in the Basi/ Virk trial re BC Rail matter in BC.

          • You sound like a broken record. I want a FAST and THOROUGH job. Not this feet dragging and your apologies. If the crooks get away with this crap, it will be the fault of people like you.

            And you still haven’t explained why they are getting FAST and THOROUGH results in Quebec.

          • You are the broken record, demanding immediate charges. Then you would complain that they got away with it when they beat the charges because the investigation was not carefully done. As for the Quebec situation, that process started years ago with a lot of undercover work before it was made public.

      • What is the matter with you Cons claiming innocence until proven …. It is illegal to accept a monetary gift from an outside source and Duffy took money he was not entitled too. You Cons are creeps claiming Chrétien accepted funds when in fact the inquiry exonerated him from any such thing. There was never a hint that Chrétien personaly collected money from the adscam funds but Cons will lie till they are blue. Typical Con stuff!

      • You are right – this is still Canada and nobody in the history of this country is guilty uner the law until they have gone to trial.

        In other words, a guilty conviction isn’t a prerequisite for a trial.

        Get a grip hollinm – the country needs answers to this issue and the Conservative party more than any other group needs to get this cleared up.

        If they are innocent they need to do everything in their power to find the guilty.

        In the eyes of the people of Canada – they are acting guilty and the court of popular opinion is where government rise and fall and the Harper government has been declared guilty in that court.

        • You assume the party is guilty & therefore your point is moot. You put your opinion as the general population believes as you do which is really arrogant. The court of public opinion is entitled to believe what it wants. That is a far cry from being convicted of an indictable offence. Being silent is not a sign of guilt.

          • Harper sure made a lot of noise when the shoe was on the other foot though…

          • Hollim, you don’t understand how the judicial system works.

            Facts are gathered, an investigation is held, then a trial.

            A person is not guilty in the eyes of the law at the start of the trial.

            But in the important world of politics, it is the court of popular opinion where parties fall.

            It doesn’t matter whether I think they are guilty or not and I never once said they are, What is important is how they are perceived by the people of Canada.

            As a matter of fact, in your rush to hush up this scandal, you missed the most important part of my post – the part where I said, the Conservative Party themselves need to clear the air or they will suffer the consequence.

            Your haste indeed makes it seem as if you believe they are guilty but like the housewife of the drunk driver, greets the police at the door and says no, he doesn’t drink – he works hard and is sleeping now.

          • I am not trying to hush up anything. I simply think that jumping on the bandwagon and judging someone (anyone) guilty of anything before there is evidence and conviction is not fair. Of course the media are using the Senate scandal to find people guilty in an effort to sway public opinion. They have done a masterful job. Yet nobody has been found guilty of anything. The rush to convict in the media shows the reason why people are so cynical about politics these days. One final point….What exactly do you want the Conservatives to say. Duffy and Wallin did what they did and they are responsible for their actions. If the PM says he didn’t know about the Wright cheque unless there is evidence why the endless speculation. We know Wright gave Duffy a cheque for his expenses. The RCMP are investigating. The rest is politics and an attempt to destroy the PM’s reputation because the media and the opposition know it is Harper’s brand that keeps the Conservatives in power.

          • I want a leader to be a leader and make the resources he has at his disposal to get to bottom of this.

            it is not good enough for him to say he has personally reviewed Wallin’s expenses and they are fine.

            Say what you will about Martin, at least he had the balls to call a independent judicial inquiry.

            Harper has done everything he can to obfuscate and distract and hide and run from this issue.

            To be frank, it does not come across as sincere or in the best interest of Canadians or our democracy. Rather is is self serving.

            If the Liberals were doing this I would be furious and you would be demanding answers as well.

            You can’t change your principles or moralities just because your guy is in the spotlight now.

      • Being arrested and shackled would predate being convicted or otherwise put on trial.

      • Chretien going to jail for Adscam? He was proven to have nothing whatsoever to do with Adscam. Those that did do something were caught and jailed. Isn’t that enough? Why would you want an innocent man jailed and advocate the Regime be considered innocent until proven guilty? In other words, you’re willing to jail Chretien who was not guilty, but declare the Regime innocent. Funny logic, to me.

    • Better to make sure to get all the evidence right before charging than get to court and lose on a technical point. As for assuming the three conservatives are guilty, it looks that way to all but the most die hard conservatives. That is why even the PM is distancing himself, but time will tell.

      • If this was anyone else, but a federal politician, they would already have been arrested. They’re dealing with their corrupt politicians better in Quebec. The RCMP are dragging their feet and Harper has resisted at every turn.

        • Not so. I have seen investigations go on for years before a charge can be sustained. Better to get it right than lose on technical points.
          As for Harper, there are several people who are being uncooperative which is why it takes the RCMP a long time. I do not think Corp. Horton or his group are the problem. They are up against a well funded group who are slowing down the work.

      • The Cons lawyer, Arthur Hamilton has had a lot of practice at this.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • You are a lonely. pathetic person.

  2. It never even occurred to me that it was Duffy leaking stuff to the media. Obviously it should have…

  3. thats the problem with most of these people in the public eye(always in front of cameras) .its hard to satisfy narcissistic attitudes and egos. when you become narcissistic, your head gets so swelled, you never see the forest before the trees. and you start to live In a world of your own, thinking I am Teflon and no one can touch me. well theirs a word that usually causes set backs for these narcissists, its called ” KARMA ” and everyone meets it sometime in their lives. you may laugh at what I say, but it will get you, one day.

  4. How sad. Many commenters of Liberal or Conservative allegiance are arguing that the other old-line party is more corrupt than their party.
    They both are equally corrupt – and share the same elitist sense of entitlement and right to patronage as the other.
    The abolition of a triple U Senate: unaccountable, unelected, and under investigation – is a symbol of a wider issue: the renewal of democracy in this great country.
    Little wonder Tom Mulcair is applauded for leading the fight to abolish the Senate and bring routine accountability to the Commons with an independent – and enlarged – Parliamentary Budget Office.

    • Yes, it is terrible the way the conservatives and liberals point fingers at each other. Much better to be NDP and point fingers at both of them. :)

      • Gayle
        Even better to be NDP and consistently fight to abolish a major source of patronage and corruption – the Senate – and promise to bring in much needed Parliamentary reforms that successive Libservative and Conliberal regimes somehow forgot to.

        • Ha ha. The old NDP “the other parties are all the same” line. So tiresome, especially since it was Layton working with Harper to keep pushing the LPC into a corner when Harper had a minority.

          Mulcair’s base consists of former Bloc voters. Any attempt to abolish the Senate must necessarily involve constitutional negotiations. I wonder what those voters will expect from Mulcair? See the last time someone did that, his name was Mulroney, and a few years later there was a referendum that very nearly resulted in Quebec separating.

          If the NDP were so noble perhaps they could be honest with people about that…

        • You are really whistling in the dark. There is no way any party including your beloved NDP is going to abolish the Senate. Its a good talking point but makes Mulcair look unserious. The provinces including corrupt Quebec wants the Senate to stay in place. So Mulcair will milk the abolition rhetoric but anybody who understands how our constitution is amended knows he is wasting his breath. Of course for Mulcair that prevents him from having to talk about what he would actually do if he won government.

    • I don’t know that I agree with the comment about the Senate, but I do agree that all politicians and parties are equally corrupt. I say switch the ‘pay’ structure for politicians to minimum wage, restrict the amount of ‘political favours’ that any one company can give a political race, and see how quickly the rats flee the sinking ship.

  5. Speaking of John Cretien.I find it very interesting that a person who has spent the majority of his working life as an underpaid Federal Civil Servant was able to retire from public office worth multi-millions. Don’t you?

    I did not know that accepting money from a third party was illegal. What part of the criminal code is it covered under? Bad judgement maybe, but criminal, really?

    The worst that our good old CBC can find to talk about is the Senate scandal. Wow some senate appointees have gone bad. Who here predicted that Mike and Pamela would turn out this way. I sure didn’t, but according to the CBC Harper’s should have. I think that our federal government, at the moment, is in pretty good shape if that’s all the CBC can find to report about over the past 6 months. Poor Peter Mansbridge must be having nightmares during which he is repeating the words “senate scandal” over and over in a never ending loop.

    If you look at travel expenses, it’s a Liberal that outspent everyone else by a long shot. Can hardly see what delving into his records reveal. If you want to see pure scandal, just look south under the watchful eye of their current President. Whats happening at the federal level here isn’t even a tempest in a tea cup in comparison.

    Lets give Justin a pass for smoking weed while on our payroll. Do we need to bring drug testing into the House? And, I like totally believe that he has only had a puff on about 4 occasions. Don’t you?

    Anyone who believes our economy will just take care of itself is a dreamer.

    • Hey there….Gordodododo That’s Jean Chrétien! He was a Lawyer. He represented his constituents for 41 years. Lawyers know how to make money! Get a life!

      • Yes probably using the contacts that he was making while a poor lowly MP.

  6. I trusted Mike Duffy, I thought he was an honest man. Why is he living in a $450000 house when he can’t pay the bills and ends up stealing my money for travel and living cost. At his age this guy is in big trouble.

  7. This story reaches into the heart of our current government- I expect Macleans magazine will sell well this month.

    • Sold out a week ago

  8. How could people so bright be so stupid. Accountability and transparency I thought that was the party stance. To bad they did not follow it. Next time take a page out of Mulroney’s handbook entitled “Corruption tips for dummies”!!
    PMO passing money to a sitting member of the Senate is wrong and is a breech of the public trust, its right there in the Senate Rule Book. But I guess they are not accountable to anyone not even the public who entrusted them with positions of power and influence on running our country. What a shame. No majority next time, maybe not even be the government. I may not vote conservative next election, for the first time in my life. Accountability what a joke. Everyone walks and no one goes to jail. What a joke.

    • Perhaps you can tell us what benefit Nigel Wright got for giving Duffy the money. Otherwise your comment is specious. Wright gave the money in good faith trying to make the problem go away. Of course it was naïve in the extreme. Now tell us how an individual who works in the PMO translates into the PMO passing money to a sitting senator works in your world.

  9. hollinm well I guess that means crook like your con friends.

  10. What’s wrong with you Maclean’s? 10 days after publishing full story “Mike Duffy: King of The Hill” your website still only carries a “preview: A sneak peak” of this article? The ‘full story’ cannot be found anywhere! ………An injunction per chance? Or, are you becoming bloated, incompetent and arrogant just like your parent company Rogers?

    • Too cheap to buy the print edition eh?

  11. King of the Hill?


    Now a dirt bag who is known for eating his way to greatness!

  12. His nickname, “The Senator” will stick forever as his epitaph, and not in fond reverence.