What the Mike Duffy scandal says about Stephen Harper - Macleans.ca

What the Mike Duffy scandal says about Stephen Harper

Paul Wells explains why the Prime Minister is more alone and isolated than ever

One party’s brutal hangover

Devaan Ingraham/CP

From the June 3 edition of Maclean’s:

“Colleagues, we have an active and important agenda on the issues that matter to hard-working Canadian families,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the Conservative caucus on Tuesday. “And there is much work to be done.”

Let us see how active and important Harper’s governing agenda is these days.

On May 20, Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, resigned, allegedly for writing a $90,000 cheque to save Sen. Mike Duffy from an investigation into his spending and expense claims. Here’s what was on the Prime Minister’s website on the day Wright’s resignation was announced; this is the story the government wants to tell you about its agenda.

The top item on his website was Harper’s visit to Prince Edward Island to announce $7 million in funding for subsidies to three businesses, under a program Jean Chrétien launched 12 years ago. The second item was his visit to Winnipeg for a round table on cyberbullying. (He’s against it.) Third up was an account of a Quebec City visit where he announced funding for clean-energy projects. Harper, as you know, is a noted advocate of clean energy. Finally, the website’s main story window announced “initiatives to strengthen co-operation with Trinidad and Tobago.”

Related stories: 

Poking around listlessly, trying not to nod off, we find other elements of Harper’s active and important agenda. The Prime Minister attended celebrations of Vaisakhi, a Sikh celebration, on Parliament Hill. He announced that the Calgary Child Advocacy Centre will be renamed the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. He gave Mark Messier the Order of Hockey in Canada. He was sad when Margaret Thatcher died.

If my intention were satirical, I could not concoct a more insipid pile of imaginary announcements for the fake website of a fictional prime minister wheezing through his 84th year in power.

A government is like a shark. If it stops swimming, it drowns. Harper has lasted 11 years as a party leader for two reasons: He was never alone and he had a plan. Indeed, it’s the plan that has often helped keep him from being alone, because his are a loner’s instincts. He reached out to the Progressive Conservatives in 2003 after battling them for 16 years because he knew his Canadian Alliance was too slim a platform for a man who aspired to govern. He made serious concessions to Quebec nationalism after mistrusting it all his life. After he united the Conservative party, he reached outside its bounds to attract Liberal MPs—David Emerson, Wajid Khan—and then, through Jason Kenney’s ethnic-outreach efforts, he took away an ever-growing bite of the Liberal voter base.

At every moment, he could afford such bold moves because he was secure in his leadership of the Canadian conservative movement. Harper’s critics tend to describe him as a loner, a brain in a jar created by mad scientists toiling in underground laboratories at the University of Calgary. But in fact he has expressed a broad cultural conservatism in the land. Millions of Canadians have been happy he is their Prime Minister. Knowing he had a base, he could build beyond it through decisive action.

And now? He is increasingly alone and isolated. Look across the country, across the border, around the world, and even within his own caucus.

He has, perhaps, one provincial ally, Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall. He has not met the premiers as a group since November 2008. The last time Canada went that long without a first ministers’ conference, Louis St. Laurent was the prime minister.

On Canada-U.S. relations, Harper used to lecture Chrétien on his lousy rapport with George W. Bush. Harper’s own interaction with Obama is no better. He has campaigned since 2007 against environmentalists, calling them economy-wreckers, agents of foreign interests, attackers of Canada’s West. Today he needs a really big favour from the environmentalist who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. And it turns out, Obama has been listening all along.

Overseas, he has one solid friendship, with Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu. But it’s Obama who gets both Netanyahu and Israel’s neighbours to take steps away from stalemate and toward peace. Harper has claimed to be close to a trade deal with the European Union since 2011. He has nothing to show for it. He made a high-profile trip to China at the beginning of 2012. He has not been back. He tabled an investment-protection deal with China eight months ago. He hasn’t implemented it.

We will get to this business with Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy. But back up a few weeks, to before their secret deal was ever reported. Even then, every major story about the Conservatives this season was about members of the caucus and the party base inching away from Harper. An odd caucus coalition of anti-abortion social conservatives and centre-right High Tory procedure wonks has rebelled, durably and with some success, against his party discipline. The pro-life movement used to provide some of the Conservatives’ most enthusiastic volunteers and steadfast contributors. Now one group has identified Harper as the biggest obstacle to progress against abortion, and is distributing postcards that feature Harper’s photo next to one of an aborted fetus.

In private conversations with reporters, Conservatives were calling for Harper to provide far more detail about the Duffy-Wright deal than he did on Tuesday. He let them down, as he has often done in this drama. Duffy was Harper’s choice for Senate. Wright was Harper’s chief of staff, working under Harper’s nose. When their plot was revealed, Harper’s response was to make a great show of reminding his MPs to keep their own noses clean. It’s like a neighbourhood kid who sends a baseball through your living-room window and then comes over to lecture you on your clumsiness.

All of this would matter less—to Conservatives, to the country—if it felt like a distraction from an “active and important agenda.” Of course, some of this government’s activity is well-known and broadly popular among Conservatives. Since the 2011 election, Harper has shut down the Health Council of Canada, the National Council of Welfare, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, Rights and Democracy, the First Nations Statistical Institute and the National Council of Visible Minorities. The Millennium Scholarship Foundation, the Council for Canadian Unity and the Canadian Council on Learning were shut down a little earlier. The end of the mandatory long-form census was only the beginning of sharp cuts at Statistics Canada.

But Harper has preferred not to announce most of that. His goal is to last long enough in power to durably limit the federal government’s ability to intervene in Canadian public life. The only part of the job that seems to interest him is the part that involves wandering around Ottawa, boarding up old government offices. And it’s work he’s reluctant to admit to.

I offer no prediction about his long-term political survival. He has recovered before, many times. But he did it by reaching beyond his comfort zone to unlikely allies in the service of a bold agenda. His new chief of staff, Ray Novak, has been working for Harper so long, he actually remembers those days. Maybe the two of them can bring that confident, surprising Harper back. It would be a change of pace if they did.

Watch Paul Wells and John Geddes discuss the latest on the Wright and Harper’s terrible week:


What the Mike Duffy scandal says about Stephen Harper

  1. Keep up the pressure, Canada!

    • Yup, Paul Wells is going hard at it! But it hasn’t worked the last three times and it won’t work this time.

      When this Duffy/Wright deal has been investigated it will be the media with a lot of egg on their faces!

      • Funny, didn’t Duffy say that way back when the first information was coming about his residency and associated expense claims?

        • Don’t mind Francien. She thinks that it is ok for our country to be taken over by people who believe they are above the law. The fact that they are constantly embroiled in questionable events and are able to appoint people who in turn allow them the make deals and get off with a fine here or there is actually a sign (to her) they’ve been absolved. She won’t be happy until they’ve stripped our country clean and turned us into Haiti of the North, but, according to her, it will be that mean and nasty media that will have egg on their faces, never the Reform enablers who have cheered them on their bottom feeding way.

          • Being above the law goes something like this:

            Justin is a fraud.

            If you can’t prove that Justin is not a fraud, then he must be a fraud. Specially since you can’t prove Justin is not a fraud, should he be considered a fraud. Never mind evidence. We don’t need evidence in this new country of ours.

            Just accusations! That’ll do in this unrecognizable country we call Canada. Only accusations will do the trick.

            Justin is a fraud! So simple!

          • Holy Christ. Francis is totally losing it. Read paragraph 3. Yikes.

          • Post paragraph 3. Or are you afraid to post it?

          • Well if anyone doubted her mental maturity or whether or not she was a reform troll, she has cleared it up for us all.

            Yes, she’s losing it, but then so are they all. This is what happens when they’re forced to defend the indefensible day in and day out. Maybe she’s been visiting Ford’s friends too.

          • You people are sooooo predictable. You really think that attacking my character will do away with me!

            On the contrary; it makes the argument for me that you do not like what I have to say and you would like me gone!

            Keep dreaming!

          • Oh no, Francien. I actually find it pretty amusing. Please, keep it up. I don’t think you’re going to convert anyone by your antics, however you may just convince those who weren’t sure which side of the fence to choose.

            Please continue making Harper’s supporters look like wingnuts. It only helps us.

          • In November 2010, Trudeau told a Quebec television show that he was
            tired of Albertans running the country and that, whether it was Jean
            Chretien or Brian Mulroney, Canada is better off when Quebecers are
            running the country.

            “Canada isn’t doing well right now because
            it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work,” Trudeau said in French to interviewer Patrick Lagace on the Tele-Quebec program Les francs-tireurs (The Straight Shooters).

            Lagace then asked Trudeau if he thought Canada was “better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans?” Trudeau replied: “I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec… This country- Canada – it belongs to us.”

            NOW there is policy for yu’! Great policy work!

          • Nice copy and paste, hack. Did you get those from your media manager or did you simply plagiarize someone else’s reporting?

            You really don’t want to go down that road, give the fact that Mr. National Citizens Coalition has many quotes that could be used against him AND his earlier involvement with Neo Nazis is far more questionable than a politician pandering to Quebecers. Now that I think about it, is it Harper’s NN past that has you all excited?

          • Let’s not use the copy and paste.

            Let’s just sum things up without the transfer by simply saying this:

            Justin prefers Quebec values. Macleans believes that Quebeckers are the most corrupted politicians in Canada. Justin is from Quebec.

            Putting one and one together ain’t so difficult to do when leaving the copy and paste attitude behind, now is it?

          • Then why do you consistently come up with inaccurate conclusions?

          • Nice quoting out of context. Do CONs have some school they go to so they learn how to do slime stuff like quote out of context, attributing quotes to someone who was quoting someone else???

            Just wondering cause I find alot of this kinda misquotes from CONs.

          • So, it is not true that Macleans has written about the fact that Quebec has the most corruption in Canada?

            Is it not true that Justin is from Quebec?

            Is it not true that Justin thinks Quebec values are better than other values?

            Tell me where I went wrong?

          • You went wrong by believing your own rhetoric.

          • Using this logic, all Germans must be evil because Hitler was born there.

          • Actually he was born is Austria.

          • They certainly seem to. FV has taken the masters class.

          • Please post the link to that interview. I do not believe it took place. Perhaps you misunderstood or are misrepresenting what was said.

          • Still dreaming, eh!

          • Your character has a three dollar price tag, Francis. It wouldn’t sell at a bargain basement sale.

          • Isn’t it fun to post a bunch of none sense? You love it, don’t you?

            A Saturday morning with nothing much to do but posting silly comments. Welcome to the comment boards!

          • Nobody is attacking your character. You posts speak for your character. They are just pointing out what your posts tell everyone about you.

          • And what do they tell you?

            That Justin is a good man when he charges schoolboards $10,000 @ pop for giving the kiddies a speech?

            What? Is living on an MP salary not enough for Justin? LOL

          • First, you do not know that to be true that JT charges schools. Second, if he does how is that worse than Duffy charging the Police to speak to them then billing it as Senate work to the Senate?
            As for what your posts tell me is that you do not think much before you post.

          • March 5, 2010 – Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union. $20,000

            April 23, 2010 – Charity of Hope. $15,000

            May 7, 2010 – Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board. $15,000

            September 23, 2010 – REED Construction Data. $20,000

            December 6, 2010 – Certified Management Accountants of Ontario . $20,000

          • Hey that’s cheap for a speech considering most of those events were for charities. And who to hire to optimize attendants than Justin Trudeau. I mean who would go to hear a speech from Harper, and be expected to donate to charity.

          • Do the Conservatives publish a list of who they charged for speaking as well or is that a secret?

          • Nope, this is no secret:

            “Last year, the Citizen reported that, in addition to Trudeau,
            Conservative Senators Mike Duffy, Larry Smith, Pamela Wallin, and Jacques Demers had received payment for speaking events since becoming parliamentarians.”

            It is no secret that Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin have been investigated.

            I know Justin has not been investigated.

          • Did Trudeau bill Parlement for the costs as Duffy did? We also know that Wallin billed the Senate for travel when she was attending board meeting that she sits on that have nothing to do with Senate business. Just admit it. The CPC are rotten to the core.

          • But Justin is not being investigated. No one will investigate Justin. That’s why we will never know what Justin charged to his MP expense account while stuffing his private pockets with money coming from schoolboards.

            I have no idea how Justin traveled to and fro private speaking engagements. Perhaps he did nothing wrong, but maybe he did somethings wrong.

            I would like to have Justin investigated so that we will know what he charged and when.

          • Actually yes JT was investigated and reported all to the Ethics Commissioner in the House.

          • NO, he was not!

            Justin told the ethics commissioner that he would like to continue his private speaking tour while sitting as an MP and he cleared that question with the Ethics com. Since Justin has become MP, his expenses have not been investigated by the ethics com or anyone else.

            Please don’t lie when posting.

          • Ya sure…… the EC does not investigate bawhahahahahahaahaa

            And JT did not list his fees received from speeches given….. :P

          • The list is not on Justin’s webpage! That’s what I had said.

            Read, it may help you.

          • And here is the latest news, just in case Macleans won’t report all of the news!

            Since when should a future PM be permitted to think one province is better than another???

            Justin Trudeau s’est dit convaincu que la solution réside
            dans l’amélioration du Sénat, dont la présence profite largement au Québec à son avis. « De voir la réaction des francophones hors Québec etsurtout des Québécois qui comprennent à un certain niveau que c’est le poids du Sénat qui assure… », a-t-il avancé, sans terminer sa phrase. «
            On a 24 sénateurs au Québec et il y en a juste six d’Alberta et de Colombie-Britannique, ça nous avantage. De vouloir l’abolir, c’est de ladémagogie. Il va falloir l’améliorer. »

            via Justin Trudeau: on n’ouvre pas la Constitution sans consulter les provinces | Marie-Michèle Sioui | Politique canadienne.”

            If you don’t read French, ask Justin to say it in English!

          • Funny, I seem to remember Harper saying something like – Liberal voters out west were immigrants living in ghettoes.

          • Funny, because what Canadians remember is this:

            “Justin Trudeau told Radio-Canada that if “Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper … maybe I would think about wanting to make Quebec a country.”

          • Who taught you to copy and paste?

          • So you still haven’t found the courage to post that paragraph. I never expected you to post it, so all is good! :))

          • Justin Trudeau said he was convinced that the solution lies

            in the improvement of the Senate, whose presence benefits greatly in Quebec in his opinion. “To see the reaction of francophones outside Quebec etsurtout Quebecers who understand at some level that it is the weight of the Senate that provides …”, he argued, without finishing the sentence. ”

            It has 24 senators in Quebec and there are just six of Alberta and British Columbia, it’s to our advantage. Abolishing it, this is ladémagogie. We’ll have to improve. ”

            His words didn’t represent his attitude to the rest of Canada, just reality.

            “The status quo as it is has certain advantages for the East in terms of sheer numerical value and that’s not a statement of opinion,” he said.

            “That’s a statement of fact of what’s in the Constitution.”

            When asked what he meant when he referred to the regional representation as “our advantage” he brushed it off as a slip.

            “I will admit I am a Quebecer and from time to time when I am speaking with Quebecers I might use the word ‘we,'” he said.

          • Given the choice between the “fraud” and the lying snake currently occupying the PM’s chair, I’ll take the “fraud”, thank you very much.

            And I am far from alone on this.

          • OH, I have never believed you were alone. Far from it; misery needs company. And when the courts can not be counted on to rule in your favour, then misery it must be!

            Cry on each other’s shoulders all you like! I don’t need company; I’m not in misery.

            I’m having a ball!

          • I note you have two supporters so maybe you are right on that point.

          • Oh, darn. I had no idea this was all about getting followers!

            Thank you for reading my posts! :)))

          • Amazing how the human mind can work sometimes, isn’t it!

          • The Con Party has been convicted of fraud several times already and the federal court just declared the Con Party holds a smoking gun in the robofraud affair (a court case Harper fought tooth and nail from happening). But keep sleeping in that oxygen-deprived tank, Francien.

          • Harper bababababad! Harper babababa ba ba ba bad!


          • There is a cure for that….. stop being a harper sheeple

          • I would suggest there is a lot more evidence against Duffys honesty that about Justin. As for Harper, I am amazed how unaware he seems to be about things going on in his government. Patrol vessels… Did not know why the plans cost so much. F35 …did not know that they cost much more than the $75 million each. Don’t really know what happened to that $3.1 billion that was not accounted for. Did not know the TFW program was being abused. No idea what happened in the Robocalls matter. Now the Duffy and Wallin affair. He micromanaged everything but did not know his Chief of Staff paid Duffys bill.
            Either he is woefully inept and should resign or he is very dishonest and should resign. Either way, he is not fit or office and if the Cons don’t get rid of him , Canadians will.

          • Like they did last time around?

            Canadians aren’t stupid!

          • orange juice for everyone only $18.00 each. Limo rides goes with that as well. so what is 3.1 billions

          • Perhaps she is really from China or North Korea and is enjoying watching Canada self destruct. That might be why she is cheating Harper on.

        • Funny how Duffy was scolded when he came forward with the Dion taping. He should not have been so forthcoming! I can still hear the masses sceam about it all.

          Now, oh now, Duffy should be forthcoming! Now is the time to show us the real pictures of what took place.

          Dion doing several retakes, now that was funny!

          • Off your meds again, eh?

      • What about the electoral fraud Conservative operatives were involved in during the last election? I don’t think Canadians will want to re-elect them in 2015 after the last election was won under those circumstances.

        • What electoral fraud are you referring to?

          • Robocalls the judge just ruled on it. You might try to keep up.

          • I suppose if you’re a habitual crack smoker you might believe that a finding that the Conservative Party database was used to commit electoral fraud is an “absolution”.

          • Um, so their database was hacked. That doesn’t take away from the absolution. In fact, it’s most likely the database was hacked by a Liberal or Dipper. Right now I’m more suspicious of them committing electoral fraud than the Conservatives. It was the Dippers who had the most to gain.

          • Of course it was the Dippers who had most to gain. The voters still voted (as the judge has said!!) and since no voters were held back from voting in any case, it would be in the Dippers interest to pretend that votes could have been suppressed.

            The only real thing that came out of the robocall scandal is that no voters have been suppressed, but the Dippers have known that all along. They also knew that regardless of the lack of vote suppression, the so called scandal about it would remain.

            Dippers like to dip lower and lower.

          • That is not what he said. He said he could not see that voters were prevented from voting but he labeled it what it was…electoral fraud.

          • Great theory, NotRick! I’ll standby for your evidence that the Cons’ database was hacked by either party.

            The Conservatives must have been horrified that they’d been hacked and had their database used for such illegal and sleazy activity. They must have done everything they could to try to get to the bottom of it.

            Oh wait. What’s that you say, Judge Mosley? The Conservatives “made little effort to assist with the investigation despite early requests,” How odd.

          • The only theory that is being proven here is that crack use could be trending in the land of trolls.

          • Indeed, he said they used a form of trench warfare to obstruct the investigation.

          • There is zero evidence it was hacked. It seems likely it was used by “persons unknown.” Those persons are far more likely to be CPC members than not. Maybe they were rogue, but in all likelihood they were people with legitimate access.

            Stop making up shit.

          • Any body could have done it. After all it’s common knowledge the password was Harper…what else could it have been?

          • Piere pouting was actually a CPC staffer. He is so far the only one identified as involved.

          • That’s quite a bit of speculation there, considering you have no idea who did it.

          • It is certainly far more likely than your own speculation that it was hacked by Liberals or the NDP and then used by one of those parties against their own best interests. Why would they hack the CPC database to help the CPC to win?
            Some powerful drugs you’re on, Ricky!

          • You must be skim reading. Read the ruling carefully and without a Conservative filter.

          • Mosley does not conclude that the party was involved, but does say the evidence points to the use of the party’s database.

            “In reaching this conclusion, I make no finding that the Conservative Party of Canada or any CPC candidates or RMG and RackNine Inc., were directly involved in any campaign to mislead voters,” he ruled.

            You will note that he did not make a finding that they were NOT involved, either.

            “completely absolved of any wrong doing” is one way to spin it, I suppose. But it is not entirely factual.

          • Under Scottish law that would read not proven. It means we know you did it but we can’t prove it.

          • They were not absolved of anything read the words the Judge said. He could not prove who did it beyond a reasonable doubt or that it actually worked but he did label robocalls as election fraud. It is just that criminals always get he benefit of any doubt.

    • Yes, truly do.

      Let’s kick out Harper so we can elect JT to power.

      JT and the liberals will lead us to a new glorious heaven on earth.

      There have never been any scandals with the liberal party, no expense claim fraud, no brown envelopes, no corruption or kickback, ever!

      JT himself is above reproach, as he has absolutely no skill or experience at being a leader, any type of leader, then clearly he will be the best to resist corruption and make the best decisions for Canada!


      • Wow you go from support of Harper to supporting Trudeau in one big leap!

  2. Such a brilliant, cutting assessment of the listless Conservative ship. Nice work, Wells.

  3. Shame on Canada if Harper is allowed to survive this affair.

    • Two years is an eternity in politics, and election day comes down to a choice for the least worst option. Plenty of time for other parties to fall on their face.

      However, shame on the CPC if the knives don’t start coming out in the caucus. The CPC was established by passing hats around church basements and community centers. If they can’t find a way to cut off the rot and regain an internal belief in the party’s inherent moral superiority to govern, they’re utterly doomed.

      • Except that this not the first scandal that Harper escapes unscathed. I personally thought that the Robocall affair would be the one to do him in. Again, shame on all of us if this crew gets re-elected following this mess.

        • I don’t disagree, but each time he publicly skirts a scandal those in the caucus get a little more concerned and grumble a little louder. Harper gets a little dirtier in the eyes of those who support him, and eventually someone else in the party is going to come to the realization/determination that Harpers’ actions have created a credible threat to the party and, therefore, to themselves.

          • You think so? You have more faith in those sheep than I do.

          • The problem is not just Harper. He has a caucus of cowards and a cabinet of yes men. The party needs to go through a redefinition and rebuild similar to what the liberals are doing. They need to wander the wilderness of Canadian politics and do some serious soul searching. The moderates need to decide if they are willing to allow the reform branch of the party to continue to define them.

          • Hahaha. The Liberals are rebuilding? I think that would come as a surprise to a lot of people. Can you really be “rebuilding” while trying to establish the first ever US-Style political dynasty in Canada’s history?

          • You might be surprised at how much different they are. The leader is not all the party is about.

        • “I am satisfied that [it] has been established that misleading calls
          about the locations of polling stations were made to electors in ridings across the country, including the subject ridings, and that the purpose of those calls was to suppress the votes of electors who had indicated their voting preference in response to earlier voter identification calls,” Mosley wrote in the 100-page decision.

          Mosley said he was not making a finding that the Conservative Party, its candidates or the suppliers providing live and automated robocalls were directly involved in “the campaign to mislead voters.”

          • It was not Mosley’s mandate to determine who was guilty; rather it was to rule whether or not the election results should be quashed. He found no such reason to overturn the election results. It would be an impossible task. But we all know who made the attempt to circumvent fairness, who was behind the robocalls don’t we? And any reasonable person can conclude that the calls did have some effect, of course, to the benefit of the Conservative Party who won all six ridings. It was a set up by the Liberals right? I’m disgusted and they will not get my vote again until they clean house – of course I won’t be answering he phone on election night! :)

          • So when the CPC lawyers decided to put forth a complaint that this was a frivolous case to begin with (which has been proven correctly) then it is those lawyers who are obstructing?

            I want to see you defend yourself when you are brought in front of the courts on frivolous charges! That would be something to see!

          • Not a frivolous case in the court of public opinion. Thats the court I pay attention to. C’mon follow your instincts!

          • And which ‘public’ would that be? Your public?

          • Are you sure you are not Comunist?

          • Who can ever be sure?

          • I don’t consider a concerted effort to suppress votes frivolous.
            Such actions should be condemned, at the loudest levels.

          • So you feel election fraud is frivolous? Elections are at the core of democracy.

          • Tell me when I have said that election fraud is frivolous?

            Taking someone to court on a witch hunt is frivolous.

            Maud Barlow took 6 CPC won ridings to court and lost on all counts!

            Frivolous! People should not go to court on flimsy evidence!

          • The issue is not frivolous and taking the matter to court is not either. How else would you hold people accountable for trying to subvert democracy. You seem to be very narrow in your thinking.

          • Ok, fine. Let’s go with your way of thinking.

            Should the CPC take Maud Barlow to court because the CPC suspects Maud Barlow of using the list to create a scandal for the CPC?

            It would not be a frivolous court case, would it?

          • If the Judge thought it was frivolous, he would have assessed costs to the plaintive s. he assessed the court costs to the CPC because he found they were obstructionist.

          • Many people who have been dragged through the courts on frivolous charges have to pay for their own court costs.

            That is almost standard!

          • Read the judgement. The CPC was ordered to pay all the costs, not just thier own. The judge also felt the COC was behind robocalls. You really need to research before you post.
            I have no time for you now.

          • Exhibit A

            Francien Verhoeven = Harper Sheep

          • The term sheep suggests following the herd quietly, without paying attention.
            Certainly couldn’t accuse FV of being quiet or of not paying attention to the world around her.

          • But he deliberately did not find that they weren’t, either. Basically, there was not enough evidence to know who was involved – though he seems fairly certain the CPC’s database was used.

            And please, knock off with the “hacked” nonsense unless you have evidence. Far more likely is that it was accessed by someone with legit reasons to access it, but who accessed it for illegitimate purposes.

            I’d be somewhat inclined to accept the “rogue” story, if the CPC had been a little more forthcoming and cooperative with the investigations.

          • Mt theory is Stanley did it. It is a well known fact that cats are very untrustworthy and pretty handy on the old database these days.
            Besides, i never like the look of that little bastard, ever since Harper put him in his twitter feed. Boy was that a mistake. First you give them a little TLC, and before you know it they’ve gone behind your back and started robo calling little old ladies. He shoulda picked a dog imho. Dogs can be trusted not to interfere with the electoral system. At least mine don’t. But then they arn’t registered Conservatives.

          • Who benefitted the most. Mosley also said he thought the CPC was obstructionist in getting to the truth. It was clear in his ruling that he believed the CPC or at least a faction within was behind it but he just could not prove which individuals were involved. That doubt always goes to the accused. Harper used to complain about criminals getting off due to those technical reasons now he is hiding behind the same technicalities. He is no better than the crooks because he puts a great deal of effort into frustrating justice both in the Robocalls affair and the Duffy affair.

          • Really? Why to hack people into other people’s accounts?

          • Your question makes no sense.

          • Then why don’t you ask the questions.

            The CPC computers were hacked into. Now, ask the question.

          • That is false and you know it. The judge stated that the CPC were obstructionist in the investigation. If they were hacked they would cooperate. Piere Poutine was a CPC staffer and was implicated in the Robocalls and he has implied that there are others in the CPC who were involved. Only the most obtuse would believe that the robocalls were not carried out by the CPC. Hackers! That is rediculous. There is much evidence that is false and none that they were hacked.
            Your comment is laughable.

          • So, you are telling me that the hacking of the list is a false story?

            Well, now I know enough!

            Go tell your lies somewhere else!

          • The Liberal in that riding was found to have been making illegal robocalls. So I would say that they certainly look the most guilty.

        • My bet is you are still correct. Many (including Francien) are misreading Mosley’s statement. He did not conclude the Conservative Party was guilty but he also did not conclude the Conservative Party was innocent.

          What he did conclude was the the voter suppression was real (strike one) and that the Conservative data base was used (strike 2). Presumably the remaining options are: 1) some collection of rogue Conservatives, 2) the Conservative party or 3) some third party that decided to hack the Conservative data base to help the Conservatives out.

          My guess is either 1 or 2 constitutes strike 3 for Stephen Harper. He will no doubt present the robocall crisis as yet another thing that “happened to him”. He will be upset, confused then angry. I wonder how well that is going to play.

          • Likely source of information
            used to make the misleading calls was the party’s CIMS database. Yeah so sure let’s keep pretending.

          • So I say Justin Trudeau is a fraud. It goes to court and I would loose. The judge will have spoken: I did not have enough evidence for calling Justin a fraud.

            But Justin would not be innocent either, for he could indeed be a fraud.

            Thank you StewartSmith for your insights.

            Oh, and the voters DID still vote! The judge said he could not have cancelled the outcome of the election results because the voters had indeed voted!!!!!!!!!!

          • ” I did not have enough evidence for calling Justin a fraud.”

            You mean you don’t have any evidence.

          • You and I have no evidence yet on Justin’s fraud!

            But an investigation will turn up something! You can rest assured!

          • I have to admit that I respect the fact that you can make fun of yourself.

          • Don’t try to correct her sub-standard English, you’ll really set her off.

          • C’mon man, no need for that. English is clearly not her first language, yet she does pretty well.

          • Almost certainly a collection of over-zealous Conservatives.
            And Harper does wear some of the blame in that case – he sets the overall tone of the party. If he tends to give no quarter to opponents, then the followers will tend to behave the same way.

      • It is possible that is how the party two parties before the CPC got its start. it moved out of those church basements only by appropriating the funding and support of the western portions of the progressive conservative party. And the CPC exists today only because the largest financial backers of the two earlier parties gave them instructions to merge.

    • I think even the most loyal conservatives are running out of patience with this reform hypocrite who has made a mockery of every principal in which they believe. The only supporters he has now are the corrupt bottom feeders who are still hoping for their turn at the trough and the hacks they’ve hired at our expense to propagate their propaganda.

      • I’m sure that they are fed up. I just don’t believe that they have it in them to stand up against Harper and challenge his leadership. I hope they prove me wrong.

  4. Harper’s success with his government-limiting agenda is an indictment of the inattention and indifference of progressive elements in Canada. In this increasingly complex world of economic titans with no allegiance to any place or people we need an accountable and active government to represent and defend us. Of course this means we have to invest some of our time and attention to choosing and directing said government —

  5. This comment was deleted.

    • All for abortion now, are we?

      • Still a believer in one-liners, are we?

      • If it means eliminating extraneous lawyers and used party functionaries then, yeah, find me my Metzenbaums! I’m donning the bloody smock and having at them.

  6. I follow UK politics closely, more interesting debates and better reporting, and I have been wondering for a while if Canadian Cons will start to move elsewhere like Cons have moved to Ukip in Britain.

    I am not Conservative/conservative, so I don’t really understand, but I am curious know if Con base are actually pleased with their party’s performance. If you are Red Tory that was popular in Mulroney’s day, then you are probably happy with performance of Harper but I have no idea why former Reform supporters still support Cons.

    In UK, there is controversy because leadership of Con party and its base are not allies – Con leaders think their base are ‘swivel eyed loons’. I wonder if Harper thinks the same of his base, he treats Con ideas with contempt, so I wonder why Cons supporters hang around where they are not welcome.

    • My impression is that a lot of the reform base is unhappy with Harper due to inaction on a number of significant interest areas, like abortion, senate reform, etc. The red tories are unhappy due to the deficit, accountability, etc.

      The reason they remain with the CPC is that they don’t see another party capable of better representing their interests. However, that’s a pretty tenuous position for a party leader to be in, and leaves their base of support ripe for the picking from other parties, either the LPC or a new one that has yet to be established.

      • you betcha – if Justin or Tommy nstep up and start heading towards pro-life position we would be on board in a minute :) – in the meantime we love harper

        • We love Harper? Who exactly is we? Not me. Can’t stand the parasite.

          • “Who exactly is we? ”

            Probably him and one of the other people who live in his moms’ basement.

          • Parasite? Really?

  7. Harper’s ratings are still quite high in Tel Aviv. Not so high anywhere else on the planet.

  8. Excellent Reporting MacLean’s!
    Keep up the good work now if we can only get Mike Duffy to resign

  9. There was an older picture in the G&M in a story outlining the new chief of staff. Harper stood in a parking lot with a hockey stick, alongside cueball in transition Dimitri Soudas, some cherubic youngish guy, and the new CofS.

    And I thought. hmmm, these were the members of the “most powerful office in the land”?

    In related news, I’m looking forward to the return of Arrested Development this weekend on Netflix (, no not on CTV’s Question Period)

  10. I, for one, am happy that “round tables” are being shut down. Give me definitive leadership over committee discussion any day. And although $90,000 isn’t a small amount compared to an average Canadian salary, the cost of one committee would blow that away in a week or less.

    • That’s the spirit. Keep repeating that mantra, preferably in the media. Minimizing and/or rationalizing the $90K bribe is the surest way to another majority. Just trust me.

    • Yeah, the cost of democratic institutions are what’s killing us now.

  11. Things in this country would be so much better with Justin as PM. He could just flop his hair and unbutton his shirt one more button and then spout some soft nothings to the media and they would get all giddy and forget all about the scandal.

    • Fine. He’s a pufball. But he’s a puffball that believes in science, facts. When it’s time for the puffball, vote for the puffball.

      • Right. At least we know he isn’t a corrupt puffball whose party was just found guilty of fraud!

        Heave Steve

    • You do recognize that the PM is not ‘President’, right? I mean, we’ve had a good 20 or more years of leadership who thought otherwise, but our actual parliamentary system is supposed to be designed to delegate authority, not concentrate it.

      Perhaps someone like Trudeau, if he indeed doesn’t want to be the same sort of micro-manager as Harper, could herald a return to that type of representative legislative structure. I’m not holding my breath, but a guy can dream, right?

      • Canada has become a, cesspool of corruption especially since, Harper’s so called majority. Harper has no decency, morals nor ethics, what-so-ever. Harper is no Conservative either, he isn’t even honest about that. Harper hired his good friend Wolfgang Droege and his Heritage Front as, security for Preston Manning. That is the true Harper we have, running this country.

        Harper is a litany of, lies, deceit, corruption, thefts, dirty tactics and, he cheats to win.

    • You can forget about this country. Canada belongs to Communist China, by Harper’s say so.

    • Actually, he would probably go on a speaking tour, charging schools a fee of $10,000 in order to hear Justin speak. A PM salary won’t be nearly enough for Justin!

      • Not offering you enough for your speaking engagements, Francis?

        • I would never, ever take money from school kids to stuff my own private pockets with!

          Not ever!

          • You’ve already admitted that you have no evidence that Trudeau did so either.

            So what’s your point?

    • Or he could kick Brazeau’s assets again. That was sexy.

  12. “Harper, as you know, is a noted advocate of clean energy.”

    Harper doubled Environment Canada spending in his first 2 years in power and GHG emissions have dropped under his watch (they skyrocketed under Liberals). Harper is in fact a noted advocate of clean energy, as evidenced by $1.2 billion in Fast Start financing as part of Copenhagen agreement, carbon capture projects, etc., etc.

    Harper’s record on the environment, and combatting AGW in particular, is outstanding.

    As a conservative, I’m not entirely pleased with this government. Deficits, those expletiving Action Plan ads, the zombie-like “jobs, economy” narrow focus, the ragging the puck mentality of not actually doing anything with the keys of power – these are the things that may keep me home on election day, not a ninety grand scandal.

    But then I remember how Harper killed it at the CFR interview. Statesmanlike, oozing gravitas, rational, informed. You have to be dropping Neil Macdonald-grade acid to think that either Justin or Mulcair are anywhere near his league or that these scandals will hurt him electorally in 2015. He’s PM for as long as he wants to be, notwithstanding the increasingly amusing Harper Derangement Syndrome-afflicted “playa hata” media.

    • “”Harper, as you know, is a noted advocate of clean energy.”…said no one ever!

      Thanks for the input Mr. Baird.

      Heave Steve

  13. “But it’s Obama who gets both Netanyahu and Israel’s neighbours to take steps away from stalemate and toward peace.”

    When the relationship between Israel & USA is so bad that Israel bombs Syria without even a courtesy notification to the US? That’s getting Israel & it’s neighbors to move towards peace???

    Dude. You cannot be serious.

    • Assertion isn’t the same thing as fact. You should know that by now.

  14. PM Harper’s job is to run the country and mind the economy, and not to entertain a bored “scandal-starved” (Andrew Coyne’s word) media.

    The only negative to this whole silly affair is the loss of Nigel Wright to the service to Canada. One Nigel Wright is worth way more than 100 senators or even 10,000 smug journalists. It’s a sad day for Canada.

    • Yet NIgel Wright seems to be worth more once thrown under the bus than he was in PMO, at least to the saddened and frustrated and angry prime minister. Nigel Wright was only worth $90,000 to Harper.

      • And school boards are worth only $10,000 @ visit to Trudeau. But then there are many schoolboards to collect from. Justin is a smart one; better to milk where the milking can be repeated. Many schoolboards, many cheques to be cut to Justin.

        Justin, such a good speaker!

        • “Justin is a smart one”

          Dear Leader is the other one!!

          • And you must be a fraud.

            Fraud is the ‘in’ thing. Don’t you want to be ‘in’?

            Oh, you are so ‘in’. You must be calling me a fraud. LOL

            Fraud is the ‘in’ thing!

          • Dude, seriously, you’re spinning your wheels here. Better take a break.

          • It doesn’t bother me that I’m here.

            Does it bother you that I’m here?

            Why would it bother you?

          • What bothers me is that you are no doubt paid extra for each time you divert the discussion away from the topic at hand by bringing up the Liberals, Justin Trudeau, adscam, and so on. When I saw the ad on craigslist for “right-wing commenters” I didn’t read the particulars, but I’m sure your salary is based on reactions of others because your job is mainly to dissemble. Well done Francien! I’m sure you are getting a bonus!!

          • Ah, yes and you must be getting a big fat bonus when you have managed to get rid of me!

            Head hunter!

          • Take your meds, for gawds sake, Francis. You are sounding a tad insane.

          • Ah, another one who wants me gone.

            What? You don’t like what I have to say?

            You don’t have to read my posts. It is a free country we live in.

            Oh, wait, it could be that I am trying to control you! Yes, that must be it – you are spineless and have no idea what to do with a free will.

            God, I love this! I love living in a free country!

          • You’re embarrassing yourself and your position as a CON apologist.

          • You actually think that you calling me an embarrassment will make me one?

            You wish!

          • Kooky, you are an embarrassment to yourself and the fraudulent party you’re shilling for even without anyone elses help. I gotta be thinking it’s a med or alcohol problem at this rate. Common occurrence with the CONs I understand.
            Heave Thievin Decievn Steven
            and then heave Him again

          • This is an embarrassment:

            Benskin, A NDP MP, has an outstanding provincial taxbill of $58,000 and he calls the Canadian Revenue Agency!

            Can you believe an MP could be that stupid? To have provincial taxes owing but to call the CRA on that????

            Good grief; first Mulair has to admit that he, kept secret for 17 years, a crime he was witness to, and Mulcair is a lawyer!

            And now an NDP MP not knowing the difference between provincial and federal taxes. And the NDP should run this country!!!!! ????

            You’ve got to be kidding me!

          • What? Lenny wants answers but never gives any?

            Must be that new Canadian thing!

            I don’t like your new Canadian thing where I must do the answering and you don’t have to answer on anything!

            I won’t recognize this Canada Lenny believe in.

          • So you have no evidence that Trudeau “mis-used” public funds. Nor do you have any evidence that the decision to pay Trudeau his speaking fees was made by anyone other than those doing the hiring of their own free will.
            Thats what I thought.

        • A lot of groups might be willing to give Harper/Duffy ten grand to stay away. We don’t need any speakers here!! We’ll just send you the cash, but you can skip coming down to make the speech.

          • Fact: Justin Trudeau has charged many schoolboards $10,000 @ pop for giving his speeches WHILE Justin was drawing an MP salary!

          • And?

            We have been through this before; Harper’s own Ethics Commissioner said it was OK.

        • We are not talking about Justin Trudeau – or must you insist on the “two wrongs make a right” discourse?

          • It was not Harper who charged schoolboards $10,000 @ pop to deliver a speech to stuff into his private pockets while getting paid an MP salary. Only Justin did that!

    • It was never about Nigels’ worth to Canada, it was always about Canadas’ worth to the corporation he’s “borrowed from”..Onyx

  15. Mark Twain once said that politicians are much like diapers in that they should be changed often and for the same reasons. After watching the latest airing of the PMO inspired Gong Show I’d have to agree.

    Heave Steve

  16. If Paul Wells cannot bring himself to insert at least one positive remark about this current Harper government, then why does he call himself a journalist?

    Why not call himself a Harper hater and disclose it up front? Now, that would be ethical!

    • What positive remark should have been included in this story? I’m genuinely curious, because from what we’ve seen there hasn’t been a whole lot of positive to report, at least on this issue.

      And you made me chuckle on the suggestion that Wells is a partisan. I’ve seen some pretty damning articles from him directed toward all parties and leaders.

      • So you and Paul Wells believe that this current government has done nothing positive for this country? Ever.

        And you and Paul shouldn’t be considered partisan?

        Tell me, what do you consider partisan?

        • Just so I understand, are you implying that on every story you expect something flattering to be stated about the subject, no matter how unrelated that flattery may be to the actual topic being discussed?

          I think it’s fairly obvious who the partisan is, and it’s not Wells or myself. If you think otherwise, feel free actually answer the question I posed in the comment you replied to.

          • So you and Paul Wells believe that this current government has done nothing positive for this country? Ever.

          • I never once stated that. Now that I’ve answered your question, feel free to answer mine. I’ll restate it, to save you the trouble of glancing back through the thread:

            “What positive remark should have been included in this story?”

          • You have not answered any of my questions.

            So you and Paul Wells believe that this current government has done nothing positive for this country? Ever.

          • Give it up, Francis. Your question has been answered. You are not listening.

          • Tick, tock, tick, tock……………I must be controlling you……..tick,tock,tick, tock…………..you must read my posts……….tick, tock, tick, tock,


            What, you don’t believe me? You cannot be controlled? LOL

          • Emily never sounded this crazy on her worst days.

          • Thank you KeithBram for reading my posts. You are a loyal reader of my posts. I appreciate it. Tick, tock, it’s a free world. :))

          • It’s like a massive train wreck – horrific, yet you can’t not look…

          • And KeithBram keeps reading my posts! I love it!

            I must say some things which hit a nerve. Or else why would you care what I do?

          • Ouch.

    • How about, “Well, he hasn’t lied to us once.”

    • I think you’ve missed all his other articles and books.

      • I don’t miss much, but I will say that I miss objective reporting in Wells articles.

        Oh, and I also think that Kady O’Malley was too much of a Harper hater to have stayed on at Macleans. Even Macleans could not go that far in being obvious!

    • So Francien, you state: “journalist” = ” at least one positive remark about this current Harper government.” Can you please explain that statement?

    • Yes. Because fairness is always making sure to include at least one counter remark. So if you’re talking about circumnavigating the globe, you must point out at least once that some people think it’s flat.

      • Well it would be very fair to include at least this much”

        “OTTAWA — The scandal-plagued Senate has a cheerleader in Justin
        Trudeau after the Liberal leader said he wouldn’t abolish the chamber
        because it’s to Quebec’s gain over other provinces to keep the lights

        “We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta
        and British Columbia. It’s to our advantage,” he told a French

        Spoken by Justin on Saturday May 25, 2013.

        Enjoy it Canada, while it lasts!

        • Yes, yes, your lust for Justin is well known.
          Irrelevant, but known.

  17. C,mon – how can you forget that he got China to loan us some Pandas????

  18. Hardly a surprise that the weeds are starting to multiply. After all, Harper’s been sowing them far and wide for 7 years now.

    As Wells says, never count Harper out, he’s been down before. But this smells different. There are significant Conservative critics now.

    I wonder how radical or incremental his approach will be? Will he ride it out and hope JT says something else slightly silly on the CBC; hope that Mulcair is found to know rather more than he says he does about endemic corruption in QC politics?

    Or will he go for broke; wait until a bit of major good news arrives – such as keystone being approved, a break through in negotiations with the EU. Then re,re,re,reprorogue us all over again; snap the election ball back, damn the torpedoes and the FEL; wrap himself as tight as a tootsie roll in the nearest over-sized flag,and hope to catch rookie JT unprepared and Tom napping?
    That’s what a man with less friends and no currently visible positive agenda, and a negative one he dare not fully reveal, might be tempted to do. All he needs is some more luck. Something that he has had in spades throughout his career.

    In any case it’s beginning to feel like SH isn’t QBing the whole game anymore. This might get interesting! And the well may be finally running dry luck wise? Course, that might just be the natural consequence of choosing a divisive political option, instead of trying for more consensus. But that’s the last thing that will occur to someone like SH, or the few friends he has left.

  19. Sad, really … a fresh-faced boy, fed and watered by the oil patch and

    fully seized by its’ Houston-Cheyenne-Byfield Consensus comes striding

    into the belly of the beast and is slowly consumed ,amoeba-like, by the
    low standards of friends in high places defending the tottering ramparts
    of the Laurentian Consensus.

    As a victim of the apparently absurd Appalachian Consensus ( North
    Variant) it’s all a source of wonder. Think I’ll wait for the movie.

  20. Then again Harper does have a source of comfort – for the next 2 years he pass any legiuslation his base is happy with – and by the way folks we pro lifers loving yelling at harper BUT when we go to the polls we are voting CPC :) – so are a lot of other Tories and Progressives – you see folks it’s all about the long game when it comes to changing Ottawa – Harper got flubbed up here and no doubt about it – but – when you break it down it doesn’t matter one iota – what matters is implementing our conservative agenda and that we are and will be doing for 2 more years.

    • Well, actually i rather think the point of this article is…he ISN’T getting anything of consequence done these days.

  21. There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,And they all lived together in a little crooked house

    And the house the crooked man lived in was situated at 24 Sussex Drive, Ottawa and there was much more that was crooked but not mentioned.

    Heave Steve

    • I hear that crooked house at 24 Sussex is in bad need of a reno.

  22. What the PW Harper report says about Paul Wells:

    Since Harper will not be defeated on policy, implemented already or to be implemented soon, Paul Wells must try hard to avoid saying anything positive about Harper.

    When Harper will not be defeated on policy, then the only thing left for Paul Wells to hammer home about is the scandals in the making! Paul hammers and hopes the Harper defeat will be imminent.

    Paul Wells doesn’t realize that he is building himself a house of cards. Tell us Paul, how well did your house of cards stand up the last time when you tried to defeat Harper’s government? Was it not Harper’s house you helped build stronger? Yup, you did.

    You came down hard on Harper in 2011 and the Harper government was rewarded, by ordinary Canadians, to find himself with more seats in the house. Oops.

    Some people don’t know how to learn lessons from past mistakes made.

  23. As a card carrying Liberal I did not ever support Harper, yet thought he was a good man, moral man. I was so wrong.

    • As a none card carrying political observer, I have always supported Harper because he is a good man.

      Harper has never charged schoolboards for delivering a speech while he was receiving an MP or PM salary.

      Only Justin has charged school boards $10,000 @ pop to hear him speak.

      Justin Trudeau, the good man, sticking $10,000 into his private pockets, begotten from one schoolboard or another, and collecting his MP salary all at the same time!

      Now there is a good man. It takes one to know one, eh, hopeful………….

      • Heh heh..next you’ll be telling us you aren’t a CON shill working out of the PMO. And if you aren’t you should be cause you’d fit right in with the rest of the sheeple working there.

        Heave Steve

        • You don’t want to share the source of your quotation, now do you?

          • What are you talking about kooky?

          • What are you talking about, Joe?

            Thank you for following me on these comment boards!

    • You`re first instinct was correct. Vote with your instinct.

  24. Lot of piling on here by a media that hates Harper as has been written many times, and has been very jealous of Duffy’s success., Wells included. Not a comment on Duffy’s problems either – more on the press’s ethics and honesty. They glory in all this for personal reasons, not by any stretch of the imagination for the public good.

    • A journalist’s responsibility is to engage readers in a story interesting enough to encourage them to spend money on their newspaper or magazine. While they are supposed to operate under ethical guidelines, their only role in the “public interest” is indirect, at best.

      But there is one group who is primarily tasked with working toward the public interest. I’ll give you one guess as to who that might be.

    • Jealous of Duffy’s success…how does Well’s sleep at night?

      ‘ That senate seat should have been mine by rights. Doh! If only i had thought of outing Dion in the middle of an election!!’

  25. Duffy is a smart man. He understood his Senate forms. He chose to cheat and get more money from the public purse. Do not blame the media. A child can see that Duffy cheated.

    • Mac Harb, the forgotten Liberal, is a smart man, or at least he thought he was. When the going got tough, he said “I’ll see you in court” and called his lawyer!

      But now Liberal Mac Harb will be investigated by the RCMP. Oops,. Oh, well, Liberal Harb’s lawyer’s fees will be reclaimed on his public expense account anyways………..and………everyone will look the other way when a Liberal shuffles money around.

      • Yes, Harb will be investigated along with all the others and that is what the people on the left agree with. But why you single out him is curious as he’s the only one of all these crooks in this scandal that is not directly connected to the PMO. It’s that old “which one is different than the others” that sets Harb aside…He’s NOT connected to the PMO and the sleaze within.

        • Well,Liberal Harb was singled out by the media to NOT be talked about. I was thinking of letting Harb into the limelight for a change.

          Got a problem with that?

          • You’re a kook.

          • And you like what I dish out, or do I give you stomach cramps? Nervous nellies get stomach cramps easily. Or so I’m being told.

          • Hey Francien! I miss your trolling over at the Green Party site. But here you are – same as ever: making stuff up and pinning it on people. Did your boss transfer you over to trolling the Maclean’s site?

          • Have patience! I will be at the Green Party comment site in the near future.

            I had no idea you were waiting for me.

            Soon, soon!

          • Most kooks like FV, being extremely kooky, are usually so kooky that they are unaware of their kookiness and just how kooky they appear to others. There’s probably a medical term for this CONdition.
            HEAVE STEVE
            and then heave Him some more!

          • No I don’t, read my post again…sloooowwly this time and maybe it might sink in!

            Heave Deceivin Steven

          • Why would I read your posts slowly? Simple posts don’t need to be read slowly. Simple posts are very quick to read!

          • Maybe if Mr. Duffy had taken a more, um. established legal approach to his expenses troubles he could be compared to Mr. Harb. Alas, that appears to not be the case.

            BTW, the title of the article isn’t, as you seem to believe, “What The Mike Duffy scandal says about Justin Trudeau. Oh, and, uh, uh, uh, Mac Harb!”

          • No, the article is about Canada. Justin is a Canadian, still, right?

            How long before Justin will fight for an independent Quebec when Harper wins the 2015 election?

            What, say two months, tops?

          • Har!

          • Har, har, har…………..

            “OTTAWA — The scandal-plagued Senate has a cheerleader in Justin Trudeau after the Liberal leader said he wouldn’t abolish the chamber because it’s to Quebec’s gain over other provinces to keep the lights on.

            “We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and British Columbia. It’s to our advantage,” he told a French newspaper.”

            Eat your heart out.

            Now, will Macleans run with that Justin quote? I’ll believe it when I see it!

        • Oh, boy, have you read the news today, oh, boy!

          OTTAWA — The scandal-plagued Senate has a cheerleader in Justin Trudeau after the Liberal leader said he wouldn’t abolish the chamber because it’s to Quebec’s gain over other provinces to keep the lights on.

          “We have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and British Columbia. It’s to our advantage,” he told a French newspaper.”

          May 25, 2013. Fresh, very fresh. Fragile, very fragile!

          • You may not know this, but Stephane Dion came to Calgary and Edmonton to debate Bert Brown – subject, Senate reform. Mr. Dion noted that a triple-E Senate would disadvantage both British Columbia and Alberta. It is to BC and Alberta’s advantage, he stated, to keep things as they are over the government’s misguided ideas of reform. Mr. Brown was so confused and inarticulate that he couldn’t explain what he meant about anything.

          • Funny, I thought Trudeau was a modern man!

            In 1867 Quebec held 40% of Canada’s population. Alberta was not even a province then!

            Now AB and BC combined hold 18% of the population with 12 senate seats COMBINED, while Quebec is at 22 % of the population with 24 senate seats to its name!

            Out dated senate. And an outdated Justin Trudeau! If you or Justin feel you need to talk down Bert Brown, go right ahead.

            Make it Justin’s campaign slogan: The West is Out and see how far it will bring him! Can’t wait.

  26. It says: TIME For CHANGE!

  27. What is comical is this Paul Wells and John Geddes video. These guys have never liked the conservatives from day one. Although I am not happy with the Senate junk going on and with everything conservatives have done I am so glad that we don’t have the liberals in power. The liberals past scandals make these scandals a joke in comparison. The corruption was unparalleled. The media bias has been so obvious it’s laughable. The Conservatives have to get their ship back in order because if the liberals get back in power under Trudeau Canada will be a fast sinking ship on all counts.

    • Did you watch the whole thing? Who’s worse: Liberals or media? Who do you blame the most for your party’s corruption?

    • Trudeau is to blame for CPC sins – gotcha! You guys been singing the same tone deaf hymn for for 45 years now. Same con whine. Nothing has changed except the Trudeau.

  28. A little perspective. Duffy and Wallin padding expense accounts crooked but on balance as far as political scandals are concerned yawn inducingly banal.
    It’s been going on since the senate was created and probably done much worse. Correct me if i’m wrong but i believe it was the recent conservative induced rule changes that now brings such behaviour in clearer focus.
    Nigel Wright was stupid, dismiss him and move on. But as to the hysterical gotterdamerung scenarios being assiduously spun by the media gollums – time to break out the industrial grade smelling salts. Harper Derangement Syndrome in full bloom.

    • Harper got elected by pounding the “Accountability” table, but the moment his Chief of Staff gets caught passing $90K to a sitting senator he first clams up and then tries to fluff it off. Even if the monetary value is relatively insignificant, the inference is that the current Prime Minister doesn’t actually care about ‘accountability’ in the slightest.

      If he did, the first words out of his mouth would have been “my government is horrified at what has transpired and will be conducting a full public inquiry”. Full stop. He has said as much when he was targeting Paul Martin during the adscam scandal. I have a feeling that 2005 Harper would have been mortified at the actions of 2013 Harper.

  29. Until I read this insightful blurb from Paul Wells I had no idea that so many Conservatives were abandoning the Conservative ship.

    No doubt the social Conservatives are leaving for the comfort of the Justin Liberals where they know he will promise them free votes on abortion in Parliament.

    The fiscal Conservatives have already contacted Mulcair in the hopes of lining up with Libby Davies and Pat Martin in the new NDP cabinet.

    Those concerned about employment will know that the road to full employment and pursuit of wealth is through Elizabeth May.

    And the libertarian Conservatives—-well they may move to Quebec.

    It`s OK to put a theory out there that Harper may be having a hard time in the middle of his mandate, but seriously I would expect serious journalism might have some hint about whether there may be serious long term consequences by the time the next election rolls around.

    • Shorter Andrew – you’ve no where else to go real Cons, so STFU. Good luck with that in ’15.

  30. I

  31. You seem to missing something important here Paul – this guy did not elect himself, and he has a lot of support in this country. Of course, a lot more people oppose most of what he and his fellow elected MPs are and have been getting up to – so maybe it would be more useful to start wondering if we need an electoral system that prevents, rather than enables, parties representing only a minority of the people of this country getting majority governments that allow them to do the kind of things Harper et al have been doing, against the wishes of most of us. (and yes, you knee-jerk responders, I said the same thing about the Lib not-really-majorities as well – undemocratic is undemocratic, no matter who is benefitting)

  32. Let’s examine why the Reform Party came about. They didn’t like power being concentrated in the PMO office-so they magnified exponentially both the numbers working there, and their powers. They didn’t like “whipped votes” , yet they whip the votes all the time, and even prevent certain members time to speak. They disagreed with Parties using the Senate as a place to stick political cronies, yet they have appointed more than any other party-and even appoint failed MPs. They not only do that, but they appoint Conservative friends to head agencies and have a Conservative shadow cabinet hired to work in ridings where they do not currently have an MP -on the tax payers dime. They wanted transparency, yet they have moved most committee work to “in camera” so the public is kept out, they have made “access to information” laws making information almost impossible to access, and they won’t scrum or take questions. They wanted accountability, yet they never hold anyone-particularly Ministers-accountable for anything. They wanted to “clean up government” yet they don’t seem even the least bit disturbed by fraud-Peter Penachua in Labrador was a “great MP”, Duffy showed “leadership”, and Nigel Wright was an “honourable” man. They didn’t like the way money was wasted on things like government advertising-well, guess what?? They promised to be good stewards of the taxpayers dollars -yet Harper has added more to the countries debt than any other previous Prime Minister, and the unemployment numbers haven’t improved since the recession. And what’s a few billion here and a few billion there for planes, ships, and armoured vehicles? Pocket change! 3.1 Billion dollars missing? Oh, well-it will show up. They didn’t like omnibus bills either-so let’s make them into books instead. But they kept their promise to get rid of the gun registration They even had a party that night to celebrate. The sad,sad truth is that for some people, that’s all that matters.

  33. It’s a sign of the dumbing down – or the well nigh completion of the dumbing down – of our citizens, that any person someone inarticulate dislikes is called a ‘troll.’ Makes sense, in a way, it has only one syllable.
    It’s the same kind of ‘intelligence’ that insists on calling parties it dislikes ‘Dippers’ and ‘Lieberals.’ Guess whose left from that list? The ones who, like very small minds on YouTube, think ‘troll’ is a mode of discourse.

    Insult has always been the first weapon of the inarticulate; and irrationality the second.
    Those who really can’t think find ample room on the internet to practice both.
    Now insult me. It’s what you excel at.

  34. repost:

    So the Prime Minister’s latest excuse on the Wright-Duffy
    $90,000 cheque (or WD-90
    for short) is that Wright “should have told me earlier. That’s why I
    accepted his resignation upon reflection. Should I have reached that conclusion
    earlier? Perhaps.” Whaddaya mean, perhaps?

    No, wait. That’s not the real problem. The real problem is
    this new claim that Harper accepted his chief of staff’s resignation because
    Wright didn’t tell him about the payment “earlier”. So you’d have kept him if
    he had? Is that what you’re saying? That the real problem wasn’t him writing
    the cheque, it was keeping you out of the loop so when the scandal erupted you
    could deny all knowledge?

    For goodness sake, stop babbling inconsistent nonsense. Pick
    a story and stick to it.

  35. The Reform Party of Canada is DONE. The party needs to be over for these clowns. Stephen Harper is the head on the rotting fish but the entire fish is rotten to the core. Corruption, mishandling of revenue, pilfering of revenue and outright fraud has dogged this party since 2006. Harper is not an economic genius nor is he a brilliant money manager by any stretch, and for MSM pundits to continue insisting he is our best option is sickening. All the evidence shows the Harper government makes exceedingly poor decisions when it comes to money. Hell, Harper didn’t even know a recession was happening WHEN IT WAS HAPPENING. Don’t believe me? Check out his statements in September 2008 when he already had Canada in a deficit position. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2008/09/15/canada-harper-recession-idUKOTW00013320080915 Harper blew Paul Martin’s surplus during the economic boom between 2006 and mid-2008.

  36. So, it’s interesting that this “scandal” occurs in the absence of similar scrutiny of MP expense claims. Would we be calling for the abolition of Parliament if we found that dozens of MP’s were doing the same as Duffy? If we’re going to call for change, then let’s demand a parsing of the expenses of Parliamentarians. My bet is that the worst offenders would be the New Democrats, followed closely by Liberals. Why? Simply because, as socialists, they believe that my money IS their money.

    • Really? I thought that “Your money is our money” is the CPC way…

      * Using the ten-percenters for CPC propaganda, including planned attacks on Trudeau (though apparently many MPs had better sense than to go along with the PMO on this one

      * EAP ads promoting a job training plan that does not yet exist to bolster their image (ads that may actually breach the law about truth in advertising)

      * Rebranding the government the Harper Government

      * gold-embossed business cards (against government rules, but hey – it’s only taxpayer dollars)

      * Handing out government awards, putting up government signage, handing out cheques, etc with the CPC logo on them

      – shall I go on?

      If you ask me, spending taxpayer money for personal or purely partisan, non-government items seems to be official CPC policy.

  37. “Since the 2011 election, Harper has shut down the Health Council of Canada, the National Council of Welfare,” etc etc….I never heard that. Thanks for the info on this increasingly disgusting Canadian government..

  38. Few listen anymore to this sad little pm. He has become irrelevant.

  39. “Harper’s critics tend to describe him as a loner, a brain in a jar created by mad scientists toiling in underground laboratories at the University of Calgary. ”

    Dr. Frankenstein: “Do you mind telling me whose brain I did put in?”
    Igor: “Abby someone”
    Dr. Frankenstein: “Abby who?
    Igor: “Abby Normal ”

    Oh yeah!

  40. let me give you a tip. Diabolical.

    Harper always works at things that has public support and motion so that the bill goes forward.

    now how would he do that. Simple he would plan and work with those who do reports to provide a swell of Senate problems.

    I don’t doubt for a minute that this is all to cause movement in the senate, and Harper likely already knows what the Superior Court says about senate reform and has a plan to deal with the Senate within those recommendations. But as a leader, he will make it look like he is being forced to do it, so the Opposition is actually leading the cause he wanted to have done in the first place rather than him having to fight them all the way along.


    • Still brainwashed I see.

      • I am not a duffy fan, and Duffy did something wrong, but having a second house paid for by the senate is not it. Double dipping accidentally or on purpose is wrong. I have to keep records for my business and don’t charge one customer for materials they didn’t use by using another customers receipts.

        A guy has to be careful, and keep records current, mark bills with detail and look at dates.

        Duffy didn’t do that in one case. But his housing expense to me is valid.

        • It would be valid, IF, his PEI house was his PRIMARY house. It is NOT. It cannot be primary if you ONLY visit it for 2 months of the year. His Primary house is in Ottawa. He has ALWAYS lived in OTTAWA. Therefore, his cottage is just that, a cottage. He was screwing the taxpayers out of money. He should have already been fired period. Harper covered for him, plain and simple.

          • Some Senators barely show up for work, yet stay at their primary residence outside of Ottawa, And of course Duffy spends a lot of time in Ottawa, he must. The Identification of one residence being the Primary Residence is ridiculous, it sounds more about phone bills and tax forms than reality. Regardless, each senator should be remunerated equally.

            If anything there should be clearer guidelines as to the duties of a Senator, not punishment to Duffy, giving everyone else 90,000 or more but not him cause he shows up to work and stays more in the home closest to work more.

          • Well Evolution, I would suggest you go to PEI and ask the Residents how many times they have seen Duffy at his COTTAGE. A Cottage cannot be a primary residence. Would you live in a cottage in the winter. We all know he would not. He is special and wants all the comforts of his PRIMARY home in Ottawa. His OHIP card, License etc are all ONtario. And probably his income tax returns. So he lives in Ottawa, 24/7. I cannot believe that you believe this crap. Like I said before, brainwashed. I would like to know what you would have to say if it were a Lib. Senator or and NDP one.

            And funny that Duffy was the ONLY ONE who said the rules are not clear. Toooooo funny indeed.

          • I wouldn’t have brought it up, I am not a mean spirited Liberal who brings up false allegations.

            I would have pointed out his double billing and Pamela W billing of side trips to Toronto.

            They really should just give flat fees, and thats it.

          • You are not mean spirited. Too funny. Then why are you saying that about the Liberal people on here. That is what you are referring to.

            Oh by the way, I am NOT a Liberal either. I voted for Harper in the last election, so you did not hurt my feelings one bit. But nice try.

          • was not my intent to hurt anyone’s feelings. This means spirited things is really a Liberal thing, seen with whats going on with Ford. While its not couth to run back and forth behind your property cause the media is peeking in your windows, its natural to be upset, and as it Goes, Ford, doesn’t think its normal for the Media to do what it does, like calling him a crack smoker, and his brother a drug dealer. In my child hood, people that said that kind of stuff got a much in the mouth and lost teeth. So, when I say the Liberals are mean spirited, I am thinking about what they are doing now.

  41. I worked the OPS for 32 years and rest assured that if I had done what Duffy did I would have been fired on the spot with no pension. Time to wake up and reform this outdated and costly senate.

    • duffy should have the same money for having 2 homes like everyone else. He has to go to his home province, and it doesn’t matter if he has a mansion or a tent, it wouldn’t be fair if one senator gets more than another. Thats why this is not about money, its about spending time in your province and how practical that is.

  42. after listening to Tim,
    1) Harper is doing fine, the Senate on the other hand has holes in the boat.
    2) Attempts to create a narrative are too obvious but thanks anyway.
    3) It always looks good when you have a Recession and your tossing money at everyone, looks commanding and generous, the superman on the Freight train, and lets not mistake that for every day reality. Harper meets the challenges as they come, and is dealing with Challenges proactively so there is less out there to worry about.
    4) The answer isn’t to spray tax payer money which we don’t have onto bright and shinny things so we all think more things are happening. things are already happening, Bridges being built, Industries investing, treaties being signed, mortgage rules being changed with measure, pensions being dealt with, transfers increasing etc. There is a ground swell of change continually happening, your just ignoring it.

    on an important note: I have seen the busiest season ever in Oshawa in north Oshawa’s Wall-mart Plaza area etc. Its so busy that the McD’s has a two lane drive through always busy, and there is Tim Hortons and Wendys also packed out the doors. They Tore Walmart down and built another one, 500 feet farther back to double parking space and they doubled the size of the store. Its Madness even in the Home depot there.
    Therefore, its clear to me that the Economy has enough money supply.
    If anything, we have a lack of need and desired demand, and more money than we need to have.

    In Orange-ville, I saw in MCD’s I saw this Pop machine that automatically by the cash register, drops the appropriate size cup, puts in the ice and fills the drink and it has holders on a conveyor to move the cup for the next it will fill. Its amazing. Because Productivity is the way to Millions, these guys are not sleeping. With determination they are taking the fight to the next level.

    What we need in the economy is Demand because we literally have everything we could ever want. So, we need to widen our economy not increase our money supply and cause inflation at this point.
    We need to get some of these bridges under way, the Hydro Generation in the east going, maybe even an expensive and over sized bridge/floating tunnel to Vancouver Island. We need to take things to the next level, in our homes, at our schools and in our communities because we have supplied all our needs, so our economy will stop cycling and will become more about coffee shops than building our future and our infrastructure.

    We have reached a level of luxury that is unmeasured and we are all working hard, but we need to include jobs for others and I don’t think thats coming from a low interest rate at this point. We need to curb inflation, and we need to ruminate and put those ruminations into practice.

  43. Unfortunately, it appears our PM is a crook, complete with cronies who have abused our tax dollars for their own partisan gain.

  44. The faults listed in this article are small when compared to the political propoganda spewed in respect to other politicians; and exagerrated in a sneaky way in order to try to make them major.

  45. Duffy have Herpes! (Harper)

  46. I had a good laugh reading all of Francine’s posts. I’m thinking Francine is actually Harper. The cr#p coming out in her posts is the same sh#t I hear comping out of Harper’s mouth. Way to go Steven.