Timeline of Nigel Wright's PMO exit - Macleans.ca

Timeline of Nigel Wright’s PMO exit

The Prime Minister says his former chief of staff was “dismissed”


So the Prime Minister now says Nigel Wright was “dismissed” as his chief of staff.

Here is a basic chronology of how Mr. Wright came to be separated from the Prime Minister’s Office and how that separation was explained.

May 14. CTV reports that Mike Duffy and Nigel Wright had a secret deal to help Mr. Duffy pay back his expenses.

May 15. The Prime Minister is told by Mr. Wright that Mr. Wright wrote Mr. Duffy a cheque for $90,000. The Prime Minister’s Office confirms as much to CTV.

May 16. A spokesman for the Prime Minister says Mr. Wright has the “confidence” of the Prime Minister and Mr. Wright will not be resigning.

May 19. Mr. Wright resigns. A “well-placed source” tells the Globe that Mr. Harper fought to keep Mr. Wright.

May 24. Mr. Harper says that “perhaps” he should have accepted Mr. Wright’s resignation sooner.

October 28. Mr. Harper says Mr. Wright was “dismissed.”

The Prime Minister’s decision to now describe Mr. Wright’s exit as a dismissal is an interesting matter of elocution, but even if Mr. Wright was dismissed, the decisiveness of that gesture is undermined somewhat by the four days in May in which he was decidedly not dismissed. Granted, even Mr. Harper has conceded that he might’ve acted sooner.

Personally, I’d be interested to know whether the Prime Minister set out to say what he said in this case or whether he just says these things in the moment—similarly his assertion in the House in June that what Mr. Wright did had not been communicated to any other member of the Prime Minister’s staff, a claim he could very easily have not bothered to make that day.

Regardless, as I type, the Prime Minister’s use of the word “dismissed” is the top story at the CBC, Globe and Post. We are in the midst of a frenzy and so every even slightly interesting word, every slight change in verb, will be noted and dissected.


Timeline of Nigel Wright’s PMO exit

  1. Groucho Marx Stephen Harper: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    • Duffy’s already stole that line.

  2. Er, was he escorted out by security ? Was there a cardboard box or
    wrinkled garbage bag for the family photos and bobble heads ? Did
    he have to run a gauntlet of “kids in short pants” who sneered ? Do
    we have video ?
    Is the PM making a mini-tour of friendly radio outlets because he doesn’t
    want to shave or get out of his Bobby Fischer robe on the weekend ?

  3. Proving once again that Harper is master of his domain.

    This Seinfeld clip works on many levels. Jerry sings the common theme:


  4. So this entire “scandal” is now based on semantics.

    Let’s say Nigel goes into Harper’s office and leaves a resignation letter on his desk. Harper contemplates it for a few days, then agreeing with Nigel’s assessment accepts his resignation and Nigel is *dismissed*.

    Pretty sure if this is what the media is focusing on, this “scandal” has lost it’s legs.

    • If this wasn’t a scandal, why would harper be out cherry picking his radio stations to try to change the channel on the biggest scandal in Canadian history. He(harper) is not talking to me as a citizen or CONsumer. he(harper) is only talking to fools like you. He(harper) wont even show up on Ezras show.

      • Um, because he’s always cherry picked who he gives interviews to?

        • so that sounds like devide and conquer. hmmm that’ll work.

    • Please avail yourself of a thesaurus & look up both resigned and dismissed. Let us know where/if either of those words shows up in the entry for the other. I anxiously await your response :-)

      • Like I said, arguing semantics.

        • Actually, just you and Kay are arguing semantics, and yours is the wrong one.

    • That’s a plausible explanation. Unfortunately, since you don’t speak for Harper or the CPC, we’re left with no real explanation. I’m inclined to think that this dismissed/fired thing doesn’t have any legs either. However, with no answer from the party or Harper, it’s gonna keep on runnin’.

      • No, it’s not really, because it lacks understanding of the semantics of “dismissed” vs “accepted the resignation”.

        So unless you’re arguing that Harper doesn’t understand some basic elements of the English language, what we have here is an attempt by him to try to reframe himself as the firm disciplinarian, who, as soon as he saw something untoward, he acted against it.

        Never mind that this image completely flies against his actions on almost every other file of this nature he’s dealt with, Cadman, Bernier, Oda, McKay, Brazeau, etc.

  5. the latest news is, duffy is back on parliament with another cliff hanger. so it seems every time harper rolls out the big blue bus on duffy, duffy comes back with a steamroller to try and flatten harper.

    • lol Dufffy IS the steam roller.

      Another lesson for Mr H perhaps? Never go up against a guy with a big blue bus when the guy is a steam roller.

      • I would rather be on a steam roller. do you know how big a steam roller can be. a big steam roller can run over 2 blue busses.

        • It can also back up and roll over you again, and again, and again. [ you can stop this any time you like Mr H]

          The only thing more dangerous then picking a fight with a steam roller is picking a fight with an amoral one that doesn’t care any more and has a track record of liking to run over people.

        • Did you also know a really big steam roller that’s mad as hell can really ruin a PM’s day.

  6. How many of these fake “news” stations do we have in the country?

  7. May 19. Mr. Wright resigns. A “well-placed source” tells the Globe that Mr. Harper fought to keep Mr. Wright.

    October 28. Mr. Harper says Mr. Wright was “dismissed.”

    Bet that source is currently dearly[ and clearly] wishing he had Mr Harper’s up to the minute script about now.

  8. October 28. Mr. Harper says Mr. Wright was “dismissed.”

    Some possible future statements from Mr. Harper on this particular aspect of the story . . .

    November 22: “Mr. Wright never worked in the PMO”

    December 20: “Mr. Wright? Never heard of him.”

  9. It’s really difficult to keep the story straight when you are lying.

  10. Mr. Wherry, your essays are a joy to read. I shall never have pizza again. On the Wright dismissal? I heard Greg Weston say today that his sources claim that Wright quit. That might explain the time lag. I am not sure why he is keeping quiet or is he?