As The World of Duffy Turns

‘My expense claims do not merit critcism’


After Conservative senators David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen denied any involvement in Nigel Wright’s deal to repay Mike Duffy’s expenses, CTV responded last night with specificity.

But CTV News never reported that the senators knew about Wright’s $90,000 cheque to Duffy. CTV News has seen emails showing an organized effort by the Prime Minister’s Office and the senior Conservative senators to coerce Duffy into publicly declaring he’d repay money owed to taxpayers.

In the emails, Tkachuk stated that if the money was not repaid he could use his majority in the senate steering committee, which was overseeing the audit, to remove Duffy from the Senate as he was not seen as a resident of Prince Edward Island. Tkachuk allegedly told Duffy that if he agreed to co-operate and repay his debt to taxpayers, the Senate committee would throw out the residency issue and go easy on him in the audit of his expenses. That conversation was followed up by a phone call by Wright, reiterating what Tkachuk had said.

CTV also spends a few moments with Mr. Duffy on camera outside his residence in PEI, in which he basically repeats a statement he released yesterday to Global.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment while these issues are being examined by the RCMP,” Duffy said in an email. “I feel confident that in the fullness of time the authorities will find – as did the independent auditors at Deloitte – that my expense claims do not merit criticism.”

Back when the audit of his expenses was released in May, Mr. Duffy said that “this audit has indicated that there is a ‘lack of clarity’ in the Senate’s rules and definitions with regard to residency and housing allowances” and “in this respect, the audit is consistent with the position I have maintained since this controversy first arose.”

In that same statement, he talked about how he and his wife had decided that the $90,000 needed to be repaid because it was “the right thing to do.”

In other news, the Senate determined last week that Pamela Wallin owed an additional $17,621.98 in expenses. That put Ms. Wallin’s total bill at $138,969.98. And that, plus the questionable expenses of Mike Duffy ($90,172), Mac Harb ($231,649) and Patrick Brazeau ($48,744) pushes the entire Senate scandal over the half-million mark to $509,534.


As The World of Duffy Turns

    • Mr. Harb will receive $123,000 annual pension indexed for as long as he lives. He would have received approx. $135,000 if he continued as a Senator. Why bother? Especially if he cannot access the generous living allowance.
      He did the honourable thing and resigned. Mr. Wherry is doing the honourable thing and not talking about Mr. Harb anymore. Please do the honourable thing and ignore the fact that he must pay back more money than Duffy and Wallin combined.

      • NO HE DID NOT DO THE HONOURABLE THING. Resigning was a strategic move on Harb’s part to keep his pension. The loophole states that as long as a Senator resigns before he’s convicted he can keep the pension. Otherwise it’s forfeited. Harb is a grifter. He deliberately claimed an uninhabitable house as his primary residence. An out and out bald-faced lie. Once this snippet emerged, he dropped his law suit against the Senate. He knows he is in deep doo doo.

        • He would be in deep doo doo if he were you or me. The fact is that the Senate polices itself, and Harb (and Duffy and Wallin and Brazeau) are safe so long as they have dirt on their colleagues. Harb will not be charged, neither will any of the rest. It’s the principle of mutually assured destruction. Also, the RCMP is so compromised that politicians in this country are essentially immune from prosecution unless they are willingly sacrificed to placate the rubes. We are the rubes.

          ETA – I should have said that some charges may be laid but no convictions will result. Criminal charges are often laid as a method to suppress questions. Chretien did it all the time and it always works. You say it’s under investigation, you string it out for months and years, and then you quietly drop it.

          • I would not be sure that nothing will happen…Lavigne after all is in jail already and apparently he only stole $10K. The Canadian taxpayers are outraged about all of these thieves. The ex-Conservative senators won’t quit because they don’t have Harb’s golden parachute. They are hoping they don’t get charged and thrown out but with the public sentiment the way it is, I think they are all going down….Harb included.

          • They are all making restitution, there has been enough obfuscating around “unclear rules” and retroactive changes, that none stands a chance of being convicted. The police and even the Crown may be pressured into laying charges – or they may lay them strategically as I referenced earlier – but I see very little hope that any of them will ever be convicted.

            That’s leaving aside Brazeau’s assault charges, of course, He may very well be found culpable for that.

          • Paying back what you stole after you got caught stealing is not really “restitution”. Especially given that not one of them was pleased to do so. They have all said that they have been treated unfairly and not one has expressed remorse for the behavior that got them in this predicament. In short, they all felt “entitled to their entitlements”. Those kind of behaviors and attitudes are what lead the crown to set down harsh penalties.

          • Not to parse things too closely, but paying the $ back would be “restitution” but would not be “punishment”.

          • The “spirit” of restitution is such that the criminal (in this case not one of the so-called thieves has admitted to committing a crime – in fact quite the opposite) does NOT profit from the crime. I find it hard to believe that these four have not profited from this money that they have taken over the years (in Harb’s case -10 years) and used to invest for their own personal financial gain. Even paying it back at the paltry current interest rates, these people will have likely profited from the theft. Therefore, paying it back so they can keep their jobs and pensions is not true restitution.

          • again this will be parsing v. closely, but it’s more about setting right what you have done wrong, the most common example being given back money if you stole. Your point about interest concerns the AMOUNT of restitution, not whether something constitutes restitution. It’s doubly odd because resitution isn’t traditionally a part of how we treat criminals (in our modern courts we sometimes have things called restitution orders, but the fact they are specially named that underscores how they aren’t part of the general system)

          • Yes, restitution is about setting right what you have done wrong. However, when you deny you have done anything wrong and continue to claim that you were treated unfairly, that the rules were unclear, etc. and pay back the money under duress PLUS show no remorse for your wrong doing and only pay the restitution so that you can further benefit yourself by keeping your job and your pension……then, I am not sure that this is truly in the spirit of restitution. Restitution is supposed to be painful. It isn’t supposed to be a way to manipulate the system so you can continue to benefit from your wrong doing. In this case, these senators are paying back the money so they can continue to keep their jobs and their pensions and stay out of jail without every admitting they did anything wrong. That is also why I doubt that the majority of Canadians will find anything honorable about any of these people who were involved in this cheating activity. I do not believe that the crown will be swayed by their excuses of rule changes and confusion because if those excuses were valid then every other senator should be in the same boat as they are. Auditing every senator will just reveal how dirty these four are.

      • Hahaha! Yes, let’s be honorable and not discuss how he is paying back far less money than his big pension is worth. I love your sense of humor, Cawm! What is truly honorable about Mr. Harb is how he still managed to tell us how he feels he was ripped off of his entitlements as he walked out the door with his golden parachute. Mr. Harb is a class act.

    • If true, that’s a mighty convenient loophole. Any politician convicted of a crime should not be entitled to a pension.

      • I don’t like the way things went anymore than any other taxpayer in this country and I don’t condone what happened, but there has been no crimes committed yet until its fully investigated by the RCMP. the only crime that’s their is, is the public opinion crime and that will always be the elephant in the room. we have become like the USA, lynch them before they reach the courtroom. thank someone(not god) that Canada appoints there judges and not elects them.

        • Criminally convicted Lavigne who remains in jail and can’t get early parole because he shows no remorse, will get a fat pension of $79,000 a year. That this is even possible is grounds for outrage.

          Harb dropped his law suit against the Senate once the RCMP revealed he had deliberately claimed an uninhabitable house he never lived in as his primary residence. Harb “resigned” ahead of any prosecution to ensure he keeps his pension.

        • Hiya Root ol’toot;

          Your comments would carry more authority if you could convince your grade schooler to edit your text.

          You might want him or her to clarify the difference between “their’ and “there”.

          It would do wonders to elevate the image of the posting community to a literate, adult level.

          Cheers, Adam.

      • Especially if the crime is directly tied to his position as Senator, as in this instance.

    • Are you seriously still trying to milk that dried-up tit? Expressing outrage about the fact that Senators enjoy immunity from the normal justice system is like complaining that cotton candy is not filling. Everyone knows this.

      Christ, it’s not about the scorecard of how many Conservatives cheated versus how many Liberals cheated. Not any more. It’s about the fact that Harper’s PMO was up to it’s elbows in an attempt to bribe a Senator to hide a criminal fraud. That’s the issue, John. Not the irrelevant tongue-clucking about Wherry and his failure to share your outrage that LIBERAL Mac Harb is getting away with something. We know, John. We know he’s a Liberal and we know it’s not fair and we know that it keeps you awake nights.

      Now can we please move on to the cover-up?

      • I believe we can make room to be outraged by a self-serving loophole that protects the pensions of criminally convicted Senators. I’m capable of multi-tasking. Why aren’t you?

        • You can be outraged about the main issue or you can be outraged about a diversion. I think Harb’s pension is a diversion from the real issue. Using the John G crime rubric, the Watergate investigation should have ended the first time a Democrat was found to have skipped out on a hotel bill.

          There are minor outrages, and major outrages.

          • BS and hogwash. The issue of resignation ahead of conviction will apply equally to Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau, all of whom are ripe for fraud charges. I fully expect you will be expressing outrage when they resign ahead of charges.

          • I just said the exact same thing to you, and I did so without insulting you. The Conservative Senators and the Liberal Senator enjoy the same level of immunity and I feel the same way about all of them; it’s wrong and it’s not going to change. Perhaps you should read more closely and refrain from projecting what I will or will not say in the future. Beware of the hypothetical.

            Now, can we deal with the truly unprecedented outrage which is the PMO engaged in a conspiracy to commit fraud?

          • “it’s not going to change”

            Oh, I think Canadians can make a demand that the lopphole be changed. Especially ahead of the AG’s audit of the entire Senate. If the four fraudsters represent the culture of the Senate, I expect their fraud is the tip of the iceberg.

          • The entire institution is a fraud from start to finish. It is an organized ongoing theft that has been perpetrated on the public for generations and it’s not going away. Harper is using it – right now – as a scapegoat and a diversion. Depending on whether or not he gets away with his own criminal behaviour, he will use it again to pay off the lowlifes who serve him. If he doesn’t get away with it, then some other party or leader will use it to pay off the lowlifes who serve them.

            Whether or not Harper gets away with his criminality depends on whether or not he can convince the rubes that the Senate itself is the issue. IMO, it is not.

          • Duffy and Brazeau aren’t eligible for pension unless they manage to hang on until December 2014. Wallin’s eligibility date is January 2015. That’s a lot of stalling.

          • If true, that’s reassuring. I’m sure both of those grifters will give hanging on their best shot.

          • Wallin and Brazeau are too young to retire.

          • I’m sure we’ll have a Triple E Senate by then.

          • I don’t think their eligible for pensions yet, are they?

          • They are both issues lgarvin. I have never disputed that the PMO involvement is a major issue and don’t disagree that Duffy’s case is the most problematic and troublesome of all the 4 we know about today because of the PMO involvement. I think I was among the first on these comment boards to demand both Duffy and Wright’s resignation, and my demand for Duffy, Brazeau, and Wallin all to resign stands to this day.

            I’m just sick and f**king tired of Harb’s sins getting whitewashed over. For weeks Wherry didn’t even mention Harb as the details emerged about his “living” in an uninhabitable house, and that really shady “sell 99.99% of it but keep the last 0.01% so that I can continue to claim it as my residence” deal, and now this.

            If this was a Conservative pulling a trick like this, resigning ahead of being charged so that he can give a final f-you to the taxpayer while keeping his gold plated pension, Wherry would be apoplectic.

          • Don’t get me wrong, John, I think the housing fraud was just about as sleazy a move as it’s possible to see. It was extremely sleazy. But it was, in the end, just a sleazy move by a sleazy politician and neither more nor less than I expect from these creeps.

            What Harper & Wright & Duffy & Various Other Senators have done, on the other hand, raises (or lowers) the stakes far beyond every day sleaze. It’s exactly equivalent to Nixon’s Watergate, it is the highest office in the land subverting justice and actively guiding a criminal conspiracy. Anyone who tells you it’s more or less the same thing as some doofus chiseling his expense account is either ignorant or corrupt.

            Harb is contemptible, no question. Contemptible but harmless. Harper’s PMO is corrupt and dangerous, that is the difference and it’s a very serious difference. We caught Harper once already, when he was caught trying to bribe a dying man for his vote, and he got away with it. We gave him the benefit of the doubt and look what he did with it. Should we give him the benefit of the doubt again?

          • “We caught Harper once already, when he was caught trying to bribe a dying man for his vote, and he got away with it.”

            You are so full of it. What a load of s**t.

            Your entire comment is one lie after another. Either that or its paranoia. You need a psychologist.

            John G is right, you go on about this watergate fantasy on the one hand that is a completely ridiculous exaggeration to the point of paranoia, and then on the other hand you brush off an actual criminal fraudulent act by a sitting senator as “harmless”, just because he’s not a conservative. Get a grip.

          • I have a grip, thanks. Your own grip seems to be slipping a little though. If you think my comment is “one lie after another” then you’re invited to support your opinion with something other than spitting and foaming. So go ahead and refute what I’ve said – what I’ve actually said – and save the emoting for your drama class.

          • There’s nothing to refute, it would be like refuting the proposition that 9/11 was executed by the US government (911 truthers). It’s a fantasy, paranoia, lies, whatever. It’s complete disassociation with reality.

          • OK. You can’t refute what I’ve said and you think I’m a liar and/or a delusional paranoid. Thanks for taking the trouble to provide your excuses.

          • You’re welcome.
            Refute what you said? That’s hilarious. You really do believe what you said is not completely crazy.

    • “How on earth do you “cover” Mac Harb’s resignation without pointing this out Wherry?”

      Wherry’s coverage of Harb’s resignation was two days ago. Maybe he didn’t have today’s Globe and Mail at that time.

      • Do you think Aaron Wherry is incapable of doing his own research? I believe you just gave him a worse set down than John did.

        • John g’s accusation: That Wherry avoided this topic because he’s acting on Liberal bias.

          My suggestion: this wasn’t common knowledge on Monday, so it’s hard for Wherry to have included it.

          Apply Occam’s Razor. Take your time.

          • Occam’s razor states the simplest explanation is most likely, and in this case the simplest explanation (since Wherry’s job is to know what is going on in Ottawa) is that Wherry simply and deliberately chose not to cover the topic. In fact, Wherry has avoided talking about Harb in general.

          • So now people who refer to themselves as journalists only report “common knowledge”. Someone should tell Mr. Fife that.
            FYI…other journalists were reporting the pension issue on the same day that Mr. Wherry failed to mention it in his column. If you read his column for that day, you will find that the most popular comment of the day stated that Harb was making a ‘strategic move” to hang onto his pension. An anonymous blogger upstaged Wherry.

    • John, are you really surprised? Did you really think Mac Harb was honorable? Did you think Mr. Wherry would point out that he isn’t?

      • Channel changing in progress…

        • Discussing another thread….which apparently you missed…imagine that?!

          • No

    • Just to be completely clear, Harb could have waited until the eve of his conviction before resigning and still have his pension. In fact, he resigned before knowing whether he will even be charged.

      I do not like the loop hole either, but there is simply no basis to conclude he resigned now only to protect his pension, as he could have waited to find out if he was even going to be charged before doing so. In fact, if that is the only reason he resigned he should have waited to see what was going to happen first.

      Though I get you were simply attempting to change the topic to your paranoid conspiracy theory again…

  1. LOL. The Senators denied the wrong thing. CTV clarifies for the senators what they need to deny.
    Harper’s Barnum and Bailout Circus continues.

    • Big whoops on that one – those two should lawyer up and be quiet. Of course, I hope they don’t – loose lips and all that.

  2. As of today Miley Cyrus has more class than our Senators do (none). And that’s saying something.

  3. Why are these thieves not being tried and going to jail ???

    • Harper broke another promise

      • In other news … the sky is blue.

    • Because they’re just stealing from Canadian taxpayers, rather then the heinous crime of smoking pot.

      • I have a large pot I’d like to hit them over the head with. :)

        • Careful now , with that declaration you may have the RCMP knocking on your door saying that you are attacking THOSE POOR DEFENSELESS SENATORS for which they are being paid for what I can’t remember . Will somebody please give me a good reason as to why we pay these ………………………………..I have decided to omit most of the qualifications that I was about to call them

  4. Clearly, the only action plan in the Harper government is their hypocrisy in action.

    Transparency, or accountability? We’ll use the fact that we know we’ve broken the rules on residency against you if you don’t go along with our plan and Harper’s response? Zero, zilch, zippo. He’ll get rid of the senate, because that is one of the symbolic roadblocks to his desire for unquestioned power, but real change? How many times have the conservatives been held to account for using taxpayer money for their own partisan purposes? If they don’t know where the ethical line is, they should all step aside.

  5. I hope that anybody that messed up and gave the Conservatives another chance has learned their lesson and hangs their heads in shame . They are all Brian Mulroney’s . Tax and spend . Everything they are against is a lie. They want you to believe they are different . Words come cheap

    • Not tax and spend. They’re worse. It’s don’t tax and spend anyway.

      • Since Harper has become our PM we have lost weeks pay and business has gained a months pay . Mission Accomplished

  6. If I swindled my employer out of a hundred thousand dollars plus, I could expect to be charged and tried in a court of law. Once convicted I could expect that an order would be made for me to repay the money and I would be going to jail for several years. Plus a Criminal record for fraud / Breach of trust.

    Must admit it would be nice to be rewarded with a huge pension for life for my dishonesty and not be charged nor go to jail.

    The Senate has become an embarrassment for Canadians.

    • There will be no pension for the ones who are found guilty of fraud while they actively sit as senators. Those who retire though before being charged will get to keep their pensions. However to retire you need to have served for 6 years and be 65 years old…..Wallin and Brazeau aren’t there. Duffy won’t be there for 16 months. There is still time to get them out, in jail and without a pension. Unfortunately, Harb will get his pension.

      • Retire before conviction, not charges.

  7. Fast forward to December 2014, when Mike Duffy & Patrick Brazeau resign from the Senate a day after achieving their 6 year eligibility for pension while RCMP investigations have dragged on.

    Speculate on if Wherry mentions that fact when covering their resignation.

    • You missed something, John. Duffy can retire because he is 67 years old, Brazeau cannot. A senator must be at least 65 years old AND have served 6 years. That is why Duffy, Brazeau and Wallin haven’t retired already. They don’t have a precious pension to protect. They might as well roll the dice and risk getting found guilty of fraud as sitting senators. Harb, on the other hand, would have lost his pension had he been found guilty as a sitting senator. Thus better to retire and secure the pension. Even if he is found guilty after the fact, the pension is safe.

      • OK, Brazeau can’t retire now, but if he manages to make it to 6 years service, my understanding is he would get a government pension when he does retire.

        • Yes, I see. The senators like the MPs have to be 65 to “collect” the government pension but they STILL collect it.

    • Attacking messengers never gets you anywhere, john, don’t you know that by now?

      • Neither does attacking the government here. I guess we can all go home now.

        • Au contraire, it ruffles the Conbirds feathers, which is always amusing.

  8. An open door for respectable looters of public tax money; that is what it was. We may call it omissionl, error, or thing like that but i know if i am claiming money which is against the written rules, i am robbing the people’s trust.
    Senate need be abolished right way. Look how the leaders in the senate were tryingto cover up Duffy till they had no recourse but to distance themselves. If we had not found out the millions from the hard earned tax dollars would be flowing to such dishonourable representatives under the nose of our respectable PM.

    • What makes harper a “respectable PM” ??????? he is worst than duffy as the PM appoints people to the senate that are “Higher” and Better than him……

    • More precisely over 100 million dollars yearly.

      But than I suppose that the Harper Government can easily afford it. It’s our money they’re wasting not theirs.

      House of “Sober Second Thought” my ass!

      Cheers, Adam.

  9. It takes a Arsshole and greedy crook in this country to make it to the senate AKA Whore House

  10. This comment was deleted.

  11. Each and every single day this government proves how utterly incompetent it is.

  12. I think Harper engineered this whole scandal. He brought in Wallin and Duffy, and told them they could charge party expenses to the Senate. Then an ‘anonymous source’ who likely works in the PMO, blew the whistle.

    Harper knew he couldn’t abolish the senate without a lot of public support, so he arranged for it to happen. He’s conned us all again.

    Trouble is, he didn’t figure it would come out at the same time as the robo calls, and so many other things, nor that he would have to face a politician who truly IS open and transparent.

  13. How quick we forget,Rewind to Brian Mulrony and his cabinet were reduced to a party of 2,how did that happen?,The cons.are back with a vengeance,just look at an unelected P.M.and his selected senate,I’ve said it before, the difference between Democracy and
    Communism is simple, in Democracy you are elected and Communism you are selected
    However at the end, both end up as DICTATORS !!!!! So if we could bring the Cons. to a party of 2 back in the 90’s,we should be able today eradicate the Cons. to a party of none,
    But then what other choice do we have?

  14. The CPC brand is damaged and Mr. Harper has himself to blame.

  15. Audit them all…Senators, MP’s, MPP’s,MLA’s , the whole kit and kaaboodle!!!