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Duffy revelations cast shadow on the campaign trail

Revelations in the Mike Duffy trial reverberated on the campaign trail today. A round up of the reaction so far


 

OTTAWA — The ground beneath Stephen Harper’s feet grew noticeably hotter Tuesday as the federal campaign trail was stoked by incendiary new Mike Duffy trial revelations.

Duffy’s fraud trial heard evidence linking the prime minister’s long-time right hand man, current chief of staff Ray Novak, to the earliest days of the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring that cost former chief of staff Nigel Wright his job — and led to Duffy being charged criminally.

It was an account that flew in the face of the narrative put forth by the Harper campaign last week — that Novak was not aware of the Duffy scheming — setting the stage for more tough questions for the prime minister on Wednesday.

Harper’s supporters reached their boiling point earlier Tuesday at an event in Toronto, heckling reporters who tried to ask about Duffy at the prime minister’s press conference and later hurling profanity-laced insults at them as they departed.

But NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, campaigning on pastoral Vancouver Island on the need to prevent forest fires, poured a rhetorical can of gasoline on the Duffy scandal.

He expounded on the letter that his party’s ethics critic sent to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson on Tuesday asking whether Wright ought to face criminal charges and whether a dozen Conservative staffers ought to be investigated in light of what’s emerged from Duffy’s trial.

“Furthermore, Mr. Wright’s testimony has painted a picture of numerous senior staff in the Prime Minister’s Office working together to try and cover up this scandal,” wrote MP Charlie Angus.

“Evidence at the trial points to over a dozen people — including the Prime Minister’s current Chief of Staff, Ray Novak — involved in a plan to make a secret payment to a sitting senator, have him make intentionally misleading statements to the public, and interfere with an independent audit.”

On that point, Mulcair added: “We think that Canadians have the right to know whether they broke the law.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau took a swipe at Harper over the Duffy trial, when asked in Sudbury, Ont. about Harper’s latest tough-on-crime announcement earlier in the morning — to do to do away with parole for first-degree murder that includes sexual assault, kidnapping, terrorism, or killing a police or corrections officer.

“The fact is Mr. Harper is once again trying to deflect, using the politics of fear, from what’s going on in the Ottawa courtroom and also from the abject failure of his economic plan over the last 10 years.”

Earlier in Toronto, Harper was pressed by reporters three times to answer questions about Duffy.

Harper stuck to his main line, that Duffy and Wright were to blame for the whole expenses affair — despite emails at the trial indicating others in his office discussed the matter.

Harper was asked why he continued to tell the House of Commons that Wright was the only staffer in his office to know about the $90,000 payment that Wright gave Duffy to cover his expenses.

“I’ve answered according to the information I had,” Harper replied.

“As you know, Mr. Wright made some subsequent statements and so I of course corrected the record. And that was over two years ago.”

Earlier, Harper had to intervene to allow another reporter to ask a question about the Duffy case after one heckler yelled: “Ask questions on the topic at hand.”

As reporters were leaving, another attendee aimed an expletive at one journalist and accused another of cheating on her taxes.

Conservative spokesman Kory Teneycke apologized for the incident, calling the behaviour unacceptable.

Mulcair evoked his previous prosecutorial role in the Commons when he asked pointed, fact-based questions of the prime minister about what he knew about the Wright payment.

“I got to question Stephen Harper day in and day out, and I knew what he was telling us didn’t hold water. But now Canadians know that as well,” Mulcair said.

He called on voters to pass judgment on Harper when they go to the polls on Oct. 19.

“It might be Mr. Wright who’s on the witness stand, but this is Stephen Harper’s trial.”

 


 

Duffy revelations cast shadow on the campaign trail

    • Nonsense. There is more dog turd on the various provincial NDP – two years of tax and spend foolishly in BC, (Levy blew $100 million the first time before anyone started counting and Gordon Clark with his Fast Ferries blew 400 million the second time around And stupid projects under Tommy Douglas in Saskatchewan ( a shoe factory and other Crown corporations for Cod’s sake that went broke). It goes on and on. . Quebec’s flash in the pan is just that as they go Back to the Bloc./ Two months of Alberta’s NDP is enough to make them regret what they did. And Harper’s PMO scandal (not him, PMO , which Trudeau I started, incidentally, taking away power from cabinet ministers) ) is peanuts compared the mire the Liberals pushed out so many years during and after King Trudeau I. It’s just that the opponents believe “Scandal” and it’s election time. October is a long way away.

      I think Harper is bearing up well and all Trudeau II and Mulcair do is blow smoke.

  1. The Duffy case highlights several issues in my mind. Proper vetting of senate appointees was not done or Harper would have known that 4, (at least!), did not meet the constitutional requirements for that designation. He did know, and didn’t care, because he wanted to stack the senate in his favour. To hell with the Constitution, essentially flipping the bird to the Canadian taxpapers, Each Senator receives a salary of approximately $163,700.00 annually, with a $22,000 annual housing allowance and $161,200.00 annual office budget; this is just the tip of expenses. Knowingly, Harper defrauded Canadians when he appointed Brazeau, Wallin, Duffy, Patterson in 2009 despite not meeting the required credentials.This behaviour by the PM, alone, has cost taxpayers $78504000.00, excluding the cost of the audit ($23 million), the lawsuits, etc, and the wages of the most corrupt and decietful PMO we have seen. We are still paying his and his corrupt staffs salaries, and he doesn’t even have the integrity to be honest with Canadians. Yet, the Harperites will still tell you it has only to do with the $90,000 cheque that Wright cut Duffy, that didn’t cost citizens a dime

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