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Good to go from the PM: The Harper era’s decadent phase

Paul Wells on Nigel Wright, Mike Duffy and the RCMP


 

Adrian Wyld/CP

As soon as question period was over and the Prime Minister of Canada was done announcing, to roars of approval from his MPs, that the RCMP had certified his ignorance of potentially criminal goings-on in his own office, reporters spilled into the House of Commons foyer, where PMO staff were busy taping a sign onto a podium. PROTECTING CANADA’S CHILDREN/ PROTEGER NOS ENFANTS, it said. Peter MacKay, who in July was switched out of the National Defence portfolio and popped into Justice like a battery being transferred from one TV remote to the next, and apparently with precisely as much influence on the course of events in the nation, was here to stand up against cyberbullying.

The minister made his announcement, and while he was talking, reporters were handed copies of the bill, and as they leafed through it they found “regulations around terrorism, organized crime, tracking vehicles, warrant authorizations,” as Alex Boutilier of the Toronto Star tweeted from the scene. So, uh, what does any of this have to do with cyberbullying? A couple of pesky reporters asked the minister that question, and he spun on his heels and made an exit.

It never changes. The government announces it is PROTECTING CANADA’S CHILDREN when it is really also MESSING WITH THE OPPOSITION’S HEAD and IGNORING LEGITIMATE QUESTIONS about WHAT THE HELL IT THINKS IT’S DOING. I am glum about this sort of behaviour today, because the RCMP has finally announced that it has reason to believe Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy were infringing the Criminal Code when the latter cashed the former’s $90,000 money order.

The RCMP memo—a summary of the case the investigating officer has built so far, and a request for court orders to obtain further evidence — also suggests that the Senate of Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PMO; That Irving Gerstein, who has denied ever agreeing to repay Mike Duffy’s housing expenses out of Conservative party funds, offered to repay Mike Duffy’s housing expenses out of Conservative party funds until he decided the bill was too salty; that one of the PMO’s pet Senators kept tabs on the conducting of a supposedly independent audit into Duffy’s affairs; and that a PCO official who loyally exercised his duty to challenge all of this was shut down by the PM’s political crony crew.

My favourite email, trivial in content but redolent in tone, is from Marjory LeBreton to Nigel Wright in March. She offers a self-serving account of a chat she had with Duffy. “I said ‘Mike you have just got to trust us on this and please don’t [go] crashing around invoking Nigel’s name or that of the PMO’”, she writes. “Just so you know. Marjory.”

It’s perfectly lovely. The Government’s Senate leader writes to the PMO to tell the Chief of Staff that she has admonished the sinking Sen. Duffy not to “invoke” the Chief of Staff’s name, because of course nobody must think the PMO is involved, because of course the PMO is involved.

“Just so you know. Marjory.”

Cpl. Greg Horton of the RCMP seems a diligent sort, who has already gathered a hefty stack of evidence and is going after more. So the theatre this week in the House of Commons suddenly seems less significant than it was up until today, because Cpl. Horton seems intent on taking this case to a court of law.

We now have a bit of a race on our hands. Will the Wright-Duffy case land in court before the government’s case in the trial of Michael Sona collapses?

Sona is charged with violating the Elections Act in relation to misleading robocalls in the 2011 federal election campaign in Guelph. A half-dozen Conservative staffers have testified against him. Some were selected by Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, who sat in while they were interviewed. Problem: Michael Sona was on vacation when he is said to have been bragging about his role in the robocalls.

The party’s handpicked witnesses, in the presence of the party’s lawyer, reminisce in perfect formation and their testimony doesn’t seem to stand up to the facts. That’s the kind of “oopsie” that gets a judge’s attention.

Stephen Harper’s defence in the Commons on the Wright-Duffy business was that he did not know about Wright’s decision to pay Duffy with a personal cheque. My reading of the RCMP memo is consistent with that. But it was Harper’s office. The Senate he has denied influencing was marching to his orders. He followed the process personally and closely right up to the moment Wright decided to treat Duffy’s expenses as, it now appears, Wright always treated his own: as something to be settled out of Wright’s own pocket. That contrast between Harper’s close eye on the matter before Wright pulled out his chequebook and his beatific innocence after is one of many things that will eventually be explained — whether the PM feels like explaining it today or not.

Mr. Justice John Gomery concluded that Jean Chrétien did not know what was going on during the sponsorship scandal. It did not stop the scandal from destroying the government of Chrétien’s successor. Will Wright/Duffy get into court before the date supposedly set by law for the next federal election, in October 2015? Probably. If the election date really is set.


 

Good to go from the PM: The Harper era’s decadent phase

  1. There’s always the “drunken stupor” defence.

    • Harper, Duffy or Wright?

    • Yeah but that only works to the degree it stops people talking about the crack for 10 seconds or so.

    • The one positive of all this bumpf and bluster is that
      it really does get Bluto and Bubba Ford off my teevee
      screen for at least 24 hours. Small mercies ..

      • Duffy/Ford – same difference

  2. The most interesting thing to me so far from reading the “cyber-bullying” act (AKA “An Act covering cyber-bullying and a whole bunch of other stuff that we couldn’t sneak past the public in previous Bills”) is that I’m only now discovering, if I’m reading 342.1 correctly, that apparently if you share your Netflix password with someone you’re guilty of an indictable offence and can be imprisoned for “not more than 10 years”.

    ETA: See Thwim’s reply below. You’re safe with Netflix given their TOS, but share your PSN password with someone and you could be liable for a years long stint in the clink, along with the person you shared it with!

    • Looking it over more, you’re wrong about that. But only because Netflix allows you to share your password so long as you don’t violate any of the other terms of the contract (maximum 6 unique devices, and limits on simultaneous streaming, etc.), so when you do so, you are doing so with the “colour of right” and not fraudulently.

      Now.. share your Windows, Amazon, Xbox Live, or PSN password with the kids so that they can buy something online? Different story. Up to 10 years for both you *and* them.

      • Thanks for the clarification.

        Also, WOW, you’ve actually read the Netflix TOS?

        • Thwim is the hero we deserve and the hero we need right now!

          • Please let me know if there is any way for just the kids to go to the slammer.
            Of course I would never do it… but the threat might be useful.

          • Set your TV code to 1-2-3-4 to block adult content. Perhaps ask your partner loudly what said code is again while the kids are in earshot.

            When the bill comes in and you’ve got extra porn listed.. there you go.

        • Heh.

          I’m seriously, perhaps rabidly, anti-piracy, remember?

          I had to see if we were going to have to pay for two accounts in order for my partner and I to both access Netflix from our computers.

  3. We are entering ShakespeareLand here. Or at least Marloweville.

  4. “Prime Minister of Canada was done announcing, to roars of approval from his MPs, that the RCMP had certified his ignorance of potentially criminal goings-on in his own office,”

    LOL.. love how you just buried that in there for folks to breeze on by without thinking about it.

    Can someone please quote again that Harper statement about Martin/Chretien cultivating a culture for adscam?

    • My pleasure:

      At worst, he personally ordered it done and chose the people who executed the plan. At the very least, he fostered an attitude within the party […], chose the managers of the people who committed these crimes and completely and utterly failed to exercise any oversight, supervision or leadership. In the end, it doesn’t really matter where [his] actions or lack of them fall on that scale. He is the leader and a leader is responsible for the actions of the people he leads. If he had a right or honourable bone in his body, he’d admit that and resign immediately.”

      Stephen Harper during the Gomery Investigation

      • Nice dig. If that doesn’t get used in QP, prefaced with “Mr. Speaker, a once honourable man, vilifying the larceny he perceived about him once said…”, something is wrong…well…wrong-ER…er…more wrong.

      • This needs to be posted everywhere. To the blog!…

        • Holy crap. That’s hilarious. You’re right, the earliest I can find that quote is where you put it out, on March 4 of 2012, and you write it not about Adscam, but about Harper and the robocall affair

          Then the next day, Saskboy picks it up here: http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/robocon-rough-democracy/ which is the first time I can find it with the words taken out that would make it obvious it’s not by Harper, but rather about him. But Saskboy leaves in the last couple of lines that clarify that, while pointing out how easy it would have been to have heard something very like that during the Gomery investigation.

          Just a few hours later, one “olpfan1” takes the Saskboy quote, drops the last couple of lines that clarified it wasn’t during adscam at all, and misrepresents it as being from Harper. http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums/topic/20400-election-41-fraud-thread-robocalling-misdirection-vote-moving-etc/page-76
          He’s called out on it the next morning as to where it’s really from, but that’s on the next page of the forum, so possibly missed by someone just looking for Harper quotes.

          The next appearance I can find is on March 21st, where it’s the olpfan1 version again, and again attributed to Harper directly as a blog post: http://tigerphilosopher.blogspot.ca/2012/03/robocalls.html, but as it’s a smaller blog this time, it never gets corrected.

          From there it gets bounced around in a few smaller forums until on May 7th it hits the Wingnutterer: http://www.thewingnuterer.ca/2012/05/07/robocon-is-stephen-harper-responsible-for-the-robocalls/ which is where I believe it would have gotten large as he regularly shows up as a pick on Progressive Bloggers, etc.

          Just to add to the confusion, there’s this report that came out a few days ago, suggesting that weblinks eventually lead to a deleted page on a CPC webiste: http://www.thetelegram.com/Opinion/Editorials/2013-11-23/article-3497080/Hey-Pot,Kettle%26rsquo%3Bs-on-Line-1/1 but I can’t find any links that lead to any CPC website, live or dead, with this quote or with “Harper response to Gomery” as they suggest, so I don’t know what the hell they followed.

          Of course, this raises the question of, if Harper really didn’t say it, why hasn’t anybody with his party come out and said so? Maybe because memory is a funny thing, and because he did say something akin to it back in 2005, some 7 years previous: “The real question though is, as I say, not exoneration from further police investigation; the question is political accountability and political responsiblity. I can’t think of any other parliamentary democracy where a scandal of this magnitude and this nature, where the Prime Minister was the chief financial officer of the country when it occured, where that could pass without the fall of the government and the departure of that individual from public office.” http://www.invisiblehand.ca/2005/11/stephen-harper-quotes.php

          So I suppose it’s entirely possible that even Mr. Harper thinks he might have said it at some point. Certainly everybody else (including the usual cast of partisan supporters) seem to think he’d have said it–and why not? It *is* a good quote about corruption in general.

          Wow.. that took a couple hours of digging.. but very cool. Especially seeing how thing morphed along there. Of course, if we stopped to think about it, it should have been more obvious it didn’t come from him.. after all.. what would the missing words have been if it had? Why were those words removed/replaced?

          As a side note, I found in my research a reason why Harper might be so grumpy all the time.. here’s a quote that really is from him: “I’m constantly irritated by the half-truths that come out of the government.” http://www.invisiblehand.ca/2005/11/stephen-harper-quotes.php

    • Nicely put. Even if he can always maintain a lack of knowledge, at what point does the distinction between ignorance borne of criminal willfulness and ignorance borne of incompetent neglect matter?

  5. Each one of those staffers should be charged with obstruction of justice and perjury.

    • I don’t know anything about it but how Wells describes “Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton”, I would say they could be charged with conspiracy as well. But since our Government is basically third world in its attitudes and abilities, I am sure little will happen to Mr Hamilton.

      Conservative Party Uber Alles!

  6. Paul Wells,

    ‘…like a battery being transferred from one TV remote to the next,…’

    brilliant analogy;
    unfortunately (for Canadians), the battery was still dead.

  7. Harper made clear a year ago that the election would not be in October 2015 because that would clash with a bunch of provincial elections and the same volunteers are needed for both sets of votes.

    • You mean the fixed election date is not… erm… fixed? I will chalk it up to monumental stupidity that the feds set a fixed election date around the same time of year as that of several existing provincial fixed election dates.

      Ontario was one such province, and it seems exceedingly unlikely that it will not have an election before Fall 2015.

      • It goes well beyond the next election. I don’t want to go round and round about it all again like I did at the time that the law was passed, but suffice it to say, the so called “fixed elections date” law does nothing to actually fix the date of our elections. The way it was written, it’s an almost completely useless statute, and passing it was a complete waste of everyone’s time.

  8. “That’s the kind of “oopsie” that gets a judge’s attention.”

    And it has the unintended consequence of shooting a very bright light up your (cpc) nether regions.
    All together now!
    ‘Now staffers, just why did you feel it necessary to concoct such an elaborate lie? You were of course innocent all along. ‘
    I imagine a judge might be interested in the answer (and just what it implies) to that question.

  9. I, for one, am gladdened to learn that the Prime Minister is not a completely dictatorial control freak. Granted, it might have been preferable if he’d experimented with allowing MPs to speak without approved scripts, or entertained some degree of caucaus or grassroots input into policy, but he’s nevertheless learned to relax a bit. He should be applauded. A more hard-arsed Harper – knowing that his Chief of Staff was grappling with a Duffy problem that could greatly damage the party brand – would have probably stuck his nose in and asked sometihing like, “How did you fix it?” when informed that the problem had been taken care of. But in spite of the potential criminality and unsavoury dealmaking a needlessly “hands on” leader might worry about, he took a deep breath and allowed his staff to do their thing. The man is trying hard to let go of micromanagement, folks, so be supportive.

    • You want to go careful there. That’s the kind or sarcasm one should not try while at home alone.

    • Sean, I think the extent the PMO is involved in the Senate goings-on and trying to fix the issue of them not quite sticking with talking points is dictatorial enough for me. Yeah, okay, the glass may be half full so it’s not extremely autocratic.

    • He’s softening his image. It’s like kittens or sweatervests (vestersweats?) but less plausible in its deniability.

      • kittenvests?

        • Hmmm. Soft on the outside, despicably malevolent and cruel on the inside. Just might work!

    • “Be supportive”…you ARE kidding, right? Trying not to micromanage a corrupt staff acting as they thought you’d want them to act…that is a VIRTUE, in your eyes?!?

  10. I think it is time for Harper to take a walk in the snow.

    • Climate change…ergo, no more snow to walk in. How about a walk in a typhoon?

      • How about a long walk off a short pier?

    • & not come back.

  11. Might the convergence of these two themes go some way toward explaining the curious behaviour of one Jason K?

    • Also, there was McKay speaking off script at the convention too. Not quite the seditious depths of Martin’s troops during the latter Chretien years, but nevertheless unprececedented for this regime.

  12. How ridiculous. There is no evidence, none whatsoever, that Harper was closely informed of the Duffy expense scam up to the point when Wright decided to cut the personal cheque.

    Paul Wells is reading into the RCMP report with a prejudice unheard of in media coverage of events.

    And besides, it is shameful how members of the media take on such double standard, time and again: when testimony is heard against Sona, Paul Wells does not trust the testimony. But when testimony is given by Duffy and the likes, he automatically chooses to believe whatever he wants.

    Selective reporting, to say the least.

    And besides, according to Macleans, the Harper government had never done anything right to begin with, so why would Paul Wells be different now?

    McKay changing portfolios like changing batteries in a remote control! How adolescent to make such a comment. If Harper would never have changed his cabinet members, then Paul Wells would have another excuse to call on Harper to have done the wrong, wrong, wrong thing.

    Harper will keep winning in spite of the media constant gotcha politics. Oh, how frustrating it must be for Paul Wells.

    • Harper winning? I sure hope not, otherwise I’ll lose confidence in my fellow Canadians’ intelligence. Harper is a liar, a cheater, a bully, a coward and nothing from him, from his gang and from the peanut gallery with change my mind.

    • Bravo! A coloratura solo of epic proportions.

      Mind you, that aria was fumbled by the composers, but you did a workmanlike job pulling it out. So there’s that.

      Also, RE: Sona, You do understand that testimony in concert (Get it? Get it?), attended to by an oddly present Party lawyer (who just happened to offer up the proffered interviewees for entirely non-self serving purposes, surely) that specifies EXACT dates wherein the accused could not have possibly done what said testimony asserts is a bumblef*ck of the highest order, right? An *oopsie*, if you will. Who knows? Ask a judge, Surely someone will.

      In less generous precincts that *oopsie* could be known as “Criminal Code Code of Canada (Sec, 139,(1)).

      • lol
        I vote you lobby Wells to sub in “bumblef*ck of the highest order” for oopsie. Definitely an upgrade in the circumstances.

    • “Paul Wells is reading into the RCMP report with a prejudice unheard of in media coverage of events”
      Er, if you actually read the article you MAY find PW argrees with you in that he thinks the PM may be technically in the clear. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for that technical ignorance though. Better hold on to your knickers cuz there’s worse to come.

    • Exactly….every PM prerogues parliament , but it becomes an affront to democracy when Harper does it….now he’s being taken to task for a cabinet shuffle too? Lieberal shills like Wells just need to be constantly be shown to be the partisan, dishonest muckrakers that they are..

      • It became an affront to democracy the first time it was used to dodge a confidence motion, and it was unpleasant when it was used to prevent having to comply with an order to provide documents in war crime investigations.

        You clearly have no understanding of the issue and would be wiser not to speak.

    • When Francien turns up on these (or her other regularly visited) comment
      boards and denounces Harper or his staffers or his Senators et. al for something, rather then just parrot her hatred of all these facts ruining her hero’s aura, that day will be the day I know there will be a repeat of the 1993 election results in 2015, when even the die-hard loyalists of the Conservative Party and Harper finally saw the light.

    • I did warn you to pace yourself on the Duffy/Ford sideshows. The robocall main event seems to just be getting warmed up and you will need to be at the top of your game.

    • “I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad.”

    • Ostrich analysis: a head in the sand sees no evil.

  13. This might be the CPCs darkest hour. Are we to see the return of Dennis F?

    • Best cement in the goalposts then. You’ll know when its critical, when chet/kody/biff reappears.

    • The gall of you saying that.

    • Good lord, no.

  14. Are we really supposed to believe that the little Prince, sitting on a lily pad in the middle of the pond, is completely oblivious and ignorant to what is going on around him?

    Canadians may be overly polite, but we are not a naive bunch, and we don’t like seeing the Prime Minister ( in Queston Period) encourged by his cult of braying a$$es who leap to their feet like a bunch of dim-witted clapping seals.

    • Nice mix of metaphors. Just needs a dancing bear or two, but they’re all busy in Toronto right now.

      • Actually, the latter, “like a bunch of dim-witted clapping seals” is a simile.

    • Perhaps Stephen Harper was not told exactly how the problem of Mike Duffy’s illegitimate expenses was finally solved. But he certainly knew of efforts to have the Conservative Party solve that problem. It is also obvious that he had to have gone to extraordinary effort to avoid knowing about the Wright – Duffy payment. It’s called willful blindness. He established a system in the PMO whereby all those who worked in the PMO knew that they must not put anything in writing that would provide proof of his knowledge; but they were perfectly free to whisper in his ear. Reading the RCMP transcript makes it very clear why the Harper Conservatives use so called “incremental” changes to implement policy; they were so busy handling “embarrassments” that they didn’t have time for any serious visionary policy development.

  15. Note perfect Orwellian capital letters there, Wells.

    Is it too much to hope that the present scandal willl have as disastrous an impact on the present governing party as Adscam on the Liberals? Probably. Le sigh.

    • Single scandals seldom bring down governments. If memory serves, the Liberals were still looking to win (minority) the 2006 election even with the Gomery commission. Why? Almost the same dynamic as today, better the somewhat corrupt Liberals who are good managers of the economy (recall those string of surpluses) rather than the not-read-for-Prime-Time Harper and his reformed reformers.

      Allegations of a budget leak being traced back to Goodall then came out. It turns out Ralph was innocent, but because the public had already decided the Liberals of the day were crooks, out they went.

      The Duffy/Wright/PMO office thing is establishing that 1) Harper is dishonest/disingenuous in his answers to the public, 2) that Harper’s PMO views dirty tricks as a valid strategic approach and 3) laws, parliamentary process are an inconvenience. Still it is $90k, and could have been handled without all this mess easily. At the end of this, Harper’s rep will be as a nasty piece of business, who was well aware (in broad strokes) of the actions of his office. However many will see him as perhaps better than the untested alternatives, and certainly he has become a strong campaigner.

      The robocall investigation results are now starting to hit the news. As much as Conservative shills like to downplay it, the public’s perception of the robocall crime is that it was an attack on them. They are pissed. That said, it is only these recent revelations that are making it crystal clear how far up it goes. Conservative Lawyer Hamilton has now been caught out. Sona as a lone wolf is now ridiculous. Will they be able to tie it to Harper, probably not. However, just as the case was for Ralph Goodall, it hardly matters. Duffy/Wright/PMO established Harper as dirty on a smallish but serious, insider politics type thing. The Conservatives ran a dirty campaign and the public are angry. The lack of a direct connection to Harper is hardly going to matter, Harper’s public persona has been established and the new allegations fit the known behaviour like a glove.

      • You’re right. It also fits like a glove for the making of a ‘Dictatorship’. The ‘Micro one’ exists right now. We’d have to be naive to think that it couldn’t happen.

        • You better go hide under your bed then and stock up on canned goods, because Harper’s secret police are coming to get you.
          I’m not making this up.

  16. “If the election date really is set” Don’t want to cause any alarms to go off but ‘what if’ Harper and Gang decide not to call an election? His Dictatorship seems to have quite a following, especially the circle closest to him. By that time we might have some difficulty staying out of Harper’s new prisons. Disobeying the PM could result in a ‘civil disobedience’ charge with a minimum sentence of many years. It happens in other countries with right-wing governments, so why couldn’t it happen here?

    • By law, a government can only serve for a max 5 years, at which time they have to call an election. Mulroney’s PC hung on for 5 years 1988-1993, so the Cons might do the same if they see that the polls are not favourable in 2015.

      It’s a legitimate tactic, an extra year could turn around a party’s fortunes. Or not.

      The Cons have until May 2016.

      • I believe we are likelier to see an election before October, 2015 than after.

        • An earlier election would somewhat complicate the balancing of the budget.

  17. Paul, you said…

    “That contrast between Harper’s close eye on the matter before Wright pulled out his chequebook and his beatific innocence after is one of many things that will eventually be explained — whether the PM feels like explaining it today or not.”

    Just want to ask….why do you think it inevitable that this will be explained? I doubt that will happen and more expect that we will hear multiple contradictory explanations, with no clear irrefutable conclusion.

    I am convinced that Harper knew all about the high level intent – which was to ‘rehabilitate’ a Senator they considered valuable. And I don’t see why anyone cares whether or not the PM knew the fine details…who paid for what is no longer the issue here; the important question is ‘does the organized rehabilitation attempt via backroom dealings of questionable ethics equate to illegal activity’?

    If that answer is ‘yes’, as determined by the RCMP, then Harper’s sunk regardless of his level of detailed knowledge.

  18. Well this should be fun. If PW and the media party are right and Harper’s a goner, than the electorate will have a choice between Trudeau and Mulcair, perhaps sooner than later. Currently Trudeau and the Liberals are dropping in the polls, while Mulcair and the NDP are on the rise. Some stark choices to be made indeed!
    They say folks get the government they deserve – I cannot wait to see how this plays out.

    • I do not believe I have written that Harper is a goner.

      • Sorry I thought I heard that amidst all the gloating as usual on PP last night, from the media types. Thought Brett Wilson’s comment on P&P sort of put everything in perspective though as to how the real folks feel outside the Ottawa bubble.

        • I heard Brett Wilson as well…And was really disappointed in what he said, as I like the man and his business philosophy. But he turned this into a non-issue from a monetary POV….which I think is totally wrong….What Wright did, no matter his intention, with the help of the PMO and some Senators who Harper appointed, planned a scheme to pay back Duffy for expenses he wrongly claimed, and then to cover it up. It is not about the money, it is about the deed. Paul Wells may not have written that Harper is a goner…but in the mind of many Canadians like myself, he should be gone before he does more damage to the Institutions of Parliament and the country.

      • Mr. Wells you give Harper way too much credit….and assume that Canadians are all dumb. John Ivison, a usual Harper supporter, said on P&P last night – if it is found that Harper knew more than he is telling us . ‘he is done’.

        • Nor have I written that he’s not a goner. I checked the mail, and my crystal ball has still not arrived.

          • Touchee. Even though some of what you write may be ‘tongue in cheek’….I still think that yourself and many other columnist give this PM way too much space and accolades on his ability to control his message as if this is somehow some kind of weird virtue…

            btw its impressive to me that you read ‘and respond’ to comments made on your columns….so thank you. .

  19. Its not about the $90,000.00 cheque Wright gave to Duffy anymore. It is about the cover-up…and why the need for a coverup.

    Obviously, they knew what they were doing was wrong, and Obviously the whole sleazy deal was never supposed to surface. Had it not been for a journalists good investigative reporting with the cooperation of a Whistler blower who saw this whole deal for what it was, bribing of a sitting legislator…we the public would never have known about it, and Harper would have carried on praising Duffy with the usual talking points that he had paid back the money he owed to taxpayers. ….

    It starts at the top, and with the help of Nigel Wright. In my opinion, Harper created the culture inside his PMO where such a mindset and deal could fester and be carried out with the involvement of some of his most senior people, the main player being his loyal COS, Nigel Wright, a supposedly honorable man, along with Senators who he appointed to much fanfare at the time.

    What on earth was Wright thinking? And to say to Canadians that Harper, who is the most micro managerial PM in our history, wasn’t kept informed about what was going on is not only illogical, it is insulting that any columnist would think that Canadians are so daft and uninformed that they would believe such a scenario that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. For Harper not to have known, as he claims, would make him either incompetent, or that the PMO has been given carte blanche to act on its own without his knowledge.

    Harper said in 2011 when his government was found in contempt of Parliament for the first time in the Commonwealth’s history, that Canadians didn’t care what happened in Ottawa…His win in that election proved him right.

    Now almost 3 years later, Canadians appear to be caring a lot more now about what happens in Ottawa than they did at that time…and in this there is hope that Harper will finally be punished for his lack of respect and contempt for long held Canadian Institutions and the people he serves. Enough is enough…the bell has rung and cannot be unrung. Wake up journalists..

  20. “Peter MacKay, who in July was switched out of the National Defence
    portfolio and popped into Justice like a battery being transferred from
    one TV remote to the next, ….”

    did you mean dead battery or a leaking battery?

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