‘Had I known these things’


Stephen Harper reacts to the latest revelations about his former advisor, Bruce Carson.

“I did not know about these revelations that we’re finding out today. I don’t know why I did not know,” Harper said. “Had I known these things, I would not have … hired him.”

Mr. Carson’s lawyer says all of his client’s criminal record was disclosed to the RCMP. Whether or not that briefing made it to Mr. Harper, on May 12, 2006, Sun Media reported that Mr. Carson had been “disbarred, convicted of theft and sentenced to 18 months in jail in the early 1980s for stealing money from clients of his law firm.”

Update 2:39pm… The Globe adds these comments from Mr.Harper: “Let me be very clear about the situation: I knew that Mr. Carson had difficulties with the law many, many years ago—some 25 years ago.”

For the sake of clarity, note that there are two sets of charges here. Five years ago, it was reported by the Sun that in 1982 Mr. Carson had “pleaded guilty to two counts of theft over $200, after forging the signatures of two clients and stealing almost $20,000.” Yesterday, it was by CP that in 1990 Mr. Carson had pleaded guilty to defrauding Budget Car and Truck Rental, the Bank of Montreal and TD Bank.

It is the latter set of charges that Mr. Harper says he was unaware of. And it is on account of this latter set of charges that Mr. Harper says he wouldn’t have hired Mr. Carson.


‘Had I known these things’

  1. The Sgt Schultz Defence.

  2. Mr. Harper certainly knew that Gerstein and Finley were suspected of electoral fraud before he named them to the Senate.

  3. It seems to me that Harper is perfectly fine with just about any form of criminality. It's sexuality that scares the hell out of him…

    Check it out;

    Maxime Bernier – turfed for association with Busty Motorcycle Mama.
    Helena Guergis – turfed for unknown sins but "Busty Hookers" featured large in the accusations.
    Bruce Carson – history of being disbarred fraudster perfectly okay but ejected – with prejudice – for association with escort/hooker.

    Seems that Harper is open-minded when it comes to political ethics but very close-minded – even repressed – when it comes to sexual ethics.

    • Paints that leather-vest photo in a whole new light…

      • Not to mention the penchant for lip gloss and guy liner.

  4. Harper's statement is not credible.

    Hey, don't you guys have a bull meter? This one should hit 10 bulls.

  5. You know he's lying when his lips are moving.

    I don't believe he didn't know. I join Duceppe in proclaiming that harper is a liar.

  6. I believe Harper. If he had known, Carson would be in the Senate today.

    • LOL

    • Hey-Ohhh!

    • There are not enough thumbs-ups in the world! Can I add 100 somehow?

  7. According to the Canadian Press report:

    The Tories weren't the only party Carson courted. A friend said he worked freelance for the Liberal caucus research bureau for a time during John Turner's leadership, between 1984 and 1990. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingn

    How did that little detail get past the background check? Not to mention five counts (not two) of fraud.

    • C'mon Crit, you're comparing a freelance research job to Chief of Staff in the PMO?

      • That wasn't my reading of CR's post. I read it to indicate that Harper would have dismissed Carson for being a Liberal.

        • You got it! :)

          (Probably wouldn't have made a difference, though, since it appears that he was hired by the PMO primarily on the strength of his extensive old-school PC connections.)

      • I am making no such comparison.

        • Okay, I guess I did mistake your meaning.

          Still, I thought it had already been established that Carson had worked for both Liberals and Conservatives in the past. The guy had apparently been kicking around Parliament Hill forever.

          • Still, I thought it had already been established that Carson had worked for both Liberals and Conservatives in the past.

            It was news to me! Maybe you've been following this story more closely, though. Also, was Carson actually Chief of Staff?

    • Carson's lawyer says he told the Tories about his fraudulent past before they hired him. Harper is lying.

  8. I normally dislike comments complaining about the blog authors, but I gotta support you here, john g. The full quote really changes the tone of the statement.

    • Hopefully Wherry will revise his blog post to include the full quote, to provide necessary context.

      • Well he has updated the blog, and the update says, "It is the latter set of charges that Mr. Harper says he was unaware of. And it is on account of this latter set of charges that Mr. Harper says he wouldn't have hired Mr. Carson."

        So Harper knew about and shrugged off the charges from the Eighties, but it was the charges in the Nineties that would have stopped him up? Shades of integrity?

      • I see that he has. Thank you Aaron for updating and clarifying your post, and I apologize for perhaps getting overly aggressive in my complaints; since your updated post captures the situation perfectly I have deleted my original comment

        For the record I'm in no way suggesting that Harper doesn't have a lot of questions to answer about hiring Bruce Carson, and there certainly are some new ones today that make one wonder and shake your head how he slipped through screening.


  10. Vic Toews must be hitting the roof. How could a criminal like Bruce Carson be allowed to "better himself" and make a life for himself after being in jail!

  11. "…and received court-ordered psychiatric treatment before becoming one of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's closest advisers"____Ouch…i think i have another one for you JG?

    • Actually this record surprises me. This was a medical matter. How is it, we see it published?
      Psychiatry and mental illness are supposed to be treated the same way Diabetes is: with Confidentiality.

      • Good question I'd be concerned if it were me.

      • Go read the link in Aaron's copy (latest revelations). Carson's lawyer released the info, and likely to show that Carson didn't try to hide anything — the PMO/harper knew about his past, and shrugged. Once he's released the info to the Canadian Press and they write about it, as the article says, I assume it becomes public knowledge.

        • Being court-ordered, it probably would be public information anyway, I'm guessing.

      • CPC had no problem obtaining confidential veterans medical records.

      • We don't know anything about his treatment, just that the court ordered it. That's a matter of public record (sentencing report).

  12. "A summary of the disbarment finding against him in 1981 said his "fiscal position had deteriorated due to a land development project in which he had become involved and due to an extravagant lifestyle." It noted that he had purchased five different homes in six years, "each one being more expensive than the other."

    Could it be that at last we have the answer to just why SH's govt was headed for deficit before the recession? Hope he didn't borrow Faherty's CC too?

  13. Did he know the nature of the "difficulties" with the law experienced by Mr. Carson?

  14. Ok, this is good to know.

    If you are only convicted of 2 criminal offenses, this government will look the other way. They can turn the other check and overlook what would have been 2 red flags coming back from the CSIS / RCMP security check. But……if you get that number up to 5 charges…..well, had they known you were that much of a crook, it would have been a different story.

    It's sad that people are still believing this BS.

    • more likely that 5 is the number that would most likely catch the attention of some busy bodies like the press — throw another assistant under the bus!

  15. Indeed, or "Had we known companies would take advantage of a tax break for income trusts, we wouldn't have promised to keep them."

  16. It strikes me that the Harper campaign likely wasn't concerned about Carson because he had only committed white collar crimes.

    • Rev, there's also the "court-ordered psychological treatment." Reading what his friends quoted in the article say, it would seem to have something to do with the way he dealt with his marriage breakup.

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