Mike Duffy resigns from the Conservative caucus

The embattled senator resigns to sit as an independent


A statement from Marjory LeBreton, leader of the government in the Senate.

“Senator Duffy has informed me that he has resigned from caucus to sit as an independent senator.”

And a statement from Mr. Duffy.

“It is clear the public controversy surrounding me and the repayment of my Senate expenses has become a significant distraction to my caucus colleagues, and to the government. Given that my presence within the Conservative caucus only contributes to that distraction, I have decided to step outside of the caucus and sit as an independent Senator pending resolution of these questions.

“Throughout this entire situation I have sought only to do the right thing. I look forward to all relevant facts being made clear in due course, at which point I am hopeful I will be able to rejoin the Conservative caucus.

“This has been a difficult time for me and my family, and we are going to take some time away from the public. I ask the media to respect our privacy while these questions are resolved through the appropriate processes.”

A government source says “there are a growing number of questions about Mr. Duffy’s conduct that don’t have answers” and that reports that Senator Duffy had taken out a loan—as CTV first reported last night—came as a “complete surprise.”

Update 10:07pm. CTV is now reporting that Mr. Duffy “attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision involving the right-leaning Sun News Network.”

A well-placed source told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that Duffy approached a Conservative insider with connections to the CRTC three weeks ago to discuss Sun Media, which is asking the federal regulator to grant its news channel “mandatory carriage,” or guaranteed placement on basic cable and satellite packages. The move would boost Sun News Network’s profile and revenues.

“You know people at the CRTC,” the insider quoted Duffy as saying. “This is an important decision on Sun Media. They have to play with the team and support Sun Media’s request.”

Update 11:39pm. The Canadian Press reports that Senator Duffy was facing a revolt.

Conservative sources said the vast majority of his Senate colleagues had signed a petition calling for his ouster from caucus and they were prepared to confront Duffy with that petition at a meeting next Tuesday evening.

And Steve Ladurantaye has comment from Sun News (more from David Akin). The Globe has comment from Rob Walsh, the former parliamentary law clerk. And here is tonight’s At Issue panel.


Mike Duffy resigns from the Conservative caucus

  1. Same salary, same shady shenanigans.

    Fewer meetings.

  2. Paging healthcareinsider…..

    • No, somewhere in Alberta, she joins Francien for a cocktail. Line is busy.

      • Actually they frown on drinking on the job but Francien and I manage to sneak in a quick shot.

        • Healthcareinsider, you’re a good sport. :)

        • Ha, good response. I just hope it wasn’t another shot of the koolaid: you have both had enough already.

          • No, if you are going to have a shot it must be Tequila…with lime and salt of course.

    • Don’t you understand? It’s all about the wife. Somwhere there is a convoluted way to view events where the parties are no less guilty but their angelic nature makes all forgivable. You are clearly a monster.

      • Oh please. If you guys had your way, the entire Macleans online would be full of Libs and Dippers and what fun would that be. All of you would be falling all over each other to kiss each others’ behinds. At least this way, you have someone to smack down.

        • Don’t often agree with you, but you nailed that one! +1

        • Once might have gone over OK, but once you were on the third or fourth utterly unlikely explanation for their behaviour it was just crazy.

          • You call it crazy, I call it “persistent”. After all, we con shills are nothing if not annoyingly persistent and optimistic…ever optimistic.

      • “I remember Mike Duffy one night in Hull. Me and Sheldon were in my taxi when I saw him on the main strip flagging down a cab.
        I pulled over and let him in. First he wanted to go to the Macs Milk store
        at the Place Bell building on Elgin Street. After spending over half an
        hour in there with the meter running, he finally came back with his bag
        of shit he just bought and said he wanted to go to 10 Driveway.

        When we finally got there, he spent at least 10 or 15 minutes
        trying to ask Sheldon to “Come upstairs with him”. I swear, it was all
        Sheldon could do NOT to paste this fat fuck all over the sidewalk….”

        Hey Mike, have you told your “wife” about that night ?

    • Sorry, some of us have a job. Hey obviously it is hard to get somebody out of the senate. Now he will sit there as an independent.

      • Not when you have a majority in the senate and a self-acclaimed REAL leader.

        • There are specific rules for ousting someone. Non-attendance is one. Apparently there is a petition circulating among the other senators regarding Duffy.

  3. Good: Duffy has been distracting us from the true focus: one highly successful and by all reports intelligent Nigel Wright, you know, that chief of staff guy with PMO. Because this is the story: wtf is a guy like Nigel Wright shining an unethical spotligh on the prime minister? Ironically, his efforts to protect Harper have had the opposite effect.

    • Oh no, Nigel Wright’s time in the PMO is just about up now. He was only supposed to be there for 18 to 24 months and he started in 2011. He will go back to his multi-millionaire dollar per year career in business. He has a job waiting for him back at Onex. This won’t hurt him and he’ll take one for the team.

      • Senator Brazeau is also keeping quiet about his beefs with the PM, and those lawyers cost money. I wonder if he has the Wright stuff to see it through?

        • Wouldn’t that be great if Brazeau and Harb had the “Wright stuff”. We taxpayers could see some more of our money returned. I think we are onto something here. Do you remember when Ted Turner paid the $100 million dollar UN bill for the US. We need to lobby some of these rich people to pay some bills for political gaffes. Do you suppose any rich Canadian has $3.1 billion dollars to spare?

        • Brazeau is demanding the expense studies be released publicly: first thing he’s ever said that I can get behind.

      • In all of us, with your good humour after the fact, you have not said how you feel about the situation, now that it is clearer to you than it was yesterday. And so I ask you: how do you feel about what has happened — you are saying now that Wright will “take one for the team.” Is that what’s most important to you? That the team remain strong despite some of its players being sidelined (with penalties)?

        • Frankly Patchouli, I have very little respect for any politicians. Of course I believe a politician should be ousted for misconduct. As for Wright taking on for the team. That is just my opinion of what will likely happen. I believe he will resign. From everything I have read he is a decent person. I won’t rush to judgment on him because on paper he seems like a very good person. As for what is important to me….this isn’t that important to me. I voted Conservative in 2011. I am neither immoral, nor stupid as the bloggers often claim of Conservative voters. I didn’t hold my nose to vote either. What the Conservative politicians do with their four years in office is up to them. I will decide what to vote when 2015 rolls around based on culmination of those four years. I meanwhile will enjoy playing devils advocate with all of you.

          • “ah, the ole’ ‘what’s important to me…'” bit.

            Party above country forever and always, CPC supporters!

          • Patchouli asked me what was important to me. I merely responded to her question. You misunderstood. When I said “this isn’t that important to me”, I meant all of THIS…..federal politics…the party…the partisanship. Nor is it particularly surprising to me given that seven years ago we were lamenting about another corrupt government led by a different party and given that I live in a province with a corrupt government. What did surprise me was that even Liberal supporters in my province went out of their way to re-elect a corrupt Conservative government. I am hardly a “Party above country forever person”. I am just a realist that is looking around for a party that isn’t corrupt and doubting there is such an animal.

          • Words and activities are what create reputations. Your words here yesterday belie what you are writing now, that you are a realist and not a partisan. I think you are mostly a good egg, but to be honest, you were rabid on here yesterday. It hardly seemed that you were searching for an uncorrupt group but rather upholding a corrupt one.

          • What I did yesterday is repeat (apparently ad nauseum) MacDougall’s version of events as reported by the press. Meanwhile, everyone else offered up conspiracy theories that given Duffy’s past close relationship with the PM didn’t ring true. You yourself said “I wasn’t being myself”. Of course I was being myself. I like to remind people of the other view point and get a good debate going. I also like to question people’s assumptions. Being a “good egg” and having voted Conservative are not mutually exclusive. The truth is that people who vote or voted Conservative are not two dimensional caricatures who can be summed up by adjectives like rabid partisans and liars. I wonder that you don’t know anyone personally that has voted Conservative. I have family members who voted NDP and Liberal. We enjoy politics as a way to tease another. It certainly doesn’t define who are as people. I would never say someone was stupid or a liar or amoral because they made a decision to support a certain political party.

          • Well, I would think it and do all the time: look, where I live, everyone around me is Conservative. Everyfuckinone. My in laws. Friends, colleagues, neighbours, and most assuredly, clients. Much of my interest in politics is due to my total loathing of the current prime minister, although to his credit, he’s such a cretin that he makes me kind of like and miss Brian Martin Mulroney. I often vote NDP even though I am not and never will be a party member: when it comes to policy, not personality, I am Liberal.

            And I think that if ALL Canadians were more mobile and had opportunities to live and work in different regions of Canada, we would all get along better. I have lived and worked in three distinctly different regions, and can see why different regions tend to prefer different political flavours. And so maybe if we all could walk in each others’ shoes now and then, we wouldn’t be so polarized in our comments.

            That is as generous as I get: Harper is corrupt and a jerk, and our country would be better off with a new government. Because as corrupt as Duffy has proven to be, Harper is the guy who put him in his position of glory.

          • Hahaha! I feel for you! Your in-law AND your clients huh. No wonder you come on here for camaraderie. Maybe there is a secret support group for Liberals in your area (Libs anonymous). It is funny. I know what you mean about the different areas of Canada. I have two brother-in-laws from the maritimes. They vote NDP. I have a sister who votes Lib. My father’s family was originally from Ontario and he voted Lib until Trudeau Sr. ticked him off and now he votes Conservative. I think you are right about people going to different regions, even to visit. I enjoy meeting people from other parts of Canada. I NEVER talk politics with them but I like to hear about their lives and where they come from.

  4. No, no, no… wrong group to resign from, Mr. Duffy.
    The appropriate group to resign from, given your activities, is the senate itself.

    • Huh! You think he will resign for that job. They would have to oust him.

      • Fully agreed. I keep trying to be an idealist though.

  5. Duffy should resign from the senate. It’s been shown this was a gift, a gift that was clearly related to senate affairs, namely his remuneration from the senate. Therefore it appears to violate the senate rules.

    I’m not comfortable with senators taking 90k payments from anybody, let alone someone working in another branch of the government. A loan might have been justifiable.

    This was worse than keeping the housing bonus.

    All the other stuff is a media pile-on, and it’s been clear for a long time the media don’t look him (ironic considering his long career in the media… I guess he made some enemies).

    But accepting this gift is good enough reason for his departure from the senate. Unless there are other facts we don’t know about, he should just move on.

    • I agree, and I know it’s hard to admit that someone on the team you cheer for is unethical. But what should happen to Nigel Wright? Should the buck stop with Duffy (the 90.000 bucks, that is) or do we keep following the money?

      • What team? I’m not on a team, you freak. I don’t give a sh*t about Duffy, and why in heck would you think otherwise? I just said he should resign. Are you blind? We’re not all mindless drones like you. What do you mean what should happen to Wright? Are you saying you want to grab him from the sidewalk and beat him with a crowbar? Doesn’t surprise me. What the heck is wrong with you?

        • Okay, the moment of almost normal s-c-f has passed; carry on then with the name calling.

          • You didn’t answer my question. What the heck is wrong with you? Seriously. What is wrong with you?
            I’m not as courteous as healthcareinsider, who has taken it upon herself to try to understand what kind of issues you have. I have a feeling she is wasting her time with the likes of you. There are no teams, you freak. Don’t you have any dignity? Any standards? Any principles? Apparently not.

          • Personality disordered people think you must be on team A (good) or team B (evil). It’s called “splitting”, and is discussed extensively in the literature and DSM-IV.

      • Okay, here is where it gets fascinating. You see people on opposing “teams”. Tell me this. If a Liberal had paid Mac Harb’s expenses to the taxpayer would you be on here demanding Justin Trudeau react and head’s roll?

        • Ironically, hi, I used the word “team” because you used it above (or on another thread, something about Wright “taking one for the team”) — if it wasn’t your comment, my apologies, but someone defending them used it. But I do tend to think most Canadians approach politics as a team sport, and cheer when their side wins over the other. I am a Liberal supporter from a different province than where I live; most of the time, I don’t even vote for my Liberal candidate because I tend to think the NDP one is the best chance to defeat Harper.

          You asked me a question, and turnabout’s fair play: I don’t think I like any Senators from any “team” ripping us off. I like it even less when it is clearly sanctioned by the government that appointed them. And I do think that Wright paid Duffy off, and then he was asked to step out of caucus. Whereas Harb was asked to step out of caucus and at this moment, he’s taking the matter to court. And I do rather hope that Justin Trudeau had a chat with him and asked him to step off the caucus because I doubt he did it on his own volition.

        • Found the reference, on this thread:

          14 hours ago
          Oh no, Nigel Wright’s time in the
          PMO is just about up now. He was only supposed to be there for 18 to
          24 months and he started in 2011. He will go back to his
          multi-millionaire dollar per year career in business. He has a job
          waiting for him back at Onex. This won’t hurt him and he’ll take one
          for the team.

          • Oh sure I think of Harper’s team, Mulclair’s team and Trudeau’s team but I think of those as being their inner circle…their advisers and political consiglieres. When I said I think Wright will take for one for that team, that it what I meant. He is in Harper’s inner circle and I think he will resign and “take one for Harper”.
            I find it a little disconcerting that voters might cheer for one team or another though when the other “team” is in government . I certainly didn’t vote for the current government of Alberta but I have no desire to see them fail. They have been given a four-year mandate and whether I like it or not, they will be in power for that length of time and they have stewardship over my home province. Meanwhile, nurses are already being laid off…my colleagues…. due to mishaps in management by this government. Do I cheer when news of bad financial decisions and corruption are revealed by the opposition. No, I don’t. I would be thrilled if they did a good job and turned things around.

  6. Seems like there’s no love for the Duffster, even in his old stomping grounds. Dion’s probably permitting himself a little schadenfreude right about now…he ‘s maybe not the only one either?

    • Sleepy, sipping coffee here… with visions of Chuck Cadman in the otherworld meeting Doug Finley and asking him about the last deal he made.

      • ‘That’s politics Chuck’…most likely. These cons believe they can get away with sleazy because the previous govt was corrupt or criminal in their eyes. Half their core seems to think so too. It’s an odd way to look at the world…we only have to be marginally better than the guys who went before us, despite our promises to the contrary[Trouble is that margin is long gone now.] As if being much better was kind of unrealistic. I always thought the ideal was to aspire to, or live up to your highest ideals. Guess i don’t know squat about politics.

        • That’s kind of the problem in my eyes: they DO get away with stuff, even when it’s as plain as the nose on my face. And we let them and forget about it and their supporters apologize and protect them. In all of this, it’s taxpayer money and we all should be concerned about that, no matter which party is ripping us off at the moment.

        • “because the previous govt was corrupt or criminal in their eyes.”
          Okay, I know I will probably regret this but what does this mean? Are you saying the previous government wasn’t corrupt and Conservatives imagined it because I am pretty sure that Paul Martin admitted the corruption occurred.

          • No,I thought my meaning was reasonably clear. I’m saying it’s an excuse, a crutch for not living up to the original 06 billing for some core followers. The Liberals did it to has become a mantra for this govt. I very much doubt the voters will accept it any more come ’15.

          • So you are thumping for the NDP because now you have two national parties with blemished records going head to head. Voters might not accept that the Conservatives have any right to call down the Liberals on issues of corruption but at the same time the Liberals can’t throw stones from their glass house either.

          • Sooner or later, governments lose. Sooner or later, its supporters recognize its become arrogant and entitled, and change their vote. And the other thing is that sooner or later, disgraced parties go through renewal, and have many fresh faces and voters recognize that by changing their vote and changing the government, they also helped to renew the corrupt party. Why on earth did Reform ever come to be, excepting to overcome the corrupt PC brand after Mulroney? And in SK, the Conservative government of the late Eighties saw many MLAs end up in jail and so what did they do? They changed the faces at the helm and they changed the name of the party, and a few years later, the formed government.

            LPC is going through total renewal, and I can tell you that because I am working quite hard on my own riding association. Can’t say all the good old backroom boys are gone yet, but I feel much more optimistic about actual renewal than I have the past three leaders.

          • The Reform Party was born out of discontent in the west. It grew to a successful nation-wide party when the PC’s were pretty well decimated after Mulroney. It took, however almost 20 years and ad scam to get the party into office (from the start of the Reform Party in 1987) and then it could only manage a minority government for five years. The Liberals corruption scandal wasn’t decades ago. It was not even 7 years ago. I just think people aren’t going to be forgiving of one party’s scandalous behavior and disgusted by the others unless they are already completely partisan or they are too young to remember. If they are too young to remember, then you have to get them out to vote which is always an issue with youth.
            Myself, I have a hard time being judgmental of only one of the two parties. I am happy for you as a Liberal that you see some renewal in your party.

          • You really know how to make a meal out of little or nothing, don’t you.
            I’m not thumping for the ndp[whatever that means] nor am i saying the liberals have a blameless record. It is the CPC who ran on the: we are holier than thou card in 06. Just don’t be surprised if the electorate don’t grade them on it accordingly.

          • The CPC was a new party in ’06. They were born out of a marriage between an up and coming young Reform Party and a decimated old PC party. They didn’t have a history of corruption because they had no history. Things are different for the Liberals. They have a fairly recent history of corruption.
            You can say that the voters in 2015 will judge the tories much harsher than they will the libs for the same legacy of corruption but I am not so sure. They just might decide that one party is just as bad as the other….that neither is really trustworthy. Who could blame them?

          • It isn’t their history that’s the problem (or maybe in 15)it’s the promises Harper made to be much better. Lots of people like me think he hasn’t been remotely better. I guess we’ll see?

          • Hahaha! Oh I’m sorry. The correct term is ‘stumping’…as in campaigning!

          • :)

    • Yes, I’m sure this really makes Stephane Dion feel like a real winner. He didn’t lose as bad as Ignatieff, I suppose. I guess it takes a Liberal mindset to feel victorious just because you’re the second-biggest loser in the group.

      • You don’t actually know what schadenfreude means, do you?

  7. Independent, eh …. Gee, I wonder how he’s gonna vote ?
    This changes everything !

  8. “Mike Duffy to sit as an Independent…” -Huh ?
    So sitting as an “independent” means those guys still get a salary ???
    So who “pays” for his salary, along with Brazeau, …?

    This is insane, these people “stole” money from Canadian Taxpapyers, and should be criminally charged thus.
    At the very least, the Gov’t, all the way up, should be held accountable and “sell” off one of Mike Duffy’s homes/property’s to pay off his debts to canadian taxpayers.

    Hey Harper, what ever happened to “…I will be accountable…” ?

    • At least he won’t get travel reimbursements from the Senate while campaigning on behalf of the Conservatives next election. But I’m sure Wallin will continue filling that role.
      Have they taken a closer look at her expenses?

      • I thought Wallin’s were under a completely separate review, but no idea why. Harper first defended her expenses, then went silent on them. She was definitely stumping out here in 2011.

    • Don’t forget Liberal Mac Harb who was kicked out of their caucus and is sitting independent as well. He is another person who erroneously claimed housing allowances he wasn’t allowed to and is now refusing to pay them back.

      • If you don’t understand how a Liberal is ethnically protected from all wrong-doing because of his party affiliation, then there’s nothing that can save you.

    • It will be up to the Opposition to keep mentioning WHO appointed him, and not let the Cons get away with the “he’s now an independent” and we’ve dealt with it spin.

    • Harper can’t kick him out of the Senate, he has no power to remove Senators. Duffy has to resign on his own.

      • Hence the importance of reminding the prime minister, as unfortunately he needs to be reminded, that he SHOULD NEVER appoint persons who are being investigated for breaching a professional code of ethics (Duffy), or for breaching the Elections Act (Finley) or suspected of having mismanaged government funding (Brazeau). A PM SHOULD WAIT UNTIL THEY ARE CLEARED – OR APPOINT SOMEONE ELSE.

        I am shocked that I have to write this.

  9. oh ya, and talking about “right-wing-extremeist” windbags, I remeber during the last Elections, Sun Media, was broadcasting nothing but Pro-Harper and Pro-conservative comments and rants right up to the last minute before the ballots were all counted.
    Sun Media should NOT be broadcasting to canadians “live”, to go out and vote for the Conservatives, especially 24 hours before an election.

    There is a law in place so that NO Media can “influence” the Voters, in this manner, at any time.
    And yet, when I called and complained to “Elections Canada” regarding this matter they did nothing about it.

    • Oh, Elections Canada didn’t go and shut down a national media company because you called and complained? My goodness, what in the world does Elections Canada exist for if not to stifle the free speech of Canadians in the name of your partisan hysterics?

      Really, how can we possibly have a balanced media landscape in this country if we don’t have federal government agencies shutting down every media outlet that isn’t rabidly left-wing?

  10. So, Sun News claims that Duffy is not a lobbyist on their behalf. Duh. That would be a clear ethics violation. However, there’s nothing stopping the PMO or Duffy himself from promoting Sun’s case to the CRTC, on a quid pro quo basis. These guys know how quid pro quo works. Just ask Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber.

    • Given the reports of how he intervened.. talking to a friend who was known to be close to the CRTC members.. it could just be he failed to intervene, not that he didn’t try.

      • Conservative’s should always be considered guilty until proven innocent. Evidence is only required to convict Liberals.

        • You mean like how Goodale was considered innocent? Oh wait.. he actually *was* innocent.

          See, the problem you’re running into is that Conservatives are often actually guilty, like when the CPC plead guilty in court to cheating with elections financing, or Duffy charging for his residence or senate expenses while campaigning, etc., so giving them the benefit of the doubt seems a bit foolhardy

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