Nigel Wright: Great Canadian or Greatest Canadian? - Macleans.ca
 

Nigel Wright: Great Canadian or Greatest Canadian?

‘If he made a mistake, it was a gentleman’s mistake’


 

Conservative MP Ted Opitz attempts to sum up Nigel Wright’s resignation.

Nigel Wright is a patriot. A man with honour. If he made a mistake, it was a gentleman’s mistake. One made with the truest of intentions.

NDP MP Craig Scott, meanwhile, doesn’t see any acknowledgement of wrongdoing.

Wright gone but still not wrong? See today’s resignation statements – no acceptance of wrongdoing … Harper’s statement does nothing to condemn the $90,000 secret payment – the spin is still Wright as gallant knight … The claim is Harper knew nothing abt the Wright-Duffy secret deal, yet #PMSH has so far retroactively endorsed it by not once condemning it.

Mr. Wright’s statement explains that he’s stepping down because of the “controversy.” He regrets the “impact.”  That sounds a lot like part of Mr. Duffy’s explanation for voluntarily—via Mr. Wright’s largesse—paying back his housing allowance. Mr. Duffy didn’t want to be a distraction. Mr. Duffy “filled out the forms in good faith,” but “rather than let this issue drag on” he and his wife had decided that the allowance would be repaid. Mr. Wright “intended solely to secure the repayment of funds,” which he “considered to be in the public interest,” but “in light of the controversy” he was resigning.

Mr. Duffy at least allowed that he “may have been mistaken.” And Mr. Opitz at least allows for the possibility that Mr. Wright also may have made a mistake, even if only of the gentlemanly variety.

So do Conservatives believe Mr. Wright did something wrong? Does the Prime Minister believe his chief of staff did anything wrong? And, if so, how do they think he erred? Merely in being too generous a man and too selfless a public servant?


 

Nigel Wright: Great Canadian or Greatest Canadian?

  1. Of course they don`t think he, or anybody else, did anything wrong, right? Any supporter care to contradict it? *crickets*

    • Of course, Nigel Wright’s judgement to pay off Duffy’s expenses was wrong. He should not have done it.

      I believe Wright to be a decent man.

      I believe Dion to be a decent man. But why is it then that Dion leadership bid loan has not been paid off yet? The EC rules call out for two years. After more than 6 years, Dion has still not paid off those leadership bid loans. Were those loans gifts?

      And why is EC taken such a soft stand (unethical??) on Dion’s none payment of loans?

      Decent people make bad judgement calls. But why would we condone it for some and not so much for others?

      That is the question.

      • Way to deflect, Francien. Absolutely beside the point!

    • From his reputation Wright is a good person. However, the RCMP should investigate the expenses and the cheque. There should be no stone left un-turned to get to the bottom of things. I hate to have an enquiry. The ad scam one cost $14 million dollars. An election costs $300 million. What did that Brian Mulroney/Karl Heniz Schreiber fiasco cost us and Brian is still strutting around.
      I would just as soon the RCMP did the job, along with ethics commissioner. If Harper is implicated, then the opposition can demand he resign.

  2. My reply to Opitz tweet: That’s some big ‘gentleman’s mistake”. Since when is obstructing justice an honourable and patriotic act?

    • The RCMP need to follow the money trail. My bet is that Harper authorized the $90k repayment of false housing claims to keep Duffy in caucus (he’s a major fundraiser for the Conservative party.) So what likely happened was that the Conservative party deposited the $90k into Wright’s account and then he made the payment on Duffy’s behalf.

      If Wright claimed he was helping out a personal friend by loaning him the money that would be plausible. Claiming he was stepping up to save taxpayers $90,000 has no truth to it, whatsoever.

      • I don’t think they wanted to keep him in caucus so much as they didn’t want people finding out it was spent on election campaigning. I am guessing Duffy just said “nope, I don’t really care”, knowing there’d be worse consequences for the government than him if it was brought to light, and that they’d fall over themselves paying it back for him to try to hush it up.

        He’s a slimeball, but unless he ends up in jail he’s the one laughing here.

      • By all accounts, Duffy is a proud, even arrogant character. As a former journalist and a long time Ottawa insider, he probably has a lot of dirt on the Cons. It would surprise me not at all to learn that he tried to “blackmail” them into giving him cover.

        However, It remains hard to figure out how Wright allowed himself to be dragged into such a sordid affair.

        • It is hard for me to believe that Duffy would have any dirt on the Conservatives that didn’t also implicate himself. He is pretty much knee deep in it and if every sorted, nasty thing comes out, his wife and he won’t be able to hold their heads up. I think his relationship with the party is quid pro quo….”you don’t talk; I won’t talk”.

      • Well, I think the “helping out a friend” who happened to be paying back the taxpayers was the story put forth. Regardless, you are right. This requires a full RCMP/ethics commissioner investigation.

    • A bit of a stretch to say decent people make bad judgement calls. Nigel Wright shouldn’t be working for the Canadian people – that was just plain stupid.

      • Well it is hard to fault someone who gives the taxpayers back the $90K someone else ripped off but obviously he should have let Duffy hang with his unethical expenses.

  3. Why, why, why do right wing supporters hold ethics and morality in such low esteem?

    • IOKIYC-It’s OK If You’re Conservative.

      • “Liberals did it so we can to”
        “wheren’t the Liberals reduced to third party status”
        “yes but we’re somehow immune to that and will rule forever!”

        • Oh please. Is that people did after Brian Mulroney. Did they keep voting PC? NO, they started a new party, the Reform Party and don’t be too sure they won’t do that again. The PCs were decimated after Mulroney. Now we have a new corrupt Conservative party so look for people on right to start a new movement and decimate that party too. Meanwhile the Liberals will have to send a message of rebirth of a party led by Justin Trudeau.

          • That’s an imaginative retelling of the Reform Party’s origins.

            Of course the truth is the Reform party was started before Mulroney had even won his second term in office. And they weren’t formed because conservatives they couldn’t sleep at night so troubled were they by Mulroney’s corruption.

            They were formed because the PC weren’t nearly rightwing enough for them.

          • I am sorry if that is what you got from my telling. Of course the party was formed prior to Brian Mulroney finishing office because once he retired the party was in full flight. That is why Kim Campbell and the PC’s were left with three seats?! No, I know the party formed out of western alienation and discontent. I am just shocked that people are gullible enough to believe that whole provinces of people (Alberta, Saskatchewan) put a low value on ethics and morals. That is just ridiculous.

      • No it isn’t. That is ridiculous. The Liberals paid for their corruption in 2006. Do you think that people wanted to trust them overnight? Now the Conservatives will pay for their corruption in 2015. However, I wouldn’t be so sure that the Liberals will benefit. Maybe a new party will be born out of the rights’ disgust of the Conservatives’ behavior.

    • Some Liberals have not paid back their leadership bid loans. The EC rules call out for a two year term of repayment, yet some of these loans for Liberals have been outstanding for over 6 years now. You think such is ethical behaviour on the part of Liberals or on the part of EC?

      Also, do you know who Mac Harb (the Liberal senator) hired to represent him in court? Do you know if Liberal senator Mac Harb will be claiming his court expenses as senate expenses – in other words: will Harb stick it to the tax payer to defend himself?

      Those things should be thoroughly investigated also, no?

      • The difference is that the indebted Liberals haven’t apparently taken illicit money to pay their debts, then lied about it, then tried to cover it up.

      • Don’t follow down these side roads folks. Classic Con change the channel technique. Ignore it.

        • Interesting, warning people not to read about Liberal unethical behaviour. What else is new?

          • Oh lets go back to Mulroney Schreiber!! Heck Greta Munsinger will do!!

    • What to you mean? That is not true. It is an issue of wanting to believe the best of the people you sent to Ottawa. Do you notice how many people refuse to admit that ad scam was a major scandal. Even though Paul Martin admitted his government was corrupt, supporters of the Liberals refuse to believe or admit it was true. The people who voted for the Conservative party want moral and ethical representation just like everybody else. If they defend their party is because they want to believe things aren’t as bad as they really are. I went through his with the Conservative Party in Alberta. They have done so many corrupt things. I did not vote for them in the last election but I certainly wish they would become less corrupt because they are running my province until the next election.

  4. They may actually believe what they’re saying re: honour–the group around Harper sounds like a strange group of monarchists and Anglo-Catholics. I wonder if they toast Churchill at secret meetings in the chapel.

    • not sure what monarchism has to do with this one way or another. are you implying anyone who actually values our historical ties and tradtions somehow has a warped sense of honor?

  5. I’m curious, but what do any of these resignations really mean? Does anybody think for an instant their activities won’t be reported on as “while a member of the CPC”? So why bother?

    Personally, I’m starting to think it’s being done so that they have cover, when some serious investigations start up, as to why a bunch of email that the server lists as them having received has been deleted. “Oh, that was with respect to CPC private business, and it was no longer appropriate that I maintain it.”

  6. As one of the ill informed, poorly educated, unsophisticated, poor hicks from the boonies, I want to say I am sick and tried of being told by the Ottawa/Bay Street corridor political, journalistic, and business elites what a truly wonderful, educated, wise, decent, rich, intelligent, religious, morally superior, saintly human being Nigel Wright is.

    • Indeed. A ruthless capital operation like Onex seems an unlikely repository for such a saint.

      • I guess Kevin O’Leary wasn’t available to take over. Must be some hedge fund guys floating around looking for work.

    • JW, there is such a thing as Libel. If a journalist says that Nigel Wright doesn’t have a good reputation and isn’t well liked, they are lying and can be sued.

  7. There’s probably no other realistic option in deflecting this issue, but I’m just astonished at the Tories trying to play Wright’s bailout as an act of honour and in defence of the taxpayer. If the Tories felt that reimbursing taxpayers was so important why didn’t the money come from the Conservative Party itself, any why not publicly? Why then derail the audit on Duffy’s expenses? It’s so obviously an insufficient and ridiculous explanation that I’m actually insulted that Tories like Opitz expect us to accept that nonsense. Secret cash deals from an official in the PMO to a sitting legislator is never honourable, it’s corruption. I’m glad there’s still lots of pressure here and really hope the Canadian people are watching closely.

    • It appears to me that their only hope for salvation is an early adjournment of the session, in hope that the story flushes from the news cycle and recedes from memory over the summer recess.

      If this happens, it will certainly wreck whatever legislative agenda they may have had.

  8. NIGEL WRIGHT = PM’s X-chief-of-STASH!
    How could Harper NOT know what his right-hand man did and WHY??
    Harper is the biggest hypocrite in Canada and Canadian voters will bring that message home to him in the next election. HOWEVER, IF Harper had ANY semblance of a CONSCIENCE or a HEART, he’d simply RESIGN NOW and CALL AN ELECTION IMMEDIATELY! before the layers of TRUTH and FAT are peeled away from the once SECRET HAVEN of the now COMPLETELY USELESS Canadian Senate.