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The auditing of Pamela Wallin

How much does the senator owe?


 

The official findings will be released tomorrow, but amid various leaks and whispers about the contents and ramifications of an audit of Pamela Wallin’s expenses, Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton has put out a statement to explain how the Harper government feels about all this.

“Our Government will not tolerate the waste or abuse of the hard earned tax dollars of Canadians. We expect that any inappropriate expenses will be repaid. Senator Wallin is no longer a member of the Caucus and must be held accountable for her actions.”

“These issues are coming to light because of actions we took to publicly release Senators’ expenses when we gained a majority in the Senate in 2010. We have subsequently taken steps to toughen rules governing Senate expenses.”

“Our Government will continue to advocate for meaningful reform of the Senate – including elections, term limits and tough spending oversight. Canadians understand that our Senate, as it stands today, must either change, or like the old Upper Houses of our provinces, vanish.”

“Vanish” is a fun word to apply to the possibility of abolition. One imagines this would involve David Copperfield. Or a giant chasm opening in the ground and swallowing the Senate chamber whole.

Ms. Wallin decided to “recuse” herself from the Conservative caucus in May. A source tells CTV that Ms. Wallin views the audit process as “fundamentally flawed and unfair,” but that she will repay the full amount plus interest.

Here, for reference, is the June interview Ms. Wallin gave to the CBC. She’ll apparently deliver a statement in about an hour.

Update 5:28pm. The statement from Ms. Wallin.

This morning I was given a copy of the Deloitte report, which will be tabled at the Senate Committee in a few minutes. It is my view that this report is the result of a fundamentally flawed and unfair process.

When appointed to the Senate in 2009, I was determined to be an activist Senator, one who saw it as her job to advance causes that are important to Canadians. When invited to appear publicly and speak on subjects including the role of women in public life, Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, and support for our troops, I saw it as my duty to accept whenever able to do so. Travel to these public speeches and appearances was, and is, in my continuing view, a legitimate Senate expense.

However, in the Deloitte report, a number of expenses going back to 2009 that were submitted – and approved – by Senate Finance over a four year period have now been disallowed.

Deloitte has wrongly, in my view and in the opinion of my lawyers, applied the 2012 changes made to the Senators’ Travel Policy retroactively. The result is that travel expenses, which were approved and paid by Senate Finance in 2009, 2010 and 2011 have, in a number of cases, been disallowed.

The basis for this latter decision is apparently some arbitrary and undefined sense of what constitutes “Senate business” or “common Senate practice” and – by their own admission –  no inquiries were made of other Senators as to their definition or views on the subject.

Finally, Deloitte has identified a number of items that they say are “subject to interpretation.” In other words, Deloitte was unable to conclude that these expenses should not be allowed. That determination will now be made by the Senate Committee.

I want to be absolutely clear. I never intended to seek, nor sought reimbursement for travel expenses in any situation where I did not believe such a claim was proper. Where I made mistakes, I have already paid money back.

There are media reports today that I changed my electronic calendar after the audit started. Let me be clear – at no time did I attempt to mislead Deloitte in any way. I was advised part way through the process that I should only include information relevant to the actual expenses being claimed. So we formatted our calendar accordingly and added as much additional information as we had regarding the claims, without irrelevant, private or personal information included. We knew that Deloitte had a copy of the original calendars available to them at all times.

It was not until very late in the process – in July – that we were asked about differences between the office calendars and so we told them what had happened and why – and followed up with a written explanation, which is attached to the Deloitte report as an appendix – and we immediately supplied them my personal, handwritten diaries for the entire period. As I said, no attempt was made to mislead Deloitte.  

While I have serious concerns about the fairness of this process, I do not want to further burden the people of Saskatchewan, the Canadian public, or my Senate colleagues any more with this matter. I want to return my focus to representing the people of my home province and advocating for the causes that are close to my heart.

Finally, let me state clearly that I will pay back the full amount ordered by the Committee, including interest, once the final figure is given to me, and I will do so from my own resources.

I need now to attend the Committee addressing the auditor’s report. Until the Committee completes its report, there is nothing more I am able to say.

Thank you.


 

The auditing of Pamela Wallin

  1. and please keep steves(harper)hands off the audit. thats 2wice steve(harper)(mr economist) lied.

  2. “Senator Wallin is no longer a member of the Caucus and must be held accountable for her actions.”

    Conservative Party, Conservative Party über alles,
    Über alles in der Welt,
    Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
    Brüderlich zusammenhält.
    Von der Gaspe bis an die Rockies,
    Von der Pt Pelee bis an den Eureka,
    Conservative Party, Conservative Party über alles,
    Über alles in der Welt!

  3. Vanish – maybe drag it to Montreal and wait for a sink hole. LeBreton still seems to be acting as House Leader – didn’t she resign? Just saw Wallin’s presser – I’m reminded how effective stress is for weight loss.

  4. Good job.

    One thing though…I missed your post covering Mac Harb’s expenses, which were almost double what Wallin’s are rumoured to be. Could you help me find it?

    • In a parallel universe, hard to find from here.

    • I don’t remember Trudeau standing by Harb by saying his expenses were totally in line with an Ontarian Senator. Or that he was showing leadership.

      • Try harder

        “An honest mistake or a misunderstanding of the rules.” That’s what Trudeau said Harb’s expenses were. Something no journalist has made him regret.

        • Zing! Busted. I think there’s a puddle where Jan was standing.

          • Settle down, Bean – do you need a tissue?

          • It kills me that you and your oh-so-progressive ilk constantly complain that the Evil Harper and his bunch never admit that they’re wrong about anything. Then you get clearly busted for being wrong, and all you do is deny and project.
            I guess that makes you just like Harper & Co. Interesting.

        • I’m going to need a source for that john – not that you’ve ever edited anything or quoting someone out of contest…

          • Umm…click the link?

          • Sorry I didn’t realize it was a link it looks like part of your moniker. I think you should keep it. I found the video by googling.

        • Hi john

          I suggest you watch the video that is attached to this story, where you will learn that Trudeau said that the Senate characterized Harb’s issues as an honest mistake (along with Brazeau), and that he was clear that if the RCMP investigation turned up more serious infractions there would be more serious consequences to Harb.

          Just an FYI, but sometimes the summary of what someone says is not accurate…

          • You don’t get it.

            As leader, Trudeau has absolutely no business trying to publicly write off his Senator’s expenses as an honest mistake, when it’s crystal clear from the later information that emerged that it was a calculated fraud. If Trudeau didn’t get to the bottom of the Harb mess himself behind closed doors before opening his mouth to defend him, he’s incompetent.

            I’m not going to defend Wallin, or Duffy, or Brazeau. I’ve seen more than enough to say that not a single damn one of them should still be in the Senate. But you’re going to see the media spend the rest of this week trying to make Harper wear the Wallin mess because Harper opened his mouth and defended Wallin’s expenses. Not one has tried to make Trudeau eat his words over defending Harb.

            But again…only Sun News does advocacy, right?

          • Oh I get it. Trudeau said it was the SENATE committee that characterized Harb’s actions as an honest mistake. He did not do that. He said that if that were the case and the money was paid back Harb could come back, but the consequences would be different if that were not the case.

            But go ahead and watch the video yourself.

          • But once the dust settles, Trudeau will welcome the Chretien appointee back with open arms. “Yes, absolutely,” Trudeau said in an interview on the Global News program The West Block with Tom Clark when asked about Harb’s future with the Liberals. “For me, there’s a real difference between what Mac Harb is going through and what Senators Duffy and Wallin seem to have on their plate.”

            ???

          • You are puzzled because you are not watching the video. I am not going to transcribe it for you. Go ahead and watch it and listen to his words yourself.

          • He said if Harb can clear himself – after the dust settles is more like paying off Duffy’s expense overcharges and letting him carry on in the Con caucus.

          • The point IS that Harper is an a** for the Duffy and Wallin bullsh*t then Trudeau is an idiot for sticking up for Harb!
            If you are going to say that it is not okay for the conservatives to say “well the liberals did it”, then it can’t be okay for Justin to do it because Steve did it. I thought we wanted someone better, smarter, more ethical. Isn’t that the case?

          • Except Trudeau did not stick up for Harb. He said if certain conditions were met Harb could return to caucus. Hardly comparable to Harper saying he personally reviewed Wallin’s expense claims and found them all above board. Not even close.

            in any event that was not even john’s original point.

          • What the heck? Your posts were showing up as coming from “root canal” before, and now you turn out to be Gayle? How many accounts are you responsible for here? Jesus, you’re not Emily too are you?

          • I have been posting as Gayle all along, and that is what shows on my computer.

          • I’ll take your word for it. I’m noticing the same thing on some others now so must be a Disqus thing. Never mind.

          • (deleted)

          • There is no similarity in writing style – what are you basing this accusation on?

          • So Trudeau should have known on June 9 – the date of the interview – what we now know about Harb? Meanwhile Harper gets a pass on’not knowing’ anything about the cheque until after CTV broke the story.

          • More to the point, if Trudeau is incompetent for “not getting to the bottom of the Harb mess himself…before opening his mouth to defend him”, what does that say about Harper, who apparently DID review Wallin’s claims before he defended her.

          • There is no doubt that Harper screwed up bad. No one is disputing that. Why dispute that Justin Trudeau didn’t do well with this. You yourself Gayle said that if Mac Harb is guilty he should go to jail. Has Justin said anything like that? If not, why not? Don’t we want someone better than what we have now or is the same old, same old okay and if it is, why defend it in one person and be disgusted in it, in another?

          • It does not speak well of either. But again…we’ve had weeks for the media to make an issue of Trudeau defending Harb. They have not. I doubt Harper will be afforded the same leniency.

          • Except he did not defend Harb.

          • Exactly but John can’t bring himself to see this.

          • And somehow one remark from Trudeau is equal to everything surrounding the Duffy affair.

          • Yes. He should have. Because he can ask Harb himself. And I have not given Harper a pass about the cheque.

          • Because cheating Senators – at least the four in question – have been nothing but honest from the get go. You are so far out on this limb you should worry about hurting yourself.

    • It might have to do with how long Harb was in the Senate and how long Wallin was there.

      • ?????

        • I can’t believe I have to explain this to you. FYI Harb was appointed to the Canadian Senate in September 2003. Wallin was appointed to the Canadian Senate in January 2009. Perhaps the six extra years Harb was in the senate has something to do with the larger amount? How much larger would Wallin’s amount be had she served as many years as Harb. Are you two trolling or are you really that mentally deficient? Sea Kelp!

          • In your world, 4 years of fraud is worse than 10 years of fraud. Great point.

          • Nobody has been convicted of fraud – yet.

          • Duffy and Wallin are well known Canadians – that’s why Harper put them in the Senate. When they screw up, of course they get more media attention. The public doesn’t know Harb or Brazeau. Harper used them for their celebrity – he wanted them in the window.

          • Brazeau has gotten plenty of attention from John Geddes.

          • Did you not read the articles about Mac Harb? It wasn’t really about the amount of money that he claimed. It was the fact that he made the claim of living in a residence that was condemned.
            The residence was virtually uninhabitable from the moment he first claimed that he was living in it and collected a housing allowance for residing there (which of course he never did). He is believed to be guilty of fraud. Therefore, Mr. Wherry’s failure to write a blog about the issue has nothing to do with Mr. Harb’s length of time as a senator or the amount of money he claimed. Mr. Harb’s crimes are just as egregious as any other senator who is guilty of malfeasance. As such, I was confused by your suggestion. I will leave it to you and others to debate my so-called “mental deficiency” but in the future, you might want to try being a little more circumspect and get some clarification from the person who is commenting before you start suggesting they are suffering from low intelligence.

          • You don’t get a housing allowance for living in a residence outside of Ottawa – you get one for having to house yourself in Ottawa while there on Senate business. So his crime here is falsely claiming the per diem. Recent news that he accepted money from a businessman is a lot more serious and the relationship and financial dealing with the ex ambassador is potentially problematic.

          • I understand the rules. You are getting paid because you have a primary residence in another place BUT you have to have been living in that primary residence. You cannot therefore, claim for a residence that you never lived in. Brazeau wrongly claimed for having lived in his father’s home, which he NEVER did. Harb wrongly claimed for living in a condemned home. He never did. Neither did Duffy live in his cottage. They all maintained a primary residence in Ottawa. They all lied.

      • Good point. How many years are you required to be in the Senate before expense fraud is acceptable?

        • Perhaps Nite Owl is arguing that if you spread (Liberal) expense fraud out over enough years, it falls below some de minimis threshold, under which said (Liberal) expense fraud is acceptable. Or something like that.

    • I missed it too BUT there was an article regarding Harb’s disgusting behavior on Maclean’s online and several liberal bloggers did call for his arrest. We should send a shout out to them. I was really hoping that Aaron Wherry didn’t cover it because he was done with the senate audits but I am sorry to see that is not the case.

      • I called for jail time – if he’s found guilty of the most recent stuff.

        • Good for you! None of these people should be let off the hook. This isn’t about what party you vote for. These people are paid to do a job by the taxpayers just like any civil servant. If they steal money, they need to be held accountable.

          • Nope, the Liberal Senator who is now in jail only faked $10,000 of expenses – seems like chump change to the pikers we have now but no amount of fraud should be tolerated.

    • Let me help.

      I am guessing if Trudeau had campaigned and did fundraising on the issue of senate reform, and then used the senators he appointed as part of the party fundraising and campaign team, and then had one of his closest advisers pay off one of the senators he appointed, I am guessing the media would find it interesting when one of the senators he appointed is alleged to have defrauded the senate of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

      • Oh Gayle, come on! The magazine covered it. The house Harb claimed to live in was condemned the whole time he was supposed to be living there. How is this different from Duffy, Brazeau, and Wallin, especially given that the four of them were a story together? To blatantly leave out one of the participants when a big break in the story comes out….please!

        • Harb got as much coverage as Brazeau.

          • Yes, just not from Aaron Wherry…shame.

          • And how much did he write about Brazeau?

          • He wrote about Brazeau going to court in Feb. Geddes has done Brazeau’s senate spending scandal coverage. The only coverage Macleans has done on Harb has been from the wire service. No columns have been dedicated to it.

          • So yesterday you were complaining that Wherry was picking on the conservatives, and now you have shifted that to Macleans? But your issue is not that Macleans is not covering Harb, but rather that no one did a column? You are kind of grasping at straws now.

            Anyway, my initial point remains valid. There is a difference between how Harper’s appointees are being covered because of the difference between what Harper said about the Senate, and what Harper has done about the Senate. Complaining about it being used as a cash cow to reward party lackeys, and then filling it with famous people who are very successful fundraisers for your party smacks of hypocrisy. So yes, it IS news when those appointees make it readily apparent they were in it for the perquisites.

          • Gayle, the point is that Aaron Wherry picks and chooses what to blog about depending on which party is involved. He will blog about Rob Ford’s obnoxious behavior but he won’t blog about the Liberal party of Ontario’s scandals even though they are the party in power. You can make your excuses as you have but they don’t wash. You said Wherry hasn’t covered Brazeau, that is because Geddes has. No one has covered Harb. This is about Senate scandals. Who cares who appointed the senator when we are talking about senators ripping off taxpayers and possibly being found guilty of fraud? Should so-called journalists nit pick over who appointed them? Most of the country is outraged by the whole scandal. Mac Harb isn’t getting a pass on this. Why can’t Aaron Wherry and his other friends at Macleans get that?

          • That is not a point. It is an opinion, an not one that is supported by the facts. Wherry covered Harb as much as he did Brazeau. Macleans covered Harb as much as they did Brazeau. You do not even dispute that. You just think someone should write a column.

            Anyway, the issue is as I have stated above, not your rewrite to ty to make it about all senators. This is about Harper’s broken promises, his feigned outrages at using Senate appointments to reward party faithful, and his poor judgment.

            Period. Full stop.

          • Gayle…sadly Harper is not the first to use senate appointments to reward party faithful. He is just one in a a long nasty list that has been part of this tradition of choosing people who have proven to be less than stellar picks. Just because Chretien made the choice of Mac Harb, that is not necessarily a reflection on Chretien but it is a reflection on Mac Harb and it is a reflection on the institution that it is so hard to get crooks (Wallin, Harb, Brazeau & Duffy) kicked out when they prove to be dirty.
            Of course it is “my” point because this entire online magazine after all is all about “opinions”. This article was about Pamela Wallin’s audit…she is a senator. You have decided the article is about Harper.
            Surely in saying we honor free speech, you do not want to suppress those of us who respectfully dare to voice our dissenting opinions, do you?
            “period. full stop”

          • Harper knowingly appointed a guy who had recently violated his profession’s ethical codeand a dead-beat dad, and it bears no reflection on Harper?
            Harper is responsible for the appointment of just over half of the current senate and three out of four of the senators in question, but it bears no reflection on Harper?

          • Well lenny then who answers for Lavigne and Harb?
            I am not a fan of Harper and he will get his in the next election but it won’t change the fact that the senate is a cesspool of corruption and it has been for years. Not every corrupt senator has been a conservative.

          • Obviously Chretien bears responsibility for appointing them.

            And let’s not forget, Harper had promised never to appoint senators when he made the choice to instead appoint at least two senators with clear ethical problems.

          • Okay but Chretien is retired and Harper will be gone and we will get another Prime Minister who will make appointments and they will turn out to be crooks and we will never get off this same merry-go-round unless we change the institution itself. The senate is set up in such a way that it makes it easy for people to take advantage of their positions. Prime Ministers come and go. The corruption in the senate has not changed.

          • Either it is relevant who appointed them or it is not. If it is not relevant then who cares if the coverage is on a Harper appointee and not on a Liberal appointee. If it is relevant, then you have to look at all the factors about who appointed them. When a PM promises to get rid of political appointments, and then appoints 2 people for openly partisan political purposes, it us big news when those appointees turn out to be accused of corruption. It is, in fact, much bigger news than another senator also being accused of corruption.

            you want to have your cake and eat it too.

          • Gayle, it is easy to be myopic and concentrate on Harper but he may very will be gone in the next election. Can we say the same thing about corrupt senators? Lavigne and Harb are left overs from Chretien. Chretien is retired so there is no use railing against him. Prime Ministers continue to retire or be ousted. The corruption in the senate has been ongoing for many, many decades through many, many Prime Ministers. Certainly, it is interesting that Harper SAID he wanted to clean up and didn’t do it. Wow, another Canadian politician breaking a promise….what a shock! You can tap dance all you want and set off fire works to bring down his demise but it remains that Harper isn’t the first and won’t be the last Prime Minister to use partisanship to appoint less than stellar people to the senate. The fact that you aren’t appalled at the normality of “another senator being accused of corruption” says it all. This story is BIGGER than Harper. Canadians are sick and tired of getting ripped off by their governments and their patronage appointees. We are ripe for action now and we can get rid of Harper in 2015. period. full stop.

          • So what does this have to do with Wherry not writing a column about Harb?

            I will answer for you: nothing. Nothing at all.

            How about you pick what outrages you and stick with it instead of moving the goalposts all the time. As I said, either it is relevant who appointed him or it is not. Since you now say it is not relevant, then there is no need to be outraged by your claim that Wherry is paying too much attention to conservative appointments and not to liberal ones.

          • So this is somehow different than the post we’re commenting on?
            I don’t know what Geddes columns you’re referring to, but did any of them concern the fact the Brazeau was arrested and charged with sexual assault?

            And you may not care who appointed the senators, but I’m pretty sure most people would find the fact that the person who appointed three of the four in question is the current PM and empowered with any further appointments for the foreseeable future.

          • Canadian Press. Thanks for commenting lenny.

          • What does a two word sentence consisting of “Canadian Press” mean?

          • I suppose you’re suggesting that Maclean’s picking it up from CP makes it different? But there’s no shortage of Harb on Maclean’s.

            And this?

          • I guess it has to be written by Wherry and ‘Harb” must appear in large type in the headline.

          • Except that – whoops! – she already told us that Wherry hasn’t written about Brazeau because someone else did.

          • No Jan, I apologize to Macleans and to all of you for missing Nick’s column. I can admit when I am wrong.

          • I apologize to Macleans. I was wrong. Thank you lenny for pointing out Nick Taylor-Versey’s column. I missed that one.

          • Why don’t you take this up with Macleans management and stop boring us with these constant attempts of yours to hijack threads away from the subject they’re written on.

          • I was just agreeing with John and Andrew. Why don’t you mind your own business or take Paul Wells advice as given to your friend Emily. Thankyou and goodbye.

          • Not true….John Geddes has given Brazeau a few columns. No Macleans writer has done a column on Harb.

      • True. The Harb situation is not Justin Trudeau’s fault. Trudeau is the leader of the 3rd party and hasn’t appointed any Senators. Harper on the other hand, has appointed many Senators, including the ones under scrutiny now, so it reflects on his judgment. And unless there’s something we don’t know about, Trudeau’s Chief of Staff did not secretly pay off a Senator in the middle of an audit. If Trudeau were to do those things, then it would be fair to criticize him.

        • The only thing missing in your avatar photo is the red and white pom poms with the big letter L on them. Jesus.

          • Also missing…her actual name. Makes you wonder how many accounts she’s operating here.

          • Hardly anyone uses their real name. And there seems to be numbers of multiple name changes – writing style us always the giveaway.

        • That might make a minuscule amount of sense if Trudeau had not said:


          But once the dust settles, Trudeau will welcome the Chretien
          appointee back with open arms. “Yes, absolutely,” Trudeau said in an interview on the Global News program The West Block with Tom Clark when asked about Harb’s future with the Liberals. “For me, there’s a real difference between what Mac Harb is going through and what Senators Duffy and Wallin seem to have on their plate.”

          Since he said that, your point is 100% wrong, instead of being only 99% wrong.

          • Except he did not say that. The report takes a long interview, paraphrases it into a few words and completely changes what he said. Watch the video. Trudeau is very clear that his support is conditional on this being an accounting error and not something more serious.

            So her point is actual 100% right. If you had read more of the posts here you would have known that.

  5. Wallins can sue Doilette for her loss of her very high reputation and then when she wins, she can go back to caucus.

  6. Wallin can sue Doilette for her loss of her very high financial intergrity for auditor incompentence. And then she can go back to caucus after she win her case.

  7. I have little interest in the expenses of Wallin or Duffy or Harb or any of the Liberal Senators 8 years ago when they had 75% of the Senate seats and few curious media checking up on them.

    But I have a question for Wherry or whoever is in charge of the accepting or rejecting of posts on this site. I seldom bother reading online Macleans anymore since it`s become little more than a Liberal blog, however last week I made a couple comments on a piece Wherry wrote about Kevin Page`s new job teaching at U of O.
    I don`t recall exactly what I wrote but I believe I may have suggested that Page should stick to landscaping rather than wasting education dollars with Alan Rock.

    So, a couple days later I check the post and both my comments have been deleted.
    Why ?
    No bad language on my part—- no misspelling, good grammar.
    On the same post a commenter referred to the PM as Heil Harper—it`s still there.
    GFMD called a lady an idiot—- that is still there.
    Hey, even Lieberal made the cut.
    Maybe somebody can tell me about the laws of censorship at Macleans.

    Maybe our national magazine has become a liberal blog and if feelings are hurt in certain corners then instructions are given.
    Maybe it`s time for all non Liberals to leave this site to those who enjoy slurping down their own bathwater.

    • do you want a Kleenex Andrew. I have crocodile tear size.

      • I have little time for those, like yourself, who are busy slurping down the bath water.
        I doubt if you can answer my questions.
        Your role is to continue slurping.

    • We always get this when they’re having a bad day. They make lousy poker players.

      • no Andrew,my answer to you is, if your not happy with the comment board here, go get your news and read comments at CBC(the new con fluffbox), the sun, national post or the globe& mail to get your daily fix of conservative propaganda. I don’t read them papers because they don’t write what I want to hear. so grow up. their have been lots of conservative comments on this news site, it just you didn’t criticize it because it was a conservative comment. and I don’t read conservative hacks like ezra (the idiot) levant, john(back door reporter for the cons) ivison, and john(front door reporter for the cons) ibbitsion.

    • I remember your comment and would also like to know why it was deleted.

      • Thanks
        If an answer is not provided, and I doubt if there will be one, then it will be easy to guess what`s going on.

        • What thread was that on – I’m not seeing it.

    • That is odd. Many (most?) of my comments here are critical of the hosts (this one in particular) but they are almost always allowed to stand.

      • Probably because of the fear and respect they have for the Animal.

        • My guess is that someone marked it as inappropriate. I had one deleted as well once and it most certainly was not inappropriate but someone obviously took offense.

          • You had a bunch of them deleted. Why would you say you only had one? And I saw a lot of them before they were deleted. You do get a little worked up. So does Andrew.

          • I deleted those myself.
            Just as John deleted one on this thread. When you delete yourself, you simply edit it and write, “deleted”. When the editors delete it they write “this comment has been deleted”.

      • Let’s face it, Colby Cosh get’s a whole lot more nasty comments than anyone else and none of those get deleted.

        • Nope. He did not allow a single comment from me defending Mayor Mandel. I was not rude or insulting – just critical of his position.

          • I am not sure that comments are deleted by the people who write the columns. Anyone can flag a comment as inappropriate. If a “monitor” agrees, the comment gets deleted.

          • He admitted it in the comments section, where he was posting and identifying himself as the moderator.

        • Sucking up to Cosh – again – such game playing.

          • If I was going to “suck up” to someone. I would suck up to Paul Wells. He really packs a punch.

  8. aaaa

    • “I want to be absolutely clear…”
      “Let me be clear-”
      “Finally, let me state clearly…”

      Yeah, right.

      • As you may have noticed, “clear” is a favourite word in Cons-speak, best exemplified by its repetitive summoning in the offerings of Harper his-own-self. They’ve elevated its use to Orwellian perfection.

        Translated into conventional usage, on their tongues it actually means “as opaque as I can get away with”.

        • Oh yeah!
          Newspeak translation for clear = “clear as mud”.

      • My fav – ”perfectly clear’ – this is the Triple A of clears – no errors or omissions when Harper is this clear.

  9. “What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.”
    Edward S. Herman (Beyond Hypocrisy)

    “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, ..”
    George Orwell (Politics and the English Language)

  10. What one fat cat, trough-sucking Senator or another of whatever party does is just not as important as what the Prime Minister’s Office told them to do, as in what to do about the expenses Duffy and Wallin were racking up while campaigning for the Conservative Party.
    The real scandal is that both were converting partisan campaign expenses into Senate expenses, as part of an overall pattern of deceit by the CPC to spend more than allowed under Canadian election laws.
    That’s obvious to anyone but Elections Canada which has been unable to catch up to the fraud in the 2008 election let alone 2011 and has yet to test its enforcement powers in a way that could be considered either effective or a deterrent to more of the same in a subsequent election.
    The RCMP is following suit presuming that one well-served warrant is unnecessary when a hundred polite requests will do. It isn’t just our political system that’s broken. Canadian laws are being flouted and the institutions responsible for enforcing them are becoming the problem.

  11. If Wallin is truthful about the new 2012 rules suddenly being retroactively applied to just herself, she has a good case that her reputation is being unfairly besmirched, and her pocketbook unfairly singled out for draining.

    If Wallin is truthful about the nature of the calendar edits to merely assist with the audit, then she has a good case that her reputation is being unfairly besmirched.

    Maybe this is fair and maybe it’s unfair, but I am having a hard time with the “truthful” stuff after the “if” above. Sorry, Senator. You have some more ‘splainin’ to do to get out of this one.

  12. http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/12/pamela-wallin-set-to-address-long-awaited-auditors-report/

    [“Wallin says the accounting firm Deloitte, which
    conducted the audit, used more recently established rules governing
    Senate travel and expenses to assess the validity of earlier claims.

    She also says she never knowingly tried to claim expenses that she didn’t believe were legitimate Senate business.”] excerpt from article.

    So, Wallin admits there is money improperly received, but
    she disputes the amount that Deloitte has calculated. Further, she has
    pledged to repay the amount once a correct figure has been determined.
    This has been her position all along.

    She thinks the Senate is a soapbox for issues and causes
    that interest her. This has caused her to travel just about anywhere to
    make a speech. Somebody needs to take her aside and straighten her out.

    She is an appointed member of the Senate, not an elected
    member of Parliament. She shouldn’t be travelling anywhere to give a
    speech in support of government policy or legislation; there are elected
    government ministers available to do that function.

    Her perception of her role in the Senate is wrong. Her role
    is the examination and review of legislation proposed by Parliament.
    It’s a desk job. Lots of committee meetings. That’s it. Senators, as
    appointed public servants in an independent body, are administrators
    whose task is the review of legislation in the interest of the country,
    not any political party, or any special interest group.

    But it isn’t surprising. Harper appointed rookies that he
    ought to have known would be largely hopeless. His appointees had no
    government experience. He is responsible for this mess as much as
    individual senators.

    The PM has the power to appoint senators. That is a good
    thing, but common sense would suggest that he shouldn’t need to be told
    to choose individuals who understand government and possess some
    experience in it.

  13. The header sounds like a great title for a Canadian opera: The Auditing of Pamela Wallin

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