The line from Harper’s office on Wright and Duffy

John Geddes on the Tories’ efforts at damage control


Andrew MacDougall, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications, spoke with reporters today in the National Press Theatre, just off Parliament Hill, about the unusual decision of Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to cut Sen. Mike Duffy a cheque for about $90,000.

As most Canadians know by now, Duffy resigned yesterday from the Conservative caucus, which puts some distance between the controversy-plagued senator and the government. But Wright’s decision to dip into his personal wealth to give Duffy the money he needed to repay improperly claimed Senate expenses has brought the issue to the very heart of Harper’s own political operation.

MacDougall’s responses today offer three key indications about how the Tories hope to contain the damage from this controversy. Here are the main points that emerged from his exchange with reporters:

1. On Wright’s motivation, MacDougall’s message is that Harper’s top aide was concerned, not about the potential for Duffy’s troubles to damage the Conservatives, but about the Canadian taxpayer.

MacDougall contrasted the fact that Wright’s gift allowed Duffy to pay back dubious expenses against the way two other embattled, newly independent senators, Mac Harb (formerly Liberal) and Patrick Brazeau (formerly Tory) are resisting repaying expense money a Senate audit found they owe.

“If you’re looking at the scorecard, there’s one for three senators that returned money to the taxpayers of Canada that was improperly claimed,” MacDougall said, adding later that “the overarching imperative was to get that money returned, as it now has been returned.”

2. On the propriety of Wright’s action, MacDougall stressed repeatedly that the matter is now being looked into by federal Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson. Exactly what part of the Conflict of Interest Act Wright might possibly have violated is far from clear.

There is a section in the law that forbids a public office holder like Wright from using “information that is obtained in his or her position as a public office holder and that is not available to the public to further or seek to further the public office holder’s private interests or those of the public office holder’s relatives or friends.”

But MacDougall said Wright was motivated by concern about taxpayers, not his private interests or those of his friends. “Obviously, there’s some outstanding questions and our office is in contact with the office of the ethics commissioner for one angle,” MacDougall said. He declined, though, to give any details about that angle, or anything about the nature of the Prime Minister’s Office’s engagement with the ethics watchdog.

3. On next steps, MacDougall appeared to suggest the focus should not remain fixed on Wright’s unconventional act of generosity, but shift to the broader question of Senate reform.

Harper’s policy has been that provincial elections should select the senators, although prime ministers would still formally appoint them; these new, democratically chosen senators should serve for fixed, nine-year terms. Along with those big changes, recent expenses scandals have prompted the drafting of proposed reforms to the way Senate expenses are handled.

“There are a number of things that the government would hope to see changed in the Senate,” MacDougall said. “Obviously, we have longstanding attempts to legislate changes to the Senate. But we also do, through this expense matter, have a solid series of proposals that the Senate put forward on how to improve reporting and tighten reporting on these expenses, and nothing has been moved forward there yet.”

So MacDougall offers three elements here. They fit together. Wright’s action might have been unusual, but it was well motivated. Questions about what he did must be left for the ethics commissioner to answer. And, anyway, the larger point has to be to reform the Senate, not fixate on this odd episode.

In other words, Wright might have acted surprisingly, but not for nefarious reasons. Questions from the opposition parties and media can’t be answered while the ethics commissioner does her job. As for cleaning house, it’s the upper chamber, not Tory inner circles, that demand attention. If this works, it will be a bravura exhibition of damage control.


The line from Harper’s office on Wright and Duffy

  1. They really do play Canadians for fools. Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, and those who fall for these ridiculous responses to the allegations are the fools who will keep voting for them. Hopefully some conservative supporters can see the forest AND the trees.

  2. I won’t go back through old links, but I believe I have stated in the past that teh CPC has enough hubris to use their own horrible senators as examples of why the senate should be reformed.

    • i believe the operative word is ‘eliminated’ not reformed, as we in the NDP have said for years! One retirement package per individual is enough no matter how much support someone may have supplied to any politician!

  3. David Hume – Of the Independence of Parliament:

    It is, therefore, a just political maxim, that every man must be supposed a knave: Though at the same time, it appears somewhat strange, that a maxim should be true in politics, which is false in fact. But to satisfy us on this head, we may consider, that men are generally more honest in their private than in their public capacity, and will go greater lengths to serve a party, than when their own private interest is alone concerned.

    Honour is a great check upon mankind: But where a considerable body of men act together, this check is, in a great measure, removed; since a man is sure to be approved of by his own party, for what promotes the common interest; and he soon learns to despise the clamours of adversaries.

  4. Does anyone have Nigel Wright’s e-mail address?

    I am sure many people have many suggestions for reducing the exposure of the Canadian taxpayer that would not require any special efforts like going through parliament, or necessitate him dipping into his personal fortune.

    My suggestion: EAP ads could be eliminated just like that.

    Are you listening MacDougall and Wright?

    • They only listen to harper. They are merely delivering talking points, and just wait a second or two: some idiotic supporter will come along and post exactly what MacDougall said. And they only care about taxpayers when they caught using our money to forward their own agenda. Sickening.

  5. Let’s take point 1 at face value. If Wright’s concern was purely for the taxpayer, and had nothing to do with the politics, can someone explain why Wright did not also repay the funds on behalf of Harb and Brazeau? Would that not also protect the taxpayer?

    • And if he deemed it too expensive, why not 1/3 of each senator’s bill?

    • Those 2 Senators are lawyered up and refuse to repay the expenses. So your comment is pointless

      • Exactly. Duffy says he wanted to pay and he obviously could have borrowed against his unmortgaged property. Whereas the other Senators are refusing. Seems like if you wanted to “protect the taxpayer” you’d pay the cover the others’ debt first and give Duffy a chance to come up with the money himself.

        • Duffy only indicated that he and his wife had discussed and decided to pay it back two days after he cut his deal with Wright. At no time did he make an offer to pay it back when it was his own money involved. Wright would cut the same deal with the other senators if his only concern was for the taxpayers. It wasn’t.

      • They just lawyered up recently, though. I think if Mr. Wright had approached them with the same offer he made Mr. Duffy, they would probably have accepted. And if Mr. Wright had actually offered that to a Liberal senator, then I’d believe he was doing it out of concern for the taxpayer.

      • No one was lawyered up in March when the cheque was written.

    • Duffy has been more valuable to the party, debts must always be repaid in politics…there’s always another Duffy out there, can’t discourage them. And he probably knows where more bodies are buried than PB. Can’t see them helping out a liberal senator myself. Most likely Duffy is the more dangerous loose cannon.

  6. The problem with spin in this case is that we have been given 10 different versions already and we will likely get more versions in the next few days as reporters dig up more factual evidence or someone actually takes responsibility. The past pronouncements of the Harper government on accountability clash directly with the shovels of dirt that are surrounding this affair. The people involved are all obfuscating and its obvious to everyone that this is as wrong as “suitcases stuffed with cash”.

    BTW, the next job advert for Chief of Staff for the PM should be explicit about the need for very deep pockets. Billionaires preferred. And would Nigel Wright please take the call from Mr Ford as he has need for some quick cash to, er, invest in a short movie.

    • Sorry when you the words that ” as reporters dig up more factual” I react with some skepetism as have witnessed the garbage that some have written. I for one will wait for the “truth” what ever it is.

      • The truth being what — whatever Harper tells you?

  7. “Wright might have acted surprisingly, but not for nefarious reasons” ??! The point is that his act of “personal” generosity had only one political objective – to resolve a damaging issue for the Government. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff used is private wealth for political gain. His Government then used that secret act for further political gain by claiming Duffy’s actions were “honourable”. Canadians are not idiots.

    • What makes you an authority on the motivations of Nigel Wright?

      • It’s easier to follow the line of logic – politically motivated cover up, since it was all supposed to remain secret, than the fairy tales you keep spreading.

      • Sharon Wilson, are you living in a cave? It is ILLEGAL for anyone to give HUGE amounts of money to sitting politicians, ESPECIALLY Senators. Who the hell cares what Wright’s wimpy motivations were?! HE BROKE THE LAW! Now PLEASE take that bag off your head and SEE REALITY! People like WRIGHT and you too SHARON should never, ever get involved in politics BECAUSE YOUR MOTIVATIONS are downright dangerous!

    • Totally agree. This concern for taxpayers is so implausible. Where is the concern for taxpayers when Harper and his gang spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advertize themselves under the useless (for the taxpayers) Economic Action Plan ads? Where was the concern for taxpayers when Clement spent close to $100M in his riding for gazebos, etc.? Where was the concern for taxpayers when this government redesigned all federal websites to remove any red and turn everything blue with conservative ministers’ pictures, etc.? And now they are concerned about $90K? What a joke! The $90K was trying to make a political problem go away and turn the heat on the others. And now it is blowing up in their face and it is so well deserved. “Bien pris qui croyait prendre” as they say in French.

      • Several sources have reported that the Senate would have no problem getting the money back from Duffy, so “saving taxpayers” is a feeble excuse.
        One reporter said Senator LeBreton claimed they could garnishee his wages. Of course they could use the courts.
        So it was saving Duffy, and saving Harper; the taxpayers had nothing to do with it. Not even on the radar. What a pathetic performance. Does anybody think Harper will try this line in the Commons?

        • Paying early allowed Duffy to remain silent (on the advice of PMO) and to refuse to cooperate with the audit. I suspect the audit would have uncovered many instances of illegal expense claims which the conservatives had all interest in hiding.

        • According to the law they can only garnishee 30% of the wages so it would take them a bit of time to get the $90K.

          • So it would tale 3 years to get Duffy’s falsely claimed expenses back – what’s wrong with that?

          • Just relaying a fact. Didn’t say there was anything wrong with it.

        • Duffy knows or did something for the PM and fears it will be leaked. Just my opinion.

    • Some Canadians are: read Sharon Wilson’s posts.

  8. So how did our Ottawa media acquit themselves in this press conference? I missed it.

  9. Maybe the confusion is a media ploy.
    CTV makes public only a misleading fragment of an email from Duffy, won’t release the entire email;
    and few in media report that Nigel’s cheque was written ‘in trust’ to Duffy’s lawyer, not to Duffy. etc
    Opps wanted RCMP and Ethics Commish involved, they are, and further comment from the PMO or PM would be ill advised, until the authorities have their say.
    Canadians are not stupid, they are however easily bored when the media plays games with the facts.

    • Maybe Wright is Duffsters fairy god mother? When in doubt, blame the media…that wont wash this time.

    • And exactly what is your job description? I’m starting to think your cheque is issued by the PMO…

      • Oh Keith….really! To hear you go on we might think you are Justin Trudeau’s valet from Newfoundland. Come on, people have a right to express an opposing view without getting accused of being Nigel Wright in disguise.

        • She appears out of nowhere, parroting the party line pretty much verbatim. If she were a regular I might be a little less suspicious, but this smells like spin-doctoring to me.

          • Well Keith, I am not sure but I think we do want to welcome new blood and you know what even if she wants to give these people the benefit of the doubt, what is the big deal? These online boards are all about debate aren’t they. How much “debate” will happen if everyone is completely skewed to one side? I never thought I’d say it but I kind of miss Emily.

          • I too have been looking for Emily so that I might be able to agree with her for once. Please, let us all examine the record for more nefarious conduct from our senators so that the whole noxious nest of cronies, failures, crooks, and party hacks, can be abolished. Why do we allow this shameful institution to continue?

    • Or maybe it’s aliens? Or Bigfoot? Both?

    • No we are not stupid when the PM plays with the facts.

  10. 3 points: deflect, deflect, deflect. But it’s not working. From what Brazeau has released, it is not even clear they have a case for him owing money. Meanwhile, Duffy appears to have charged for a Florida vacation and CPC campaigning and who honestly believes that Duffy’s primary residence is in PEI. And what is going on with Wallin?

    This whole thing seems to have Harper’s hand all over it, from the favorites picked to the secret PMO deals to the attempted deflections.

    • Harper had his hand in how Duffy reported his expenses to the Senate committee, and to where Brazeau spends his week-ends, seriously?
      I’m pretty certain that the Prime Minister has a lot of more important issues to deal with, those which are in his job description as Prime Minister.
      Harper is an amazing manager, agreed, but he is not a superhuman who sees and knows everything that goes on in the lives of the over 3800+ conservatives who have been elected and appointed.

      • Harper not superman…got ya. Best excuse yet.

      • You are right Sharon.
        That’s why he has a Cheif of Staff.

      • Sharon you are either on drugs or have no clue. Amazing manager who can’t account for 3.1B, Wake up he works for the big oil companies he is a crook. You must be in the 10% of Canadians that have been brainwashed Harper is a dictator go do some reading and tune yourself in. Good manager lol. He is know Superhuman he is a Superdick though.

        • Yeah Sharon lives in a parallel universe, where politicians can be trusted, where UNELECTED senators do NO wrong, and where people like Sharon are totally happy in their TOTAL IGNORANCE. Ok maybe Sharon IS on drugs after all! :)

      • Sorry Sharon but this comment is not going to cut it with this crowd. Better go post on the Sun Newspapers. By the way how much does the PMO pay for defending the administration?

      • The Pandas are here, the Pandas are here!

        “and they really are cute & cuddly” – Stephen Harper

      • Ok, ok Sharon but shouldn’t HARPER AT LEAST know what his CHIEF-OF-$TA$H is up to?? After, all they’re in such constant contact from the time they get up to the time they go to bed, that even their wives are jealous! Sharon, again, PLEASE come out of your very dark Harper Shrine and look at reality! Basically you’re saying that the Prime Minister is way TOO BUSY to actually DO the job he’s been elected to do: that is, ACTUALLY KNOW EVERYTHING that ANYONE in his party is up to!! What the hell else does HARPER have to do BUT MANAGE his 3800+ conservative underlings!

  11. I believe Wright. He did this all out of concern for the taxpayer. That taxpayer’s name happens to be Stephen Harper.

    • Public servants are taxpayers like bank robbers are taxpayers.

      • Excuse me? As a nurse, I am a public servant and a taxpayer. Unlike people in business, I don’t get to write off any expenses like equipment even though I buy my own stethoscope, etc. I often work through breaks and after hours for no pay. I short shift for straight time because I am realize my province is short of funds and I have colleagues getting laid off. Please do not compare me to a bank robber. Thank you very much.

    • There is NO WAY IN HELL that Harper does NOT know why his CHIEF-OF-$TA$H gave Duffy the 90K. MORE IMPORTANTLY, Harper absolutely KNOWS that the 90K is a well camouflaged PAY-OFF that came directly from the PC Party’s coffers, laundered through several bank accounts, before it magically appeared in WRIGHT’s own bank account who then apparently stole from his own richness to help the poor and needy in the form Duffy! Why else was there a need for WRIGHT and DUFFY to both have their lawyers present when Mother Theresa came to visit the poorest of the poor to make a donation to a FORMER PEI resident! The PC’s
      believe Canadians are just plain stupid! SURPRISE, SURPRISE, Harper!

  12. Remember, MacDougall isn’t talking to the country. He’s talking to the CPC base. The spin from Poilivre & Tim Powers has been “saving taxpayers” to appease the low tax supporters. MacDougall hit that button twice.

    Some supporters may actually at least have a gut feeling there’s something wrong and not swallow this. Judging from what I see on twitter & FB, however, I’m not confident.

  13. Perhaps you’d be good enough to publish a picture of Mr. MacDougall

    so that I could be prepared to cross the street and hold onto my wallet

    if I see him coming ?

    Seems to have about as much self-respect as Pierre Poilievre.

    • Pierre Poilievre is the worst lying weasel in the history of Canadian politics. Can you imagine being his wife? How could you trust ANYTHING he says, since EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth has so much SPIN, Poilievre himself has trouble remembering that he’s actually lying through his teeth!

  14. Why should we be grateful that private money was used to cover-up the abuse of public funds? This is what passes for principle in Ottawa these days? “We fund the corruption with our own money?”

  15. “In other words, Wright might have acted surprisingly, but not for nefarious reasons.”

    Sorry JG, but the fact that none of this was supposed to come out rather undercuts that possibility. Wright could have just as easily been the good guy out in the full public view.
    Fact is every move has been designed to keep Duffy away from the auditors or senatorial scrutiny…and now it seems the opposition. If it walks like a duck…
    I like their final excuse though…the senate made us do it! Let’s focus on implementing our proposed fix.
    At the very least, Wright is guilty of extraordinary misjudgement. And Duffy, an appalling lack of ethics for taking the “gift.”

  16. “If this works, it will be a bravura exhibition of damage control.”
    If this works, we deserve the clear contempt that Harper is showing because he really does think we are that dumb. We’ll see if he’s right….

  17. Just so happens Gerry Schwartz, the pro-Israel Billionaire, owns Harper lock, stock and barrel. Just so happens Gerry is Nigel Wright’s corporate boss. I’m beginning to suspect Nigel is the boss of Harper, installed by Gerry. I wonder if Gerry gave Nigel the $90K to give to Duffy?

    snip snip: At the time he got the call to head to Ottawa a
    second time, in 2010, Nigel Wright was a star with Onex Corp., the multibillion-dollar
    private equity fund founded by Winnipeg’s Gerald Schwartz.


  18. Why didn’t Mr. Wright give the money to Brazeau and Harb – I bet they would pay it back if someone else was paying the bill

  19. So, assuming this line of reasoning, why doesn’t Wright take credit immediately for his good deed “to the taxpayers of Canada”? Why hide this detail until caught? Why let Duffy take credit?

    Sorry, but this explanation sounds like spin or damage control to excuse something inexcusable.

    • Has anyone ever worked out whether or not a ‘gift’ of 90K is taxable? I believe it is – and so I’ll be curious to see if Mr. Duffy claims the ‘gift’ as income next year and pays his taxes on it – or will he claim it as a windfall. I used to teach students that their civic duty was to vote for our government – I wouldn’t do that anymore – unless I actually saw ethics on the platform.

      • A gift is not taxable but the living expenses that Mike claimed over three years are since they are no longer legitimate expenses and therefore should be deemed personal income. He should have filed adjustment to his 2009-12 tax years. If he does?? he would need to pay about 47% of the $91K money back to tax payers.-highest Ontario rate or maybe its the PEI potato island rate that I should reference?

      • Taxable? A good point, however, at the very least, acceptance of the “gift” is unethical and may well be illegal. If I knowingly defrauded the government, the repayment of stolen money without finacial penalties, or more likely criminal charges, would not be an option.

  20. “But MacDougall said Wright was motivated by concern about taxpayers, not his private interests or those of his friends.”

    Why not work in helping the CRA collect the uncollected $29 Billion or pay some of it?

    This spin will render anyone dizzy but will not end this controversy. This is one lie piled on top of the other.

  21. This is NOT about Senate reform. This is about unethical and perhaps illegal activiites within the Conservative Party, starting at the top with the PM, the PMO and on downward to Mike Duffy

    • Not about senate reform? How about senate abolition?

      • Harper would be only to happy to abolish the Senate, but that is just another obviouis delflection in this case. I will repeat, Canadians need to be looking at the Conservative party, the PM and the PMO rather than being side tracked by the Senate at this point.

        • What on earth is wrong with your thought process? The abolition of the senate would be much bigger than a “deflection in this case”. It would be a more profound change in our country than any election and is something that should be done as soon as possible. I guess you must really enjoy shovelling money into the trough for our unelected, unaccountable, unapologetic senators. I don’t care which party appointed them; the senate is an extravagant, expensive, and useless appendage filled with party hacks, has beens, and failures. Good riddance.

          • As today’s resignation by Nigel Wright shows….the current issue is the Harper government, the PM and the PMO.

            The Senate issue is a deflection at this time. Canadians are far more worried about the government of Canada at this time than the Senate, although some Harper supporters would have us think otherwise.

          • I am not an apologist for any political party. I completely agree that the unethical, and perhaps illegal, behavior of our current government is currently a huge problem and we must deal with it. If it leads to further resignations or even the fall of the government so be it.

            The even larger problem though is that all (both) of the parties that have ruled Canada for the last hundred years are guilty of the same transgressions. Senate abolition transcends party lines and rids us of a bedevilment that will arise over and over again. Senate abolition is not about politics; it goes to the heart of governance of our country.

          • Although there have been transgressions over the years, none as agregious as the current Harper Conservatives under Harper.
            Abolishing the Senate rather than reforming it means that a ruthless controller like Harper could dictate to the country with no oversight/wecond thought. We need the Senate and we need all levels of government to be TRULY transparent and accountable, NOT ‘Harper transparent and accountable’.
            There is a profound need to establish rules to have a separation of the branches of government. Harper has allowed the divide between the two to collapse and hence many of our problems today with his governance.

          • I hold the current government wholly responsible for their actions. However I have not forgotten the reasons why the formerly all powerful Liberal Party of Canada were turfed from office and the party eviscerated by a fed up electorate. If Canadians are dissatisfied enough with the current state of affairs the same will happen to the CPC. You want so badly to have this solely a political issue when heart of the problem cuts across party lines. A new gang of thieves in office will solve nothing.

            The senate hold parliament responsible?? A house of sober second thought? The upper house has never held the government of the day responsible for any action. These unelected and undeserving pompous people with their high salaries, fabulous travel and housing allowances, and fully indexed lifetime pensions need to be off the government teat and live like any normal Canadian. The senate has only created and exacerbated further scandal and remain a total waste of time, space, and money.

            This will be my final entry concerning this and you may, if you choose, have the last word. I respect you for civilly putting forth and you case and presenting valid arguments. We just disagree with each other.

  22. If Mr Wright was concerned about Tax payers money why did he only write a cheque for Duffy ??? The other Senators also cheated the system !! and are refusing to re-pay us,
    the taxpayer.

  23. Keep digging…. this is only the TIP OF THE ICEBERG

  24. Maybe I’m overthinking this (I have that habit) but, it seems to me that the abuse of the Senate by Harper and his henchpeople feeds the anti-Senate folks just what they want. There is a reason we have a Senate and I’d hate to see a one-House Government. Just think where that could take us considering how bad things are at present. We do need a better system of selection, a tighter control on activities, and a clearer understanding on the role we want the Senate to play.

    Just as Harper and Co abused the election rules without, apparently, much rebound, that lead to voter suspicion about the value of voting – a goal for a certain political view – this Senate business will further alienate those who have little faith in democracy. The fact that Duffy was actively campaigning during the last election – just another `gaffe’ so sorry? – again raises the question about the validity of the final results. If you don’t play by the rules, how can you benefit? Did those ridings who were charged $168 plus change each for his assistance overspend? Did the Party as a (w)hole overspend – again?

    This latest(!) middle finger salute to us raises more questions all round. Don’t hold your breath for answers. It will be fatal.

    The other

  25. Nobody believes that Wright did anything out of the goodness of the Canadian Taxpayers

  26. What about the apparent scandal and corruption that Duffy was given inside information about the ongoing audit from the chair of the responsible committee before the audit was completed, while the other two senators were left out to hang? Hence Duffy could take some sort of action to try to evade the consequences of his actions that were denied others. Duffy’s ability to have an opportunity to repay the unwarranted expense income seems to have resulted from a likely unethical action by the committee chair.

  27. Sorry, but I just don’t get how Mr. Wright’s action can be construed as something merely odd. An officer of the majority leader of the Commons gave a large sum of money to a member of the Senate, a legislative body that is supposed to act as a check on the Commons. Regardless of Wright’s motivations or whether it was a gift or a loan or a guarantee against a bank loan, what he did was a subversion of democracy, and in my view should be investigated as such by the police.

    • Hopefully the RCMP will have the cojones to that job.

  28. This is definitely an illegitimate government, this rancid harper disaster.

  29. Yes ,Squealer , there is a Santa Claus and “Some Animals are more equal than others “.

  30. The fundamental issue is not the senate. It is easy to become limited in perception to the inappropriate behaviour of some senators, which fundamentally is a living commentary on the use/abuse of power by people who are insufficiently mature to separate personal actions/needs from responsibility as actual servants to the public via their appointed office. The essential issue is the manner in which the “government” aka political opportunists appoint cronies for self-serving purposes. If the person doing the appointing is immature and power bound in a negative sense, which seems to be the dominant current climate, then the appointees too easily are prey to this same mentality. This is an issue of government activity above and beyond the actual behaviours and attitudes of appointees.

    • Don’t tell me what is the “fundamental issue”. The issue is the unelected and unaccountable senate. Sober second thought is a pernicious farce usually played out behind the scene. At the age sixty-five, in my lifetime, I cannot recall what the senate has ever done to enhance good governance in Canada.

      • You want an elected Senate please look no further than south of the border. You want that mess? The fact that we have the mess we have because Harper has not done what he promised. His only concern is to make the CPC the governing party of Canada for this century. You want change talk to your CPC MP if you have one otherwise wait for 2 years and maybe they have made even more mistakes.

        • Is your reading comprehension really that bad? Where did I say anything about an elected senate? I would prefer that it be abolished. Cut it out like the cancer that it is. If you’re happy with the senate as it now stands, just say so! Please read my post before replying………..to things I never said.

        • Is your reading comprehension really that bad? Where did I say anything about an elected senate? I would prefer that it be abolished. Cut it out like the cancer that it is. If you’re happy with the senate as it now stands, just say so! Please read my post before replying………..to things I never said.

  31. Excuse me, but how exactly did Nigel Wright “HELP the taxpayer”? Seriously! How did taxpayers benefit from Mr. Wright repaying money that DUFFY owed and that he would be required to pay back after the audit, just like the other senators? Why does Andrew MacDougall say that the money had to be paid back so quickly? So then, no taxpayers are harmed if Duffy, quick as a bunny, pays back the money he owes the taxpayers and then announces that he does not now have to cooperate with the audit and that he has been ordered by PMO to remain silent ? Somehow, the quick payback abruptly halts the audit on Duffys’ senate expense ending the public scrutiny of Duffys’ accounts. As it turns out, those accounts contain more trouble for the CPC! ie Duffy using senate expense acct for days spent working on the CPC election campaign. Pretty damn clear, that Mr. Wright bailed Duffy out quick in an attempt by the top of the PMO to stop the taxpayers from having further proof that the CPC, the PMO and PM Harper have not been focused on “helping the taxpayers”. Sorry guys, they must go! This is not any Canadians’ idea of what we would ever tolerate in a govt., especially one that was elected on a platform of economic stability, accountability, transparency. Remember Honesty?

    • They have two more years until they call the next election. They have nothing to worry. If you are in a CPC riding I suggest you let your MP how you feel otherwise just put this down as another example of CPC arrogance and remind your conservative friends about this 2 years from now.

  32. ” On Wright’s motivation, MacDougall’s message is that Harper’s top aide was concerned, not about the potential for Duffy’s troubles to damage the Conservatives, but about the Canadian taxpayer.”
    If Mr. Wright was concerned about the Canadian taxpayer then why did he not make a donation to the Crown for 90K or even more. This angle does not fly… it smells very fishy to me!!!!

  33. Is there nothing that can’t be spun??

  34. Still more of the usual practiced flim-flam skating round the issue in the hope that B-S
    Baffles Brains – not this time, sunshine: all 4 plus Wright done wrong – let’s hope that the RCMP don’t join the defaulters’ club by failing to take action – hmmmmmm!

    • Wright was told to fix the problem. He was not told how to do it. If his only option was to do it this way then he was a fool and should be let go.

  35. Stephen Harper is a “control freak” and it’s inconceivable that he was not informed! If Mr Wright acted independently he would have been fired in a minute! Nothing negative seems to stick to the PM yet he controls everything!

  36. So, given this model, will someone who got caught stealing just have to repay for the item stolen? What say you, real powers behind PM Harper?

  37. It really doesn’t matter – Liberal or Conservative Senators, a waste of taxpayer’s money. Either we elect them or they are disbanded. The conservatives have a majority pass the long promised changes to the Senate. If you are corrupt then you are out, no severance. I voted for the last two Senators that have been appointed, I sent them both a reminder not to embarrass us like the four now under review. The current Senators test to be appointed is to complete the housing allowance benefit form. If you can do it properly you get appointed. If what goes on in the Senate occurred where I worked you would be fired!

    • You would not only be fired, you would be criminally charged.

    • lololol. Really? I thought these guys were in the Senate until 75? I know that in Alberta you vote for them but I don’t think you can kick them out.

  38. Time to abolish the senate!!!

    • Time to abolish Harper and his moneygrubbing cronies.

  39. Mike Duffy has been like a pig at the food trough in his greed for money since he was gifted with a senate seat.He has brazenly misappropriated taxpayers money so he could live a life that provided more luxurythan the “patry senate wages he was being paid.This is exactly the same type of behaiour and actitity that he would’ve been ecstatic to get the scoop on and express his righteous indignation and outrage over in his previous profession.His resignation from the Conservative caucus was just a ploy that he quite wrongly thought would satisfy Canadians and make them forget the whole thing and stil hel is tenaciously holding on to his senate seat.He should do the only “honorable” thing that he can and resign from the senate-that’s if he still knows what “honorable” means.If his resignation isn’t forthcoming within the next few days then Harper should kick him out. That is highly unlikely because it’s apparent that Harper considers deceit and mendacity to be favourable qualities for his underlings to have,since he has obviously-except for very very few- been reluctant to remove very many of his party members who have done illegal,immoral or unethical things.Is there no end to the corruption that is rampant in the Conservative Party?I’m willing to bet that even the most commited and staunch Harper supporters are starting to seriously doubt the integrity that they thought he and his party members had and are feeling very cheated and deceived.

  40. What I get from this is that the PMO wanted Duffy separated from the other two “misbehaving” Senators, Harb and Brazeau. They don’t care about either of those two, and they wanted Duffy to “look better” by paying back the money – so as not to reflect badly upon His Lordship, Harper. Oh excuse me – His Majesty.

    Wallin they didn’t care about at the time, because she was sidling along under the baseboard in the corners of the room, hoping nobody would notice her ****$320,000.00*** in misappropriated expense claims, and you know – her apartment in New York and all. The Ethics Commissioner, along with Elections Canada, and all the Canadian Civil Servants had better do as Kevin Paige asked them to do – and start being honest, or when the shit hits the fan we’ll all come after them as well as the Tories.

  41. Stephen Harper is found guilty of Contempt of Parliament and then he stood on the stairs of the House of Commons and doesn’t apologise. What he says is “Canadians have no interest in how bills are passed”. What does that have to do with Contempt? So, we give him a majority as a reward for having contempt for our governing body who determines our laws and how we are presented to the world. He has since, certainly, proven he does have contempt. Then we have his senators giving us a demonstration of the term “pigs at the trough.” And why shouldn’t they double dip or refuse to have a sense of ethics while “serving ” the taxpaper? The boss has contempt for the whole process! Crooks being led by a crook who put them in an office for a life time job of little consequence but paid big bucks by the beleaguered tax payer. And we are supposed to call them “Honorable” adding insult to injury. “Power corrrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” 2015 is a long way away. Actually the government could have paid for Duffy’s bill by using the money they pay for one “Action Plan” ad. Wallin’s bill might require more.

  42. Well, looks like MacDougall correctly communicated Harper’s intent to steer the conversation away from Duffy, Whelan and Wright. This morning he blamed the Liberals and the NDPs for the mess by saying if they had cooperated with Harper the Senate would have been reformed by now. He told the caucus members that anyone planning to cheat could leave the caucus (i.e. the C party) as the noble people like Mike and Pamela did. Then he told everyone to get back to work.

  43. Yes. let’s pay UNELECTED, TENURED senators-for-LIFE 6-figure annual salaries and then expect them to think soberly about ANYTHING! Face it, Senators are simply living HIGH OFF THE HOG, and in the case of Duffy and Wallin it’s showing NOT ONLY ETHICALLY, but PHYSICALLY! It’s time to COMPLETELY change the way the Canadian Government works: (1) cut of ALL ties to the USELESS and CRETIN-FILLED UK Royalty (2) get rid of the USELESS APPENDAGE–the Governor General– who’s also making a 6-figure annual salary for doing and representing ABSOLUTELY NOTING! (3) Senators MUST BE ELECTED and NOT APPOINTED FOR LIFE! (4) If Harper and his cronies can pull off this kind of CRAP during an elected term, just imagine what Senators are up to KNOWING THEY CAN NEVER BE FIRED!

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