The secret PMO fund that maybe never existed

The New Democrats and Conservatives get their money’s worth regardless


Thomas Mulcair stood, smiled and, once his colleagues had finished applauding him, invoked the latest intrigue.

“Mr. Speaker,” he asked, staring down the Prime Minister’s chair, “did the former chief of staff to the Prime Minister have the authority to sign cheques drawing funds from the Conservative party?”

The Prime Minister was not present and this was apparently not a matter of sufficient importance to draw a cabinet minister and so Pierre Poilievre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, Minister of State for I Know You Are But What Am I? and Chief Deflector of Whatever Stuff They’re Saying About Us Now, stood and assured the House that all expenses of the Conservative party are funded by party-controlled funds.

It is, indeed, the Conservative party’s assurance that no separate fund exists within the Prime Minister’s Office and that Nigel Wright had no signing authority over party funds. “We have one bank account we use for expenditures and it is managed by the Conservative Fund,” says a party spokesman. “Nigel Wright did not have the authority to approve a payment by the Conservative Fund. No one in the PMO did. All expenses had to be approved by the Conservative Fund.”

It is, meanwhile, the CBC’s assurance that a secret fund exists within the Prime Minister’s Office and that Mr. Wright had authority over that fund. Indeed, even when presented with the Conservative party’s assurances, the CBC stands by its story.

It was the CBC’s concern of last week that the Conservative party and the Prime Minister’s Office had not had much to say when asked to comment on the existence of a separate fund. It is said now by the Conservative party that the Prime Minister’s chief of staff is responsible for directing party-related expenses incurred by the Prime Minister to the Conservative party, which maintains a budget for those sorts of things.

Complicating matters are the musings of Chris Alexander.

“Mr. Speaker, this weekend, the Conservative parliamentary secretary who is responsible for this file, and not the one who just spoke,” Mr. Mulcair offered with his supplementary, invoking Mr. Alexander and assigning him an unofficial designation of responsibility, “once again acknowledged that Nigel Wright did control party funds. He said, ‘No one is denying that.’ ”

Once again, Mr. Alexander might complain, confusion is being perpetrated by the opposition parties. But surely his own words are not helping to clarify the situation. For while on Friday Mr. Poilievre was saying that no such fund existed, on Thursday and Saturday, Mr. Alexander was saying things that could be understood to suggest there was some kind of fund.

“Let us stop playing word games,” Mr. Mulcair proclaimed or demanded. “I will ask again. Did Nigel Wright have any control or signing authority of any kind over Conservative Party spending while working in the Prime Minister’s Office?”

Mr. Poilievre repeated his assurances.

“Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada controls the Conservative fund of Canada,” he explained. “That is the message that we have delivered from the very beginning.”

The New Democrats laughed.

“There is one account,” the parliamentary secretary continued. “It is controlled by the Conservative Party. It has been publicly known since the existence of the Conservative Party. It is reported to Elections Canada. Also, it is audited annually.”

Despite Mr. Mulcair’s vow of an end to word games, it was NDP MP Craig Scott who later attempted to entrap Mr. Poilievre.

“Mr. Speaker, on Friday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport rose in the House and claimed that no PMO-controlled Conservative fund existed, but on Saturday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence contradicted the member for Nepean—Carleton,” Mr. Scott reviewed. “Can the parliamentary secretary who was not telling the truth please stand and explain this contradiction?”

In his seat, Mr. Poilievre twirled his earpiece in his hand, then stood as he had to.

“Yay!” the New Democrats mocked.

“Mr. Speaker, can I tell you a secret?” Mr. Poilievre mockingly asked. “Do you promise you will not tell anybody? Do not tell the NDP. Do not tell the CBC. The Prime Minister of Canada is the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and when there are Conservative Party of Canada expenses, including from its leader, it is paid by the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives around Mr. Poilievre feigned shock. “Oh!” they cried at the parliamentary secretary’s revelations.

“I have been meaning to get that off my chest for a while,” Mr. Poilievre explained. “Please do not tell the CBC. Please do not tell the NDP.”

Barring further revelations from the CBC’s sources or new explanations from Mr. Alexander, there might not be anymore to tell of this.


The secret PMO fund that maybe never existed

  1. LOL oh of course not.

    If Harper says it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t exist…..cuz we all know how honest and trustworthy Harper is.

  2. Never mind t’it Pierre. Tony C. is on the scene and he knows how to
    hearten the spittle-munching cadre … mau-mau the public sector !!
    I believe public sector CBAs are up in 2015 … very timely and helpful
    going into an election run-up … but until then, Tony, STFU and spend
    the summer re-painting the gazebo.

    • Since the Tony is not here to defend himself I will help out by telling BGLong to STFU.

      • You guys are really freaked….you might want to tone it down. Doesn’t look good.

        • You are talking to BGLong right ?

          • No, I’m talking to you….no one would mistake BGLong for a Con

          • Don`t talk to me troll.

          • Speak English, doofus

          • Funniest sentence I’ve read today… you complaining about others trolling. You’ll be complaining about others being offensive and rude on here next. If irony were fatal you’d be a zombie bud.

  3. I would advice anyone to watch CBC P&P segment in which Alexander did not say that a special fund exists or has ever existed, but that the PMO must have been involved with Conservative Fund because it is the PMO which knows when and where the PM is at all times and what part of the day, or what part of the PM activity must be billed out as Conservative business! Alexander did say that funds for that has to go through the PMO but not that the PMO was in charge of a special fund designated for that purpose. Alexander was cleary indicating, within his explanations, that the need for those Conservative Fund funds had to go through the PMO for obvious reasons, but Alexander did not say that a secret special fund is within the PMO perse. It goes through the PMO, whatever needs to be claimed as party expenses for the PM.

    Then again on cbc The House, Alexander gives a full and very clear explanation of how it works in regards to Conservative Funds and the PMO. That interview is more revealing because that interview is a much longer one and goes into details repeatedly.

    On CBC’s webpage on Saturday, AFTER that segment of cbc The House had aired, the headlines could still be read as follows:

    “Tory line on PMO fund ‘doesn’t wash,’ Mulcair says –

    No one is denying” party fund run by PM’s chief of staff, Tory MP says ”


    That headline by CBC on Saturday afternoon, is completely false. Alexander has never denied anything other than to say that a discretionary or special or secret fund in the PMO has never existed, yet, somehow that then is being turned into a “no one is denying” it.

    Indeed, how COULD ANYONE deny the existence of something which does not exist or has ever existed!

    So when Alexander says that he does not deny it, in context that meant that he could not possible deny anything which has never existed in the first place. No one could – no one is denying it!

    Solomon (who in fact never used the word ‘secret’ when referring to the fund at any time in his interview that day!)then went on to ask Alexander IF a fund like that could have been used, to which Alexander got a bit angry (and rightfully so) and answered that, yes, of course, anything could, might or have beens, but that could be said about anything and everything. Solomon then says they don’t know!!!

    My, god, this is the biggest spin I have ever heard in my life.

    The NDP has jumped on it! Many have jumped on that so-called ‘secret fund’ story, but no one in the CPC has ever said that a special fund at the PMO exists or has ever existed.

    Note: also on P&P, two former Chiefs of Staff (both conservative – one was Keith Beardsly) were interviewed on the very topic of there being ‘secret fund’ in the PMO and BOTH those men denied ever having seen such a secret fund. They, too, explained that, yes, Conservative funds do run through the PMO for obvious reasons, as explained earlier (only the PMO knows the detailed schedule for the PM)

    I would advice people to listen to what was actually being said (coming from the people who spoke the words coming out of their own mouths, rather than being paraphrased) and what actually transpired here with Greg Weston’s ‘secret fund’ allegations.

    The CBC spin has gone over the top. Bad for Canada to try and undermine a government like that, by aiding the opposition parties in that way, and by feeding Canadians false information. Sad, really!

  4. Aaron, Chris Alexander may have acknowledged that Nigel Wright controlled party funds but he said this last weekend. “That was in the past.”

    • The ‘past’…..24 hours ago.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Started your drinking early this week I see.

          • Actually I think that ones worth reporting. Up to you.

          • I don’t think I’ve ever reported anyone for what they said to me. I just consider the source. Most people understand the gutter it’s from.

          • Not many could sink to the depths that you have found yourself.

          • Yada yada

          • thats it dear?

          • Yup, sorry you didn’t get the rise you wanted, but I have no time or patience for Ignoranti any more.

          • But you are as ignoranti as it gets. Whoops that’s not a word. But then you would know that, wouldn’t you darling? Anyway have a fine time till oblivion dear cause thats where your going.

          • Yeah, that’s a word. Like Literati, and Technorati….only this is a combination of ‘ignorant’ and ‘rant’…..something you tree monkeys are prone to.

            No one has any idea what you’re talking about though.

          • Only the people that call you a troll dear. Now darling why don’t you tell us what is really bothering you.

          • Dave I have no idea what you’re talking about and neither does anyone else.

            Morons who call me a troll don’t even know what the word means….it’s just more ignorance on their part.

            Ciao kiddo.

          • My name is David dear and I’m not surprised that you have no idea what i am trying to convey to you given the fact that ad hominem attacks are all you’ve got.

          • ‘David dear’ seems like a very odd name to me, but whatever…..I said ciao, and I meant it.

          • You have nothing but ad hominem attacks sweetie pie. Educate yourself. Reading about history is a good way.

          • You just managed it effortlessly.

          • You’re probably right. I reported someone once on Styn’s blog. Macleans did diddly about it; I’ve never bothered since.

        • That’s a disgusting remark to make on this blog post. You should be ashamed.

      • That might as well be last century for these guys.

        • True….they seem very confused as to time

    • Alexander has never said that Wright controlled party funds.

  5. The problem I have with this fabricated ‘secret fund’ story, is the fact that such fabrication originates with the CBC!

    ALL Canadians pay for the CBC ($1.2 billion a year!) and Greg Weston is being paid by tax dollars as well.

    For people being paid out of public tax money, to then fabricate a false story about there being a ‘secret fund’ in the PMO is the gravest of insults!

    CBC has no right to play with our public tax payer’s money in that fashion!

    The CBC has a lot of explaining to do!

    • Who says they fabricated it? On what evidence?
      Are you saying the state broadcaster shouldn’t run bad stories it thinks are true about the govt? The state funds the CBC, not the CPC thank you. We don’t live in Putins Russia .. Yet!

      • Ask yourself how many times the CBC has taken the government to court because the CBC does not want to open its books AT ALL.

        And guess who pays for those court costs? Yes, that’s right: the tax payer – for BOTH sides.

        CBC has threatened already to take the gov to court over Bill C-60.

        Now think what would have happened if Rathgeber’s Priv Members Bill had been left as proposed by Rathgeber???

        And this government just introduced new plans for reforming sick days for the fed civil service. THAT, too, will probably taken to court!

        Just think about all of that for a moment, and perhaps it becomes clear that someone needs to take charge. It is not control; it is being in charge so that things line up in order to get some things accomplished!

        But I betcha CBC will not write about the CBC taking the government to court all the time; that must not be written about, according to the CBC.

        Open your eyes man! The people who are playing the real dangerous game are the ones in charge of the CBC in what to release and what not to release! And what to fabricate if reality is not severe enough for Harper.

        • I don’ta think you know what that word – fabricate- means a exactly.

          • This is what fabricate means:

            the following are two scenarios important to distinguish between:

            Scenario A:
            We are not denying.
            We are not smoking.
            We are not flying.
            We are not running.

            Scenario B:
            I have a pen.
            Someone says: you have a pen.
            I then say: I have no pen.

            CBC’s Greg Weston is using scenario B to fabricate his story when saying that ‘no one is denying it’.

            But in fact, scenario A took place.

            If you cannot tell the difference between scenario A and B, then Greg Weston has you fooled! And THAT is the point!

  6. Let’s be clear: the fund clearly existed until last week, before the PMO clearly stated that it didn’t exist any more, if it ever did, in which case it would clearly have been a fund used only by the Conservative Party for it’s own clearly partisan purposes only, which clearly wouldn’t have included paying off Senator Duffy.

    We couldn’t be more clear on the matter.

    • No need to parse it. That’s skippy up there, dancing all ways for whoever has the stomach to watch it.

    • Oh, I think the fund existed all right—-part of the donation money from loyal and generous Conservatives.

      The Liberal Party, back when they thought they were the natural governing Party, had a fund also—-part of the contributions of the unwilling and unknowing Canadian taxpayer.

      Parse that.

      • I, personally, have no problem with the PM having discretionary access to funds for partisan purposes. In fact, I think he should have such funds at his disposal and I’m glad he does. (I think it’s rather unfortunate that they saw a need to lie about it for a while).

        Given that these donated funds are (at least partially) tax exempt, however, they are indirectly subsidized by taxpayers and should, for that reason, be subject to public audit – the same kind of disclosure the Cons expect of union books, coincidentally.

        I would also have a problem with such partisan funds being used (if they were) to pay off a senator’s fraudulently incurred expense claims.

        Consider it parsed.

        • Why not make them exempt from audits until and unless stuff like suspicious payment of senatorial debts occurs? Let them keep it secret but if there’s a trail of wrongdoing by all means check it out.

          • Without regular audits, how would we ever know if such misappropriation had occurred? Counting on someone to keep leaking info to CTV’s Robert Fife is no way to maintain probity in the most senior offices of the nation

  7. Aaron,

    the following are two scenarios important to distinguish between:

    Scenario A:
    We are not denying.
    We are not smoking.
    We are not flying.
    We are not running.

    Scenario B:
    I have a pen.
    Someone says: you have a pen.
    I then say: I have no pen.

    Scenario B is a real denial story. CBC, and the NDP now in repeat stemming from the CBC report, claim that scenario B is what is playing itself out in reality.

    But in fact scenario A is what has been said by CPC Alexander. There has been no denying of a ‘secret fund’. They are ‘not denying’ is a verb used in the negative, whereas in scenario B a real denial has taken place.

    A huge difference. In fact, it is the not understanding of the difference between scenario A and B which the CBC and NDP are counting on to keep the ‘not denying’ story in the news. The story is false. It is false because the CBC and NDP are taking (on purpose, I will claim) the meaning and usage of denial out of its use thereof. Shameful. Shameful!

  8. I think most people believe the fund exists, more than one Conservative appears to have admitted to it. It’s all VERY dirty.

  9. “Eh, maybe the secret fund existed.

    *checks which party currently in power*

    Yep! That’s good enough to run a hit-piece story on.” – CBC News

    • So it’s just a complete fabrication and only made it into print because the CBC hates the Conservatives. Do you actually believe that?

      • Yeah, you’re probably right. Because the CBC has never been caught fabricating anything when reporting stories unflattering to the Conservatives.

        • Thank you for that video, john.

          That is classic Stephen Harper. That is why I have voted for the man and will vote for him again. If given the chance, Harper is a very reasonable man.

          I’m afraid that such real news must not come out, because then it would show that Harper is not the evil man he is portrayed as so often.

          No, now the word ‘secret’ is back in vogue, BIG TIME!

          CBC is on a roll once more.

          • If I need your help FV, I’ll ask.

          • And if you are against free speech, then be open about that, at least.

          • I’m not against free speech. But I don’t need the help of a CPC lackey, paid or otherwise, to make my point. Your “help” detracts from my point. Go make your own point.

            *Edited to address your feedback below

          • So now you use lies to make your point?

            How many times do I have to say that I am NOT paid by anyone.

            What proof do you need? Tell me, so we can clear this up once and for all!!!

            I am so tired of all the lies people are slinging at me!

          • This government felt that Rathgeber’s pmb as proposed by him, helped distract the overal direction this government is dealing with.

            You then say, Harper is a control freak.

            Are YOU now a control freak because I interfered with you trying to make a point?

            Explain to us all how it is supposed to work. Then it will be clear for everyone, at long last.

          • I’ve explained above. I have no further use for this discussion.

          • Of course you have no further use for this discussion. When the real problems are to be discussed then everyone runs off again, in order to make another shallow comment somewhere else.

            Great stuff, this never wanting to talk about the REAL issues. Keep things superficial. That’s much better, right!

        • fab·ri·cate

          Invent or concoct (something), typically with deceitful intent.
          Construct or manufacture (something, esp. an industrial product), esp. from prepared components.

          Please note: this is not the same as “to edit a quote in such a way as to make a political leader sound uncaring.”

          • Seriously, you`re playing with words.

            If the CBC chose to “edit a quote” in such a way that it would leave a false and negative impression on the listener towards the PM, then it was a fabrication—-a bloody lie.

          • But of course they didn’t, so the question is moot.

          • Hey, if you’re not going to take your head out of your ass, I’m not going to shout.

        • Well, that’s more than 7 minutes I’ll never have back.

          Not only was nothing fabricated in your example, there’s no missing context that misleads viewers about what Harper is saying.

      • the following are two scenarios important to distinguish between:

        Scenario A:
        We are not denying.
        We are not playing football.
        We are not eating.

        We are not flying.
        We are not running.

        Scenario B:
        I have a pen.
        Someone says: you have a pen.
        I then say: I have no pen.

        CBC’s Greg Weston is trying to convince us that scenario B is the story. In fact, scenario A is what has happened when CPC’s MP Alexander said ‘no one is denying it’.

        If you don’t understand the difference between the two scenarios, then they have you fooled. And THAT would be the point!

  10. I’m not sure why there is so much denial on the part of pseudo intellectual cons over this secret fund. When three different members of the Cons came out last week and confirmed the CBC’s story that there was a fund is not up for debate. Arguing the semantics of what was said simply confirms to everyone the basic problem of Con politics. A party that was elected on a mandate of open, honest and transparent government, free of the corruption of previous Liberal government, cannot simply pish posh the allegations as if they are a witch hunt. You see, the impression you leave Canadians with is that scandal and corruption and impropriety are intolerable if the opposition is involved, but totally not worth the time to investigate if it is alleged that your own party is involved. There is no such thing as a small ethical lapse. Either you are ethical or you aren’t. Attacking the CBC for breaking a story that any reporter for any news organization would have broken smacks of the time honored tradition of the Cons to attack the the character of those with opposing viewpoints.

    Also, what’s with the mysogynistic retorts? Is your position so weak that you have to resort to name calling? Are Cons afraid of intelligent women?

    • Names of the three Conservatives who came out last week and confirmed the CBC story.

      Names or you are a liar!

  11. I may be wrong, but the only important thing is whether Wright had authority to write a cheque on the fund. Has THAT been denied categorically?

    • They managed to avoid directly answering that question more than once in HoC yesterday.

      • If CBC is intent on twisting words having been spoken by CPC members, then are you NOT surprised that now the CPC members are very careful how they say things so that their words cannot be twisted any longer!

    • Yes!

  12. I would have thought the CBC would learn their lesson about launching half-baked hit pieces after this fiasco.

  13. See, and THAT is coming to the crux of this dilemma: how in the world could a government function, any government, if people just speak their mind as they please?

    I would put that question to john g.

    I understand what you meant, when you told me not to butt in. But what if all MP’s want to butt in? What then?

    Are you, john g now training me to become your seal?

    I am serious about his unraveling of that dilemma.

    Yes, I was out of line (perhaps). I should (perhaps) not have butted in. But who then is to say that butting in is good some time (when Rathgeber is considered a hero) and not so good at other times?

    If we could solve that problem, then we would have it made. Then rules about free speech could be set out in stone.

    • My trained seal? What in God’s name are you talking about?

      FV, you could never be my trained seal. You are already someone else’s trained seal. If I’m going to train a seal I’ll start from scratch.

      • When Rathgeber is being asked by this government to not speak his own mind, he is considered a Harper seal.

        But when YOU tell people to go talk somewhere else if they want to speak freely, then you are not a control freak, and we are not your trained seals?

        Do you not understand the contradiction within your own actions?

        I think I’m beginning to understand why we have a problem in Canadian politics; this is not a government problem perse; this is a people problem.

        • Well FV, I guess I can’t stop you from replying in agreement to my posts. I certainly won’t report your comments or anything like that.

          But I can make it abundantly clear that I don’t endorse your “help”. Don’t think that because I’m a “c”onservative and point out frequent media bias against the CPC that you and I are allies. We aren’t. You are a blind CPC cheerleader (I’ll take you at your word if you say you are not paid to do this, but in a way I feel even more sorry for you if you are doing this to yourself for free) and will defend them on anything, and the degree & lengths you go to to do this hurt your cause. I’m not that, and am not willing to be tarred as such by your endorsement. That is my freedom of speech.

          • Who has said that I think you and I are allies?

            What makes you say that I am a blind CPC cheerleader?

            You are making some very broad unsubstantiated allegations against me and that then satisfies you? Is that what this is all about – to make as many unsubstantiated allegations as possible and to then call it a day?

            I bring forth an argument as to how, apparently, sometimes you consider free speech a good thing and sometimes not, and then you try to defend your position by saying that I am hurting the cause?

            My cause, if anything, is to try this problem of free speech, trying to point out that it is a very complex topic. And yes, the topic of free speech is complicated for Prime Ministers too.

            I’m just surprised that so many people cannot understand that it is difficult to run a government when everyone just goes off and speaks freely, when you yourself find it difficult to bring your point across when only one person (me in that case) interferes with you making your point.

            Do you have any idea how many things a Prime Minister is dealing with on a daily basis, and how many times he is interfered with on an hourly basis? Have you ever thought about that, when thinking about free speech and MP’s??

          • As I said, I’m done with this conversation & any other with you. You are basically a long-winded Conservative Party version of Emily & I have no time for her either.

            Carry on as you were & don’t let me occupy any more of your time; who knows what might happen to the CPC while you’re here distracted with me.

            And by the way, you have your talking points mixed up, this isn’t & never was a Rathgeber thread.

          • Oh, now I am another Emily! Yeah, now we are getting somewhere! That’s the spirit!

            Harper = Hitler

            Francien = Emily

            Now I’m getting it! Thank you!

  14. “Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada controls the Conservative fund of Canada,” he explained. “That is the message that we have delivered from the very beginning.”

    It’s this use of deflective language that’s paints them most guilty. It indemnifies them from legal responsibility certainly, but it is also clearly a deflection rather than an answer to the question of whether Mr. Wright had some form of control over the funds.

    If he really had no such power, they’d gleefully throw it in the opposition’s face, because that’s the kind of people they are.

    That they haven’t done so, while engaging in evasive tactics, tells us everything we need to know.

  15. If the CPC admits to the fund in anything other than the hypothetical–which is apparently all they’re capable of at this point–then they have to admit that it would be perfectly reasonable that Nigel Wright, the right hand of the Prime Minister, would have a lot of say over how it’s spent.

    The problem with that of course is that then they’d be under increased scrutiny to demonstrate where that $90K actually came from.

    Seems obvious to me that if Nigel actually wrote a $90K personal cheque, it would take ZERO time and effort to produce it and get the jackals off their back.

    Something about what Duffy did or knows has the CPC spending what may be the last of its political capital defending him or covering his actions.

    It must be one hell of a secret for them to believe it was better to suffer this than throw Duffy to the wolves.

    • 1. Independent investigations are under way and that includes finding out about the cheque.

      2.That fund being reported as so-called ‘secret fund’ is not a secret fund at all, but in fact is being used by all parties; party fund headquarters providing money for party expenses incurred by the PM.

      3.You are drawing conclusions without any result of an investigation having been made public. Why would you want to do that? For what reason?

      • Mary Dawson is no Kevin Page. It’s over. Buried.

        • Well, it was Mary Dawson who cleared some other well known politicians, supposedly having been ok-ed by by her.

          Times are becoming very interesting.

  16. These comment boards, and everywhere, are a prime example of why it will NEVER work for MPs to go talking in all directions.

    If anyone is looking for proof why it won’t work as suggested by Rathgeber, then reading the comment boards IS your proof!

  17. So essentially the media have no idea what they are talking about but continue to talk. That’s an interesting sight to see, not a surprising sight.

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