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The Wright-Duffy affair roars back into headlines

Tease the day: Court documents reveal the Conservatives initially intended to pay back Duffy’s expenses


 

Devaan Ingraham/CP

If any Conservative in Ottawa thought the summer would offer their party a chance to start anew, reset its agenda, and march bravely into the fall with new energy, unencumbered by the scandals that so dogged the government all spring—well, they’ll be disappointed to hear that Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy are once again making headlines. You’ll recall the Wright-Duffy affair that had the opposition on the offensive for weeks. Nigel Wright, the ex-chief of staff to the prime minister, gave a personal cheque to Senator Mike Duffy that covered over $90,000 in improperly claimed expenses. Wright eventually resigned his post, and Duffy quit the Conservative caucus.

Then, things went quiet as the RCMP launched an investigation and the government clammed up.

Now, in the dead of summer, the news continues. CTV News, led by Ottawa bureau chief Bob Fife, reported some important things last night: the Conservatives initially planned to cover Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses, until the amount owed was simply too onerous; three people in the Prime Minister’s Office knew of Wright’s payment to Duffy, including a former legal adviser who’s denied any involvement in the payment; and a Mountie is accusing Duffy, in court documents, of breaking the law by accepting the cheque.

This story was never dead, but the Prime Minister’s Office must have hoped it would have slept a while longer.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the Conservative Party’s initial intention to repay Senator Mike Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses. The National Post fronts the shooting death of Islam Bibi, the most senior female police officer in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Conservatives shelving the plan to repay Duffy after his expenses owed were three times higher than they’d anticipated. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a Muslim Brotherhood–driven backlash against Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in Egypt. iPolitics fronts the five provincial by-elections that will hit Ontario in August. CBC.ca leads with the Brotherhood’s call for protest. CTV News leads with the RCMP’s case against Duffy. National Newswatch showcases CTV News’ story about the Wright-Duffy affair.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Submarines. The feds extended a submarine maintenance contract worth $531 million to Babcock Canada Inc., a firm tasked with ensuring the fledgling fleet of subs is operational. 2. Deportation. The federal government wants to send Deepan Budlakoti, a Canadian born in Ontario to Indian parents, to India—a country where he’s never lived—because of his criminal record.
3. Tim Hortons. The Canadian Armed Forces scrapped plans to build three mobile Tim Hortons units to be deployed overseas. The $100,000 price tag per unit was too steep. 4. DUI. Mothers Against Drunk Driving says repeat offenders caught drinking and driving, including a Saskatchewan man who’s been convicted 19 times, should be classified as dangerous offenders.
5. Rhinos. Poachers in South Africa are projected to kill up to 800 rhinos this year, an all-time high that, if the trend continues, could see the animals erased from the wild within 15 years. 6. Guns. Several American states have granted thousands more concealed-carry permits to gun owners in the past year compared to the previous year, a worrying trend for gun control advocates.


 

The Wright-Duffy affair roars back into headlines

  1. Roars?

    Don’t think so, just so much wishful thinking by those in the media party.

    Duffy F’ed up and will suffer the consequences of his actions.

    • Well that and one other thing…

      It’s now established that the CPC is willing to cover up criminal acts by members of caucus so long as the cost to the party doesn’t exceed $32,000. I wonder if that’s a hard limit or if there is a sliding scale? Regardless, it’s clear that another CPC Senator (Gerstein) was willing to participate in a criminal conspiracy and – to the surprise of no-one – he will face no sanction from the party.

      • One other thing – Stephen Harper either knew about this, or has created an environment in which he’s deliberately kept in the dark to provide plausible deniability.

        Igarvin, I think you and I squabbled once over Chretien’s awareness of the theft in the Sponsorship Scandal. We didn’t agree, but I think we might agree that the above sentence could be applied to Chretien.

        How quickly Harper has become that which he claimed to despise.

        • What a load of BS.

          You leftists will be crying in your corn flakes yet again in 2015.

          • We are leftists, we don’t eat corn flakes because of Monsanto. Corn is a crime against Gaia.

          • Are you going to denounce the CPC’s behavior, yes or no?

        • They both were in the loop right from the start. Hell, Chretien didn’t even pretend otherwise. His claim was that “perhaps a few millions were stolen” but he shrugged it off as the cost of doing business.

          • Roll eyes……..: )

      • Nothing of the sort has been established, except in the minds of those who support the Lieberals who still owe taxpayers $40 million from ADSCAM.

        And on top of that you libel Senator Gerstein.

        The left have absolutely no shame.

        • Whoever gave you that $40M number lied to you.

          From Wikipedia: “In the end the Commission concluded that $2 million was awarded in contracts without a proper bidding process, $250,000 was added to one contract price for no additional work, and $1.5 million was awarded for work that was never done, of which $1 million had to be repaid.”

          I trust you’re capable of confirming this yourself.

          • Quoting wiki……………what a joke.

          • Please do give us quote supporting your thesis that has a basis in fact rather than anecdotal crap.

          • “You can’t always get what you want” Rolling Stones

            Adscam Reaches Prime Minister’s Office

            Testimony continued in public at the Gomery Inquiry on Friday,
            and much of it devastated the Liberal Party and its former leader, Jean
            Chretien. Witnesses tied Adscam
            efforts directly to Chretien’s staff, including his brother Gaby, for
            the first time since the publication ban was lifted earlier this week:
            STAFFERS OF former PM Jean Chretien received secret payments to fund his
            victorious 1993 Shawinigan election campaign from a Montreal ad firm
            lobbying for federal contracts, the Gomery inquiry heard yesterday.
            Former Groupaction Marketing employee Alain Renaud said two years after
            the election, Chretien’s brother Gabriel personally set up meetings for
            him with a senior PMO staffer and top Liberal officials in a bid to open
            the floodgates of federal contracts. Renaud, who was hired by
            Groupaction founder Jean Brault in 1994 to bring in federal contracts,
            added to his former boss’s explosive testimony about secret donations to
            key Liberals. ……

          • Billy Bob comes back with an 8 year old, unsourced, posting from a blogger. Dude, you could not be doing worse even if you were run by a committee.

            You don’t have to be a complete moron to support the Harper government, but it sure makes it easier.

          • “Billy Bob comes back with an 8 year old, unsourced, posting from a blogger.”

            Better yet, the quote doesn’t even contain the $40M number he’s been throwing around.

          • Not from a blogger asshole, you can do your own research.

        • I guess Senator Gerstein can sue me then. He certainly has access to enough money. And I don’t hide behind a fake name either so he’d seem to have a pretty easy time if he wanted to protect his good name. LOL

          • BS

          • Please try to include at least one vowel in each post.

          • I’m not here to please the likes of you.

          • Yeah, we know; you’re just here to pleasure yourself.

          • You seem to take an inordinate pride in displaying your impoverished vocabulary…repeatedly.

        • “The left have no shame.”

          This in a post pretending that it’s of no consequence that the CPC fund managers and the senior managers in the PMO are alleged to have participated in discussions about how to cover up fraudulent expense claims?

          What is your definition of shame?

          And by the way, what constitutes “the left?” Anyone who thinks Conservatives who claim to be for fiscal responsibility and law and order are actually conservative and law abiding?

          • “alleged”………keep grasping at straws.

          • Alleged by the RCMP supported with documents, and an investigation.

          • The payment was not illegal, if you read the act that covers Senators you would find that this was not illegal.

            I doubt the crown prosecutor will proceed.

          • So why are the RCMP investigating their masters?

          • Where did it say they conspired? They “knew’ about it or discussed it does not say they conspired to do anything illegal.

          • Like Mucair “knew about” the attempted bribe? The one the CPC keeps trying to smear him with? Pot, meet kettle. And the hypocrite label is a best-case scenario that assumes there actually wasn’t a conspiracy…

          • Nice try! Hello when a municipal politician offers a Provincial politician recently elected money that is considered a bribe. There is no comparison. How was Wright’s payment of Duffy’s illegal expense a bribe? Duffy was already in the tank for the Conservatives. Yes Wright tried to help out a colleague which may have been illegal. Time will tell.

          • They had already agreed to cover the expenses on the mistaken basis that the misappropriated funds amounted to $32,0000 and change. They only backed out when they found out the true cost was north of $90K. How is it that you don’t know this already?

        • Here we go with the old song and dance: “ADSCAM! ADSCAM! We can do no wrong because of ADSCAM!” – Then throw in some spurious, hyper-inflated number.
          Where’s the $3.1 billion your guys “misplaced”?

    • Meh… compared to the political news leading up to last night’s revelations — about two weeks of absolutely nothing — it wouldn’t take very much to qualify as a ‘roar’.

    • Wright is the one who F’ed up. He paid Duffy to cover up the problem.

      • How was that covering up?

        It was already in the news cycle about Duffy’s expense claims.

        • Jeezus Billy Bob, you are not representing the hillbilly contingent very well. Even Jethro Bodean could follow a timeline. They were trying to pay off Duffy before the full extent of the fraud was revealed.

          • Jeezus lgarvin, did your momma drop you on your head as a child?

        • From the Globe story…

          “Nigel Wright, then offered to provide Mr. Duffy with $90,172 of his own money secretly to repay what the senator owed to taxpayers on the condition he would do it “right away” and “stop talking to the media about it,” according to court documents dated June 24 obtained by The Globe and Mail.”

    • What about Wright? Anyways are you annoyed that the CPC wanted to pay for Duffy’s indiscretion with your money? I say your money because I am sure you must be one of the thousands that contribute to the party.

      • You are as mad as your handle suggests.

        • Billy Bob, it’s just a little question.

          • And you’re just a little mad.

          • It’s hard to answer when you are bending over for the CPC…

      • And one who also receives a generous tax credit courtesy of all Canadian taxpayers regardless of party support. Ah well, given that the LPC are increasing support and CPC is starting to lag, I guess I should just wait it out for the pendulum to swing again, as it always, inevitably does.

    • Do you approve of the CPC using their party fund from Conservative donors to hand over money to Mike Duffy, secretly, without telling anyone?

  2. Roared back to life? Slightly hyperbolic don’t you think? There really is nothing new. The RCMP is investigating and in the end we will find out what happened. However, the important thing is there were a couple of benign verbal conditions i.e. no media and pay back the government. Those verbal conditions make sense from Wright’s perspective.
    The opposition has been screaming for a copy of the cheque. It seems it was a draft payable to Duffy’s lawyer. Wright would not have a copy of the draft but maybe the receipt of purchase. Duffy probably deposited the draft in his account and wrote a personal cheque repaying the government. Duffy/Wright are responsible for their own actions. Found guilty of a criminal offence they will pay the price.

    • Yup, nothing new here. Just that the Conservative Party will use the money folks like you give them to pay criminals for the fraud they commit if they get caught, as long as the amount doesn’t get too close to the six figure mark.

      • I am so glad you are concerned about my welfare. The fact is donations to the party are spent as the party sees fit. No strings attached. All parties benefit from taxpayer support. End of story. Once again for you lefties. The Senators who are in trouble are in trouble for their own actions. Not the actions of the Conservative party nor the PM. However, feel free to continue to dine on this issue with your excessive language.

        • If it were a Liberal government, a Liberal Senator, and a Liberal Chief of Staff, would you be singing the same tune?

          • Nice try. However, the Liberal Senator Harb has got an easy ride from the media who are only interested in the “wrongdoing” of Conservatives. What is the difference between Harb and Duffy. The former is a Liberal and latter Conservative.

          • What is the difference between Harb and Duffy.

            Nigel Wright and everyone in the PMO (except the PM, of course) getting together to hatch a plot to cover Duffy’s considerable ass using the money of partisan rubes. Just for starters.

          • The difference is the same as between Duffy and Braseau – the attempted cover-up, certainly unethical and possibly illegal, by the PMO and the very distinct possibility that Harper is lying about what he knew and when he knew it.

            That ought to be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

          • Of course only you arrogant lefties have two brains to rub together. You have no idea whether Harper knew or didn’t know. However, because you do not support his party he is guilty of all manner of sins. If he didn’t know he didn’t know so where is the cover up. Wright made the decision to pay Duffy’s expenses. Until I see something that proves conclusively a different version fair mindedness say I keep my two brain cells open.

          • You asked how the situations are different, so I told you. So you ignore my reasoning and take a different tack.

            You’re right; I don’t know what Harper did or didn’t know, but neither option looks good for him. Given his propensity for lying, though, I’m not inclined to believe anything he says without independent corroboration.

            Harper’s own words:

            “The Prime Minister personally ordered adscam done and chose the people who executed the plan. At the very least he fostered an attitude within the party, chose the managers who committed these crimes and completely and utterly failed to exercise any oversight, supervision or leadership.In the end it does not really matter. He is the leader and a leader is responsible for the actions of the people he leads.”

            Unless he is willing to absolutely repudiate that statement, then by his own standards he is ultimately responsible, regardless of what he knew or did not know.

        • You’ve entirely misunderstood me if you think I’m concerned about your welfare.
          But thanks for pointing out the fact that half the money the Conservative Party was ready to pay Duffy to allow him to retain the proceeds of his fraud would have come from taxpayers.

    • Yeah, it’s all good now, hollinm. Back to business as usual for the Cons. Ethics are just a minor inconvenience, easy to dismiss for this bunch of grifters.

      • That is not what I said. However, the headline is hyperbolic as I say. Some additional information came out but really….roars? The RCMP are investigating. At some point all of the facts will come out and it will be what it is. However, I know the left is trying to attach Harper to this whole thing because that is all they got. No information has come out linking Harper and that is bad news for the leftist media and the opposition parties.

  3. Harper didn’t know? Better to call in real investigators. Mulcair is the man.

  4. When will you have a big splashy article about the Mac Harb scandal? After all he owes three times as much as Duffy. It wouldn’t be because he is a liberal would it? I also do not understand why Nigel Wright could not take his very own money and give it to someone without all this trouble.

    • First off, you’ll understand this better if you start with the premise that any Senator or other government official, Liberal, Conservative or whatever, who can be shown to have made false expense claims, should be charged with fraud. It isn’t a political question for committees or caucuses or the PMO; it’s a legal matter to be decided by the courts.

      That’s something that Nigel Wright with his private and public sector experience should be able to grasp. Instead of referring the matter to the RCMP himself, or at the very least telling Duffy to swim in his own sewage, Wright, instead participated in discussions about how to make the matter go away politically.

      Here’s another essential point to help you understand: Wright didn’t “give” money to Duffy. By the account offered to RCMP by his lawyers, Wright “paid” Duffy to shut up.

      In other words, people in the highest office in Canada, not only didn’t seek to uphold the law, they tried to hide behaviour that is arguably criminal (for the courts to decide) but at the very least unethical.

  5. Hmmm. I wonder what’s illegal about “thinking” about paying back a Senator’s invalid expenses? Oh, nothing, this is just a click-bait headline? Okay then, I’ll go back to sleep.

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