Tkachuk: ‘I was never aware … that Nigel Wright paid $90,000 to Mike Duffy’

The former chair of the Senate internal economy committee responds to the RCMP filing


A statement from Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, former chair of the Senate’s internal economy committee.

I want to make a short comment on the news reports today. As I have said before, I was never aware, until the media reported it, that Nigel Wright paid $90,000 to Mike Duffy and that Senator Duffy then used that money to pay the Senate for illegitimately claimed expenses. My job as Chair of Internal Economy was to get the taxpayers money back. That is all I was asked to do by the Leaders of the Government and Opposition in the Senate, and that is what I did. I found out about the Duffy-Wright arrangement at the same time that the rest of Canadians did and no sooner.

Our Committee’s report concerning Mike Duffy was issued prior to our learning about the Duffy-Wright arrangement. That report was different than the reports concerning Senators Brazeau and Harb because we were, at that point, under the impression that Senator Duffy had paid the money back of his own volition and from his own funds, while the other two had yet to pay. Our report on Senator Duffy reflected that.

The consequences for all three Senators were the same, despite what words were used in the individual reports to arrive at those consequences. They all received the same penalty. The RCMP will determine whether there are further consequences.


Tkachuk: ‘I was never aware … that Nigel Wright paid $90,000 to Mike Duffy’

  1. Kachuk and the Sgt Schulz defence….it’s very popular in govt circles these days.

    • But the Ford show is a good deal more entertaining.

      Bring on PM Ford and the busty hooker and crack show. Free tickets to the game for everyone…. Pick up your hit of crack at the back door.

      • LOL oh I find it ALL entertaining….one is just more legally serious than the other.

        Now we’ve got the Con Chief Bagman trying to influence an audit.

        Sooner or later we’re gonna see twerking.

        • Oh god! Don’t go there please! Thought of the Ford’s twerking is mindblowing.

          • LOL Well personally I’d prefer opening the gates to finally let the lions into the coliseum and solve the whole problem…..but these days…you know…we try to be humane to animals, and PETA would be upset at the fatty diet.

  2. I think one could contend that part of Tkatchuk’s job as chair of the Internal economy committee was to discover if the Senate’s administrative rules had been broken and how…a job that the recent RCMP ITO seems to allege that he was at some pains to avoid doing.
    Repeated, cryptic, references to ‘fulfillment of commitments’ are unsettling.

    • Plausible deniability is all the rage these days.

      • The CPC seem to specialize in implausible deniability.

        • And some of it is so inadvertently, pathetically humorous, it’s applausible deniability.

  3. As Francien says, this isn’t a scandal. You have illegal payoffs, trench warfare obfuscation, absolutely no email trail, and a whole bunch of denials that are clearly covering up something. But there is no “scandal” because there is only a “scandal” if the Conservatives say so, and they only use that word when in opposition.

    • It is only a scandal if ‘Justine’ is involved.

  4. I can see this being true, that he didn’t know he was being played by people who stooped to bribery and obstruction of parliament. It doesn’t matter that much anyway. The problem was his willingness, even with advice to the contrary from Senator Stewart-Olsen’s assistant, to go with his party over his obligation to protect the public interest.

    He helped make the corruption easy and that’s the real scandal, that people being paid to represent the public interest in the PMO and the Senate seem to have completely abandoned that in favour of defending the Conservative Party of Canada’s partisan political interest.

    That’s why it doesn’t matter if he knew, or more importantly if Stephen Harper knew; it was their responsibility to act on our behalf, not to protect their personal and political interests.

    • Yeah, that rather obvious fact does tend to get overlooked in all this. Who was looking out for “our” interests, regardless of who knew what where or when?

    • There’s one very narrow ethical standard that says, “if it’s legal, it’s ethical”. It’s a standard that’s widely embraced in government and business these days. The PMO seems to be retreating into a stance that says, “if you can’t prove we did anything strictly illegal, then it’s all good. Get over it.”

  5. I don’t anyone was accusing Tkachuk of knowing about the Wright-Duffy cheque. He was accused of being influenced by the PMO to whitewash the commission’s expenses audit report. His knowledge of the specific detail of the cheque is immaterial to whether or not he attempted to (or succeeded in) whitewashing the expenses audit report.

    • And how was he influenced and how was it whitewashed? Zero is how. Since the Duffy money was repaid at the time, as he stated, there is nothing to influence or whitewash.

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