This morning, let’s play a fun game. I’m still workshopping its title, but the working moniker is What’s Bob Fife Working on Today? We can’t know, obviously, since we’re not inside the brain of CTV’s Ottawa bureau chief. But the man has been a machine for the past week—well, longer than that, but for this morning’s purposes, let’s stick to the Mike Duffy Affair.
Fife’s broken every major story in the past week that has made headaches, and occasionally migraines, for Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Nigel Wright, the PM’s former chief of staff; and Senator Mike Duffy. Fife’s the guy who told us about the $90,000 personal cheque Wright passed along to Duffy, to cover the repayment of improperly claimed expenses. Fife told us a few other things, too, and then last night reported that two Senators—David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen—ordered edits to a report of the Senate’s internal economy committee.
That report reviewed an audit of Duffy’s expenses. The unedited version, which found its way to reporters’ hands, was much more critical of Duffy than the final copy that Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen reportedly had “whitewashed,” or “sanitized,” or whatever else you want to call selective editing. Worth noting is that Stewart Olsen is a former PMO operative. None of this makes things easier for the government.
So, what comes next in this saga? Your best bet is to go ask Bob Fife. Thanks for playing.
What’s above the fold this morning?
The Globe and Mail leads with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s lament for former chief of staff Nigel Wright’s decision to repay Senator Mike Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses. The National Post fronts a gruesome slaying of an apparent British soldier on the streets of London. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s continued silence in the wake of allegations he smoked crack cocaine. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Senate Government Leader Marjory LeBreton’s call for more robust expense disclosure in the Red Chamber. iPolitics fronts last night’s flurry of news on the Duffy scandal. CBC.ca leads with the unedited Senate report that suggested Duffy’s primary home was not in P.E.I., as he had claimed. National Newswatch showcases CTV News’ story that two Conservative senators, David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen, ordered edits to the report on Duffy’s expenses.
Stories that will be (mostly) missed
|1. Blood. Canada Blood Services lifted a ban on gay males donating, but only if they haven’t had sex with a man for five years—a stipulation critics say renders the policy change meaningless.||2. Cuban trial. The Canadian ambassador to Cuba, Matthew Levin, will attend the trial of a Canadian businessman, Sarkis Yacoubian, who’s charged with bribery and tax evasion.|
|3. Pensions. Canada’s crown corporations can’t afford mounting pension liabilities and will only do so by implementing “bold” reforms, says an advocate for such measures.||4. Accommodation. The Parti Quebecois government is toning down language related to religious accommodation, and delaying implementation of its Charter of Secularism.|