Why not public hearings into the Wright-Duffy affair? - Macleans.ca

Why not public hearings into the Wright-Duffy affair?

A proposal goes before the ethics committee


The House ethics committee is scheduled this afternoon to consider Scott Andrews’ motion that a study of Nigel Wright’s payment to Mike Duffy be conducted. Kady O’Malley has the full text of the proposal.

With apparently even the Prime Minister and his office unsure of precisely what occurred and with the Prime Minister claiming to be quite angry about it all, surely this would seem to be a fine opportunity to begin sorting out the details of this odd affair in an open and transparent manner. Put another way, is there any good reason Conservative members of the ethics committee could vote against such a study?


Why not public hearings into the Wright-Duffy affair?

  1. Since the prime minister has gone into self-imposed hiding (Mr Transparency), and the only Tories in the HoC on Friday who could bother to show up and defend this shite were minions’ minions who are hoping for cabinet position in the shuffle — hello, Michelle Rempel, you poor disappointed thing with full confidence in your leader, you — I guess we need a public inquiry, just to see if we can flush out the PM.

    Where are you Steve? Come out and face your public, dahling. Even your lapdog Brad Wall wants to see you, you strike such confidence into the hearts of your sheeple.

    • Since the prime minister has gone into self-imposed hiding (Mr Transparency)…

      Really? How could you notice any difference from his standard MO? Compared to his usual degree of candor and availability, his comments from South America were recklessly fulsome.

      • Our only hope for some accountability then is whenever the PM next takes flight for foreign parts?

        • He will make a comment at the next high level dignitary’s funeral. He prefers to speak to Canadians from a continent-length distance.

          • I think many of us prefer to listen from a continent length distance too, truth be told.

          • I feel ashamed when he airs his nation’s dirty laundry from an international destination.

          • Hahaha! That’s a good one. You’d feel a damn site worse if he refused to answer the questions of Canadian journalists while outside the country.

          • He doesn’t generally answer journalists’ questions abroad, either. He’s more likely to issue some new policy statement (one of which I believe Canadians heard for the first time while he was in Switzerland, for example) or take shots at his domestic opposition (as he did in Britain while attending Thatcher’s funeral).

          • And I’d feel a damn site better if he would answer questions, period. Maybe even in Question Period, you know?

            And who are you to say how I would feel about anything in the first place? I can’t tell any more if you want to discuss issues and be taken seriously, or just play and lark about to distract any attempts at dialogue or discussion.

          • Pardon me if I offended you.

      • Maybe we can fund raise to keep him abroad…permanently.

        • Where do you want to send him…Siberia?

          • Do they still have a gulag there?

          • Probably not officially.

    • Indeed, where is Harper and where is Trudeau? Why is Scott Andrews the voice of the Liberal party on this issue? All we have heard from Justin Trudeau with regard to this issue has been a lame defense of Mac Harb and his belief in the need for a strong Quebec presence in the senate. Do you really think he will be ready to lead by 2015?

      • Did JT’s Chief of Staff drop 90 large on a Senator he appointed to stop a forensic audit, accept his Chief of Staff’s resignation, claim no knowledge of this a week despite repeated phone conversations between his former Chief of Staff and a Senator (who used to be the PMO head of communications) assigned investigate the original Senator involved? The one who stopped cooperating with the audit and said he’d been given the money to not talk?

        That wasn’t JT?

        Because if it was, and was staying silent, I’d be pretty eager to hear from him too.

        Otherwise, it’s just partisan distraction.

        • A short while ago healthcareinsider dropped all pretence of actually believing what he writes, referring to his insane defence of Duffy and Wright as playing “devil’s advocate”. I think that idea is on display once again.

          • It isn’t that I don’t believe what I write. It is that I am currently without a party affiliation and so I like to present all possible arguments. As a potential future Liberal party member, I find it odd that people demean me rather than try to convince me that Justin is a good pick.

          • People who engage in the practice honestly usually say something like “I know it sounds weird but what if…” rather than spouting ever more outlandish theories, ad nauseaum, then the next day chuckle to themselves how everyone fell for their “devil’s advocacy”. You will find the latter tend not to get the benefit of the doubt, and with good reason.

          • I didn’t spout “ever more outlandish theories”. Rather, I reminded people (apparently ad nauseaum) what MacDougall from the PMO was saying was the official story that the PMO was standing by. I did not ‘chuckle’ the next day. I simply wasn’t cowed by people’s admonishments. Perhaps you recall that commenters actually paged me. Why should I feel in the least bit embarrassed or sorry for stating what the PMO’s office was saying was the official story?
            People online have floated conspiracy theories that include Duffy as the Fife’s secret informant. Are you on here castigating them for “spouting ever more outlandish theories, ad nauseaum”?
            As for your contention that honest people start comments with “I know it sounds weird but…”, I will take that under advisement.

          • you’re doing it again right now.

          • Doing what?

        • Partisan distraction? Really? What party am I trying to distract the attention from exactly? I have admitted that Harper is an abomination. I am just wondering where Justin Trudeau is on this issue and you guys defend his every step but I am partisan.

          • No one is defending trudeau, you just don’t like that we don’t want to talk about him.

          • Okay but I don’t understand….why don’t you want to talk about your leader? Don’t you want people to vote for him? I am not asking you to demean him. I am happy for you to say you think he will mature as a leader in the next two years.

          • Why, because the title of the article is
            “Why not public hearings into the Wright-Duffy affair?”
            And why not, indeed.
            Also, you’ve cliamed I was defending JT. I was not. You’ve admitted this.
            You’ve used the term “your leader’. That’s also wrong. he’s not my leader.
            I guess the fact you’re still writing and acting like a partisan confused me. My bad.
            So then, you’re a troll.

          • Anyone who opposes harpo, must be a lib. Only libs are capable of evil. At least that’s what the conbots would have us believe. But at this point, I think Canadians are quite aware that the cons are capable of just as much, if not, more corruption than the libs.

          • A troll is someone who brings up unrelated matters. I asked about Scott Andrews whose name is in the article and I am a troll? Why the hypersensitivity?

          • Troll.

          • I am sorry if I offended you but I am not going to play some childlike game with you. I wish you wouldn’t lower yourself to do so either.

          • There’s no pint in having a discussion with you. When you’re wrong, you simply shify gears. You’re a troll. And not a good one.

          • And that’s why your an @$$, because you assume I vote lib. Never have, never will.

          • Justin, why don’t you just ignore my comments? I would appreciate it if you did.

          • What’s the matter, don’t like me calling you on your BS? Don’t post BS, then.

          • Asking you to show manners is out of the question then?

          • toews ended any shot of getting manners out of me, at least as far as cons are concerned, when he called most of Canada pedophile supports. Sorry sweetheart, but your side started the nastiness. If you wanted others to play nice with you, you should have been nice yourself.

          • I don’t have a side. I have not decided who I will vote for in 2015. Further, I am not Toews. Nor am I responsible for whatever he says or does. He doesn’t even live in the riding I am in.

      • You should watch Question Period if you’re really interested in this.

        • Thank you, Jan. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning the responses of the opposition parties to this scandal. When Mulclair announced his ‘roll up the red carpet’ tour, there were plenty of Liberal supporters online expressing their concerns that Mulclair “missed the boat” in his reaction to this corruption scandal. There is nothing wrong with expressing concern about Trudeau’s response to the scandal.

          • Actually Charlie Angus, the NDP critic is taking the lead on it. Did you miss his presser asking for an RCMP investigation?

          • This should have gone further down…

          • No, I saw the information on Charlie Angus. I also saw Aaron Wherry’s article on Mulclair’s nation-wide tour to promote senate reform.

          • He wants to abolish it, not reform it. Harper has sent this to the Supreme court for direction so it is premature for anyone to be suggesting how to proceed. Now can we get back to the topic?

      • “Indeed, where is Harper and where is Trudeau?”

        Ladies and gentlemen, this is a demonstration of what spin doctors call a “pivot.” Practiced by the most shameless of politicians, this maneuver is too ham-fisted for the self-respecting press corps. These days it’s finding a place among the less sophisticated Internet commentors.

        • Holy crap they’re coming out of the wood work…what?? slow comment day or is it really that crucial that one never mention Justin Trudeau and senate reform? From the way you guys are acting you would think I was trying to flog beef on a vegan website. Enough already. I get it, only discuss hatred for Harper and Conservatives.

          • You obviously don’t “get it”.
            Reading the title at the top of the page might help you.

          • Oh I get IT.

          • See if you can find somebody to explain my comment to you.

          • I understand what your comment means. Again, if I offended you, I apologize.

      • Andrews is the Lib ethics critic and is presenting the motion. This is SOP – again if you paid a little more attention…

        • Yes, I know that but Mulclair thought this scandal was big enough for him as head of the NDP party to take the lead on it. I am just wondering why the Liberals have played things differently.

  2. That would be too transparent and accountable. Words harpo is allergic to.

    • Justin is so transparent.

      He writes letters to the government asking for more foreign workers to come into the riding of Papineau.

      Justin is great when speaking out. Aaron Wherry thinks so too. Maybe. Maybe not. Who will ever know!

      • I never said anything about trudeau. This article has nothing to do with trudeau. Maybe you should be commenting on one of those. I noticed a nice National Post article on his senate comments. Maybe you should be over there.

        • I have news for you, Justin. The National Post isn’t the only major daily newspaper printing Trudeau’s comments regarding the senate. It doesn’t matter if Aaron Wherry ignores them, the rest of the country is still reading them and shaking their heads.

          • I don’t doubt it I just know francien likes to comment at the NP.

          • She’s working the Star tonight – same song and dance.

          • That’s fine… but perhaps it wouldn’t be too much to ask if Francien attempts to remain remotely relevant to the particular discussion her stuff is being posted in.

  3. Why no article on Justin’s senate comments he made Saturday, Aaron?

    Aren’t you proud of Justin and his senate comments?

    • Just sorting out his talking points I suspect??

    • If you read all of them they aren’t objectionable. he notes that if more power were given to the senate as it is then BC and Alta would be at a disadvantage compared to the province he and his interviewer grew up in and are giving the interview in. At worst he should have pointed out that harper’s plan (which many quite rightly criticize as being pie-in-the-sky) ALSO might include equalization regarding the number of seats, though this is far from a certainty.

      I trust this ends the discussion on this topic.

  4. What if Harper simply does not show up again and quietly prorogues Parliament until some time next fall? I know his opponents would be upset, but what about those who follow him slavishly and have such faith in him ie: his base?

    • What if Harper simply rounds up all of his political opponents and has them shot to death? I know his opponents would be upset, but what about those who follow him slavishly and have such faith in him ie: his base?

      • Hahaha!

      • Because that would be much worse and while Harper has a habit of doing things no state should tolerate (that said this would be the least objectionable of the three bad pro-rogues, were it to happen), killing people is an entirely different matter.

        I would have thought that would be a fairly obvious distinction. I am also a little chilled to see another poster above laughing at this idea. I know “party above country” is often a mantra with CPC supporters, but surely they realize executing their opponents is no laughing matter?

        • What you should REALLY be worried about is that giant Death Star that Harper is constructing.

        • It is called black humor. I was laughing AT the complete audacity of Orson’s snark just like at laugh at Keith’s snarks. I am sorry to see you lower yourself to demean me this way.

      • No. Stupid, in your scenario, his opponents would be dead.

        • Really?

          • How is that not axiomatic? If Harper has all his opponents shot to death, how would they not all be dead?

          • It’s possible that some of them could simply be pining for the fjords.

        • Welcome aboard!

      • More likely to spend the summer pouting at Harrington Lake.

  5. Aaron, it is quite irritating when the source article you reference (Globe and Mail) won’t give you access unless you are a subscriber. Is there a precedent for public ethics hearings?

    • Use Chrome in Incognito mode.

      • Thanks Dave.

        • My pleasure. I would have loved to be there at G&M board meeting when they discovered how bloody simple it was to avoid their paywall.

    • The G&M does give access to articles to non-subscribers, I believe, but you can only read a limited number of articles per month.

      As Dave says, I think Chrome in incognito mode will get you in, and I believe (though I’m not certain) that if you go through a Twitter, or other social media, link, those will go through to the article.

      • Some G&M articles are earmarked only for subscribers so if you aren’t a subscriber you can’t read them even if you are within your limit of 10 articles. I thank you for the advice though.

      • Links on NationalNewsWatch seem to work for some reason.

        • I take that back – can’t get on the Ottawa Citizen article about more Con patronage.

  6. Does the House have the power to subpoena Senators? Senate documents? Senator’s documents?

    If not, what would be the point?

    Wouldn’t it undermine possible criminal proceedings?

  7. Abolish the Senate.

    It has no purpose.

    It’s just a gift….to the appointed, and to the media.

    • Agree 100%!

      • Terrific! I’m big on eliminating deadwood.

  8. The answer to the lede: The same reason Tkachuk consulted with the PMO on a file that really should have been confined to members of the Senate. Public hearings could damage the Conservative brand.