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QP Live: Harper insulates himself from Wright-Duffy exchange

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Yesterday, when reams of documents built a case that a bunch of people in the Prime Minister’s Office were aware of ex-chief of staff Nigel Wright’s $90,000 payment to Sen. Mike Duffy, Harper remained defiant in the House. Of course. The PM’s remaining defence is starkly personal: he had no idea what was happening between Wright and Duffy. The whole world might’ve known, but he only found out on May 15—and that’s when he took action.

Today, don’t expect NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to believe a word of that defence. The House’s prosecutor-in-chief will take Harper to task and poke and prod, and hope the PM lets slip a little bit of contrition—or culpability, or something that advances this script. The showdown continues and, barring some admission of guilt in some dark corner of Ottawa, shows no sign of letting up. Ed. Note: Harper’s not in the House today, so Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra will field questions.

Maclean’s is your home for the daily political theatre that is Question Period, when MPs trade barbs and take names for 45 minutes every day. If you’ve never watched, check out our primer, which we produced with J-Source. Today, QP runs from 2:15 p.m. until just past 3. We tell you who to watch, we stream it live, and we liveblog all the action. The whole thing only matters if you participate. Chime in on Twitter with #QP.

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The RCMP’s latest Wright-Duffy docs have the PM playing defence, though his characteristic style is to counterattack aggressively after a few rounds of questions. Look at him to go after Justin Trudeau on pot and Tom Mulcair on past bribe offers.

Edit: The PM’s not in the House, so replace “the PM” with “Parliamentary Secretary Paul Calandra,” who takes his boss’s place in the hot seat. Same strategy, probably.

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QP Live: Harper insulates himself from Wright-Duffy exchange

  1. tom mulcair is taking the bate from the cons. their(cons) are trying to get tom angry and their doing a good job of it.

    • Other way around. Tom is carefully and methodically getting them to point fingers increasing and more vehemently at each other. Harper continues to hammer away at Wright. Eventually Wright will respond.

      • Unlikely.

        He’s got nothing on the PM. And even if the PM did directly have something to do with it, ironically Wright would make sure no hard evidence beyond “he said – he said” will ever incriminate the PM.

        Wright, the so-called man of integrity and ethical standards is being called out by his former boss as corrupt and a liar and there isn’t a thing he can do about it.

        • The PM doesn’t need to be formally incriminated though.

          If Wright so much as comes out and says, “That’s not what happened,” then whether he has any hard evidence or not, the PM’s goose will be cooked politically.

          Were I a more cynical person (or to be more specific one who cared enough to spend my time on it) I’d be watching our government very closely over the next few months to see what moves they make that might benefit Onex. As I expect there’s going to be some pro quo going on here.

  2. I don’t understand or speak Italian. Does Calandra mean “one-trick pony?”

    • Latin for leg humper ?

    • It’s Quebecois for, ‘boot licker’!
      .

  3. If Hogan’s Heroes is remade I know who is perfect for Sgt Schultz .
    Although his body type is different , PM Harper knows Sgt Schultzes lines very well
    “I know nothing , nothing at all”
    PM Harper is telling the truth , the whole truth and nothing but the truth and it never rains in Vancouver between November and May either

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