Today’s headlines: The Senate expense scandal survives the BBQ circuit

September arrives and questions just won’t disappear


Adrian Wyld/CP

Skeptics suggested that Ottawa’s tendency towards short-term memory loss might have disappeared the Senate expenses scandal from the public consciousness by the time September rolled around. Summer’s silly season has played interference before, and political prognosticators could be forgiven for doubting the legs of a scandal defined by the words Senate and expenses.

But the scandal just won’t disappear.

At the end of June, we looked at 20 questions from Parliament Hill that needed answers. Among those queries, we asked about loose ends related to the Wright-Duffy affair and Senator Pamela Wallin’s plight. The latter dominated news cycles in August, when the country learned of Wallin’s high-flying expense claims. Mac Harb, the senator who resigned amid allegations of improperly claimed expenses, fuelled the scandal for some time. We’re still yet to hear about the fate of Senator Patrick Brazeau, whose expenses are also under RCMP investigation. Plenty of details related to the Wright-Duffy affair remain a mystery.

CTV’s Bob Fife has single-handedly kept the issue alive over the summer. Now, the CBC’s Greg Weston adds his two cents in a piece that sketches the scene on Parliament Hill over the summer—complete with interrogations in a former Senate smoking room just down the hall from the Red Chamber. Weston reports that the Wright-Duffy cheque is the focus of the RCMP investigators who apparently are “tough, thorough, extremely well-prepared, and seem deadly serious” about getting to the bottom of their case.

Deadly serious? It’s the stuff of movies, or at least a Canadian made-for-TV movie. And now, barring something that swiftly vindicates all of the accused senators, the scandal will just keep on surviving. The barbecue circuit proved no match.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with an Ontario study that says kids who attend all-day kindergarten are better prepared for Grade 1. The National Post fronts Mobilicity’s plan to transfer its 200,000 wireless subscribers to Wind Mobile. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with top Republican support for U.S. President Barack Obama’s limited strike plan for Syria. The Ottawa Citizen leads with CFB Petawawa’s new name, 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa. iPolitics fronts Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s political survival after his pot-smoking admission. CBC.ca leads with the prison hanging of Ariel Castro, the convicted kidnapper of three women in Ohio. CTV News leads with Castro’s hanging. National Newswatch showcases CBC News‘ story about the RCMP’s summertime focus on the Wright-Duffy affair.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Iraq. Sixty-seven Iraqis died after bombings in 11 Baghdad neighbourhoods yesterday, including a pair of blasts near restsurants in a suburb that killed nine and injured 32. 2. Charbonneau. The inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry heard about an alleged collusion ring in Gatineau, Que., that saw four engineering firms rig bids for contracts.
3. Refugees. Former immigration minister Jason Kenney asked departmental staff to identify options that would allow Canada to accept fewer refugees with ongoing health problems. 4. Justice. A former Calgary man convicted of strangling his wife to death in 2011, Bradley Cooper, has won a new trial after his lawyers claimed they couldn’t present their best defence.
5. Mafia. Canadian authorities arrested Carmelo Bruzzese, who Italian authorities claim provides an alleged link between Mafia families in Italy and Canada—and is wanted on several charges. 6. Mexico. A woman calling herself Diana the Huntress may be behind a series of bus-driver killings that are allegedly revenge for late-night sexual assaults of female factory workers.


Today’s headlines: The Senate expense scandal survives the BBQ circuit

  1. One of the refugee groups that Kenney is trying to restrict are people who have ongoing health problem “due to trauma or torture”. This surprises me. I thought the bar on just how unfeeling Kenney is was set too low to get any lower. And yet, he achieves yet a new low.

    • No bar is too low for Kenney to slither under.

Sign in to comment.