The Tale of the Tape: Are the Tories alleging what I think they're alleging? - Macleans.ca

The Tale of the Tape: Are the Tories alleging what I think they’re alleging?

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(I’ve finally managed to relocate my binder from this morning’s press conference, so expect a burst of mini-posts as I go through the three hundred or so pages filed as part of the Conservatives’ request for an injunction against using the tape.)

The Prime Minister’s affidavit, which is dated June 2, 2008, includes the following passage:

(iii) The Insurance Policy Question

9. At no time did I tell Mr. Zytaruk during my interview that I knew of a $1 million insurance policy for Dona Cadman offered to Chuck Cadman by Conservative Party representatives. At no time did I tell Mr. Zytaruk that I knew of any discussions of a $1 million insurance policy for Dona Cadman offered to Chuck Cadman by Conservative Party representatives. On September 9, 2005 I had no knowledge whatsoever of anybody making a $1 million insurance policy offer to Chuck Cadman on May 17, 2005, or on any other date. And I have no such knowledge today.

What isn’t clear is whether or not he is claiming that the question itself – whether Harper knows anything about an alleged offer – was never asked – which would be a fairly sensational allegation, since it would point to deliberate, elaborate “doctoring” of the tape.

That, however, is what I was told by a Conservative this afternoon – that the question itself was added after the interview had taken place. If so, that would be huge – it would change the whole context of the conversation.

So why not mention that at the press conference? Or in the press release? Or anywhere other than an off the record conversation with a reporter? For that matter, why is this the first time we’ve heard this from the Prime Minister himself? Did he not remember whether or not he was asked the question? If he doesn’t, how can he – or we – be sure that his other recollections from that day are accurate?

As for the audio experts, both seem to confirm that there is something – a change, a pause, a blip – just before the Zytaruk allegedly asked about the insurance policy, but neither goes so far as to suggest the entire question was added after the interview had taken place.