Ottawa hurries up and waits for Senate crisis answers -

Ottawa hurries up and waits for Senate crisis answers

Tease the day: The government deflects and delays, but how long can that last?


The prime minister is in South America, on a trade mission. The foreign minister is in the House of Commons, engaging in damage control. The Senate’s internal economy committee is down the hall, investigating Senator Mike Duffy‘s improperly claimed expenses. The federal ethics commissioner is in her office, investigating the conduct of Nigel Wright, who was Harper’s chief of staff until last Sunday.

So, while Harper shakes hands and Baird deflects and Senators re-open books and the ethics commissioner pores over the rules, everyone else waits. The slow-moving train that is the ongoing Senate expenses scandal, where only the reporting of CTV’s Robert Fife shovels coal into the engine, lumbers on.

John Ibbitson, writing in The Globe and Mail, explains this hurry-up-and-wait approach to crisis management. The government, as it has done before, can “punt the issue to a neutral third party and then refuse to answer any further questions, claiming officials must be allowed to do their jobs.” The thing that the government must remember, and it’s something Toronto Mayor Rob Ford knows all too well, is that when a scandal is too big to just disappear, the harshest of critics are willing to wait. And wait. And wait for answers.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the renewed investigation of Senator Mike Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses. The National Post fronts Apple’s testimony at a U.S. Senate subcommittee, and what the newspaper calls the “political horsewhipping of big business.” The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Taliban’s murder of an Afghan interpreter’s family when he moved to Canada. The Ottawa Citizen leads with questions about the ongoing Senate expense scandal that Prime Minister Stephen Harper refuses to answer. iPolitics fronts yesterday’s debate in the Senate chamber about the ongoing expense scandal. leads with the search for survivors after a destructive tornado tore through suburban Oklahoma City. National Newswatch showcases the CTV News report about the ongoing Senate expense scandal, and the prospect of senior Conservatives testifying at a special committee charged with investigating a potential breach of parliamentary privilege.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. South Africa. Governor General David Johnston heard complaints from officials in South Africa about a Canadian policy that imposes visa restrictions on members of the ruling ANC Party. 2. Quebec corruption. Daniel Ratthé was kicked out of the Coalition Avenir Quebec caucus after he was accused of indirectly receiving illegal donations during a 2005 municipal campaign.
3. Foreign workers. Two B.C. unions who had complained about the hiring of 201 temporary Chinese workers by a pair of mining companies had their case thrown out of federal court, 4. Union firing. Last week, federal court upheld the 2007 firing of a union official—a border services employee—who counselled fellow members in an online posting to engage in an illegal strike.