Stephen Harper’s lone gunman defence wobbles

By Tim Harper

Two Conservative senators say lies are being thrown around in the Mike Duffy affair. That much must be true.

We know that Mike Duffy has previously promised that more details in this affair would become public. He has also offered a sardonic nod to reporters to “stay tuned,’’ writes Tim Harper.

OTTAWA—In his bid to survive the Nigel Wright-Mike Duffy affair, Stephen Harper has clung assiduously to the lone gunman theory.

Harper has repeated that mantra time and again — his former chief of staff cut a $90,000 cheque to the disgraced former Conservative senator on his own, without the prime minister’s knowledge.

The best way to destabilize the Harper argument is to involve as many others players as possible, making it appear to be a conspiracy in the Prime Minister’s Office and beyond, making it increasingly impossible for Canadians to believe this elaborate operation could have unfolded without Harper knowing what was happening in his own office.

It helps, as well, if some of those involved could be considered especially close to the prime minister, so that they might be known generically as “Harper loyalists.’’

Continue reading

Stephen Harper will be called as a witness if Mike Duffy expenses allegations reach court: sources

Stephen Harper's public statements that show he was comfortable that Senator Mike Duffy satisfied all residency requirements would be key for Duffy's defence.
The Canadian Press/FilesStephen Harper’s public statements that show he was comfortable that Senator Mike Duffy satisfied all residency requirements would be key for Duffy’s defence.

If the RCMP investigation into Mike Duffy over alleged breach of trust reaches court, the senator’s lawyers will call Stephen Harper as a witness and grill the Prime Minister under oath, sources said.

Mr. Duffy’s lawyers have barred him from speaking to the press but he has told friends that he feels he has been thrown under the bus and that the Conservative PR machine is out to destroy him.

Sources close to the now-Independent senator at the centre of the expenses scandal said Mr. Duffy was recruited to present a “kinder, softer” face to the Conservative Party in the run-up to the 2011 election. Friends say he was told that political appearances on the Senate tab were not only tolerated, they were expected by the Prime Minister.

Mr. Duffy’s case for the defence is likely to rest on public statements by Mr. Harper that show he was comfortable the senator satisfied all residency requirements (the RCMP alleges Mr. Duffy broke the law by claiming a primary residence in Prince Edward Island, when his primary residence was really in Ontario). Back in February, Mr. Harper told the House of Commons that all Conservative senators conformed with the Red Chamber’s residency requirements. “That’s the basis on which they were appointed to the Senate and those requirements have been clear for 150 years,” he said.

Postmedia News reported Thursday that new senators, including Mr. Duffy and Pamela Wallin, were told that they could bill for certain partisan travel.

Also Thursday, the auditor general confirmed he will perform a comprehensive audit of the expenses of all senators

Originally published in the National Post

My dog’s Secret

My dog’s Secret…

My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day. He has his food prepared for him. He can eat whenever he wants. His meals are provided at no cost to him.

He visits the Doctor once a year for his check-up, and again during the year if any medical needs arise. For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.

He lives in a nice neighbourhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep. He makes no contribution to the running or maintenance of the house.

If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up. He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep. He receives these accommodations absolutely free. He is living like a King, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.

All of his costs are picked up by others who go out, work hard, and earn a living every day. I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head…


I think my dog might be a Canadian Senator !