Bye, bye Stephen Harper, you are finally done!

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NorthReport

We have had just about enough from our lyin' Prime Minister. Harper stop blaming others and start taking responsibility for what happened in the PMO. You tried to cover-up and deceive Canadians when the Conservative Senators you appointed went off the rails following your advice. 

Harper’s approving rating at all-time low: poll

http://www.680news.com/2013/10/30/harpers-approving-rating-at-all-time-l...

Harper defends Conservative party paying Mike Duffy's legal expenses

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/vote-on-senate-suspensions...

Harper disavows former aide Nigel Wright over Senate ‘deception’

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-heaps-blame-on-forme...

Harper mired in mystery of second cheque

http://www.vancouversun.com/Harper+mired+mystery+second+cheque/9101195/s...

The supreme irony of the Senate scandal

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/the-supreme-irony-of-the-senat...

NorthReport

"Hell hath no fury, like an ally politician scorned".

I want to take my hat off to the Duffster as he has been able to do something no one else has been able to do and that is to bring Canada's lyin', deceivin' Prime Minister Stephen Harper down.

The NDP should raise some funds and help to pay Duffy's expenses to go out to Calgary this weekend so that Duffy can hold a press conference right outside the Conservative convention, and right around the time Harper is delivering his keynote address to his flock of adoring fools. Don't they realize the gig is up, and it is time to cut Harper loose. Keep up this inaction on addressing your very serious leadership issue within your party Conservatives, and you will end up bringing the whole house of cards down. Burt then again that is up to yous.

NorthReport

Keep it up Harper, but I wonder if the RCMP might soon be investigating you and whether or not you may be going to jail over this supposed Senate, but more like a PMO under your watch scheme,  designed to rip-off taxpayers that was hatched right in your office.

Oh, that's right, the guy who micromanages everything just happens to all of a sudden not know anything. Right, sure we believe you Prime Minister, sure we do!

Harper disavows former aide Nigel Wright over Senate ‘deception’

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-heaps-blame-on-forme...

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NorthReport

Gee, I wonder what Preston Manning is up to now! Laughing

Duffy's torpedo at Harper shatters the party's base

 

"The millions of Canadians who voted for Prime Minister Harper and the thousands of Tories gathering in Calgary this week would be shocked to see how some of these people, some of these Tories, operate," a downright effervescent Duffy told the Senate committee hearings Monday. "They have no moral compass. Oh, they talk a great game about integrity, but, in my experience, they demonstrate every day that they do not understand the meaning of the phrase 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth'."

Ouch! Duffy may be going down, but he's not going down quietly or peacefully. And he seems intent on taking Harper with him.

Of course, those with no little sympathy for the Conservative leader will overlook the fact that Duffy has readily admitted he willingly misled the Canadian public on - as the good senator now puts it - not one Nigel Wright cheque, but two. Harper's rebuttal in Tuesday's question period that rule violators like Duffy should be removed from the public payroll is valid.

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne put it well in his Tuesday column: "For balance, readers might wish to consult court papers filed by the RCMP, in which the investigating officer swears: 'I believe that Senator Duffy has demonstrated a pattern of filing fraudulent expense claims'."

Similarly, Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin's rewriting of her planning calendar is almost as troubling.

But while Harper might have once found tranquillity in such notions, he seems unable to find shelter from the storm that Duffy, Wallin, et. al. have brewed. It cannot be found in the sanctuary of the Prime Minister's Office. It certainly cannot be found on the governing side of the House of Commons. And it really no longer exists in the bosom of his Conservative party, in the wake of Duffy's most recent allegation that Conservatives' hard-earned donation money has gone to pay Duffy's legal expenses.

Yet Harper sees nothing wrong with his party paying Duffy's legal costs? The PM's explanations are now far from serene.

Duffy's bombshell that Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, oversaw a second $13,560 cheque has truly shattered the peace. "He (Wright) paid my lawyer's legal fees," Duffy delightfully squealed in the Senate Monday. "That's right! The PMO had the Conservative Party's lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, pay for my lawyer."

http://www.leaderpost.com/Duffy+torpedo+Harper+shatters+party+base/91009...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Stephen Harper is manager of world’s most intriguing pizza shop

 

VIEW IN CLEAN READING MODE » WHAT IS THIS ?  

Allowing the Prime Minister a brief reprieve from the incessant questions about Nigel Wright, Mike Duffy and the disastrous pact to make $90,000 disappear, Paul Calandra, Mr. Harper’s parliamentary secretary, stood and told stories about his father’s pizza delivery business.

“My father owned a pizza store,” Mr. Calandra reported. “He worked 16 to 18 hours a day. I can tell you what my father would not have done if he saw somebody stealing from his cash register. He would not have said—”

Across the aisle, a voice shouted that Mr. Calandra’s father wouldn’t have paid his employee’s legal fees. The New Democrats laughed, as they did often this afternoon.

“—’You are suspended, but make sure you come back every two weeks and collect a paycheque,’ ” Mr. Calandra continued. “I tell the House what he would have said. He would have said, ‘You are fired, leave,’ and he would have called the police.”

Granted, a full analogy requires imagining the world’s most intriguing pizza shop, one which we, the voting public, own. One where the assistant to the store manager initially told the employee that his taking of the money “complied with all the applicable rules” of the cash register and where the assistant to the store manager then agreed to provide the employee with money to restock the cash register. Only this was kept secret—at least from the store owner and the store manager, though at least a few other employees were told about it—and the employee alleges he was advised on a cover story to explain the repayment. The employee also says he was threatened with expulsion from the pizza shop if he did not agree to go along with the assistant to the manager’s plan. And then a subsidiary of the pizza shop, for which the store manager is CEO, agreed to cover the employee’s legal fees after, in the employee’s version, he insisted on a written agreement that the repayment would not amount to an admission of guilt. And then five months later the employee the store manager had appointed to be his representative in the kitchen announced that the employee should be fired. And then the employee stood up in the middle of the shop and started to tell everyone what had happened. And other employees, otherwise friendly to the store manager, started to suggest it would be rash to fire him. And then the individual that the store manager had appointed to be his representative in the kitchen started musing about maybe going easier on a couple of other employees who were also accused of taking money from the cash register. And we were silly enough to make this pizza store bicameral.

And so now we, the owners, are both enthralled and repulsed by the drama of our little pizza shop. And maybe we are starting to wonder if we should buy a McDonald’s or take a chance and invest in an Extreme Pita.

***

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair arrived this afternoon bearing news from distant lands.

“Mr. Speaker, I have just come back from Brandon and I met a lot of people there who are very disappointed in the Prime Minister. That includes a lot of people who voted Conservative in the last election who are very sorry that they did not get the clean, ethical government the Prime Minister promised them,” Mr. Mulcair reported. “All across Canada, including Brandon, people are all asking the same question: Why does the Prime Minister keep changing his story?”

Mr. Harper disagreed with Mr. Mulcair’s interpretation.

“Mr. Speaker, there has been no change of story,” he said.

The New Democrats laughed.

“On the contrary,” the Prime Minister continued, “the events are extremely well known.”

Not merely well known, no, the events here are extremely well known. They are not merely understood, they are seared into the mind.

“Senators collected expenditures that they should not have collected in our judgment, and of course a member of my staff facilitated an improper payment on that,” Mr. Harper recounted. “That member has been removed and those senators who have taken improper payment should be removed from the public payroll.”

If the Prime Minister’s story has changed, it has done so in two rather needless ways.

First, in his statement to the House in June that Mr. Wright’s “decisions … were not communicated to me or to members of my office,” an assessment that was undermined a month later when it was revealed that Mr. Wright had told the RCMP something different. Second, in Mr. Harper’s use of the word “dismissed” to describe how Mr. Wright had come to be separated from the Prime Minister’s Office, a verb that seems at odds with earlier claims that Mr. Wright had resigned. Though it would be interesting to know on what basis Mr. Harper offered the former declaration—and perhaps why he even bothered to offer it when he did—the latter is perhaps merely the silly use of of an inaccurate word and perhaps neither are necessarily ruinous for the Prime Minister’s cause. But they are at least unsteady steps when Mr. Harper is already walking on something other than solid ground*.

“Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Mulcair asked with his third opportunity, “yesterday Senator Duffy said that there were at least two cheques involved in his deal with the Prime Minister’s office. How many cheques were there?”

Mr. Harper would not answer the question asked, but he would furrow his brow and attempt to explain.

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Duffy makes reference to the fact that the party reimbursed him for some legal expenses,” the Prime Minister said.

“Ohhh!” cried the New Democrats.

“That is a regular practice. The party regularly reimburses—”

“Ohhh!” cried the New Democrats again.

“Mr. Speaker,” the Prime Minister continued, “the party regularly reimburses members of its caucus for valid legal expenses, as do other parties.”

Mr. Mulcair wondered who was aware of the second cheque and, after that failed to receive a direct reply, the NDP leader used his fifth opportunity for mockery.

“Mr. Speaker, on May 28, the Prime Minister said that there was ‘…no legal agreement’ in the Duffy affair,” Mr. Mulcair recalled. “How many lawyers does it take to negotiate no legal agreement?”

Mr. Mulcair sat and laughed. The New Democrats stood and cheered.

“Once again, Mr. Speaker, I have no idea what the member is referring to,” Mr. Harper pleaded.

“Ohhh!” sighed the New Democrats.

“What I do know, Mr. Speaker, the facts in this case,” Mr. Harper continued. And now he chopped and swiped his right hand this way and that and jabbed his index finger at the air. “Mr. Duffy took $90,000 of expense money he did not actually incur. He was told to pay it back,” Mr. Harper recounted. “He committed to paying it back. He in fact said publicly he had paid it back. That turned out to be a story told by Mr. Duffy and Mr. Wright. As a consequence, Mr. Wright no longer works on the public payroll and Mr. Duffy should not be on the public payroll either.”

The Conservatives stood and cheered.

***

Behold this mess. We know not what it amounts to.

It is surely entertaining, but what is it exactly? It is not quite a matter of public policy. It might eventually prove to be a matter for the courts. It might somehow be construed as some test or question of character or some statement on someone or someones or some thing, but of who and how? Is this something unique to a particular party or individual or even the practice of professional politics or is this just the sort of thing that happens when power and ambition and entitlement are involved, only here it is the public’s business?

It is $90,000 and, seemingly, some attempt to make that $90,000 matters less than however much it did in the first place. And now it is regular twists and revelations and all manners of business that we were surely not meant to know. It is Mike Duffy, standing in the ornate chamber of our Senate, breaking his greatest story to the nation, his disembodied voice broadcast across the networks, teasing out the details with the aplomb of an infomercial pitchman, as others have suggested, or an eccentric uncle telling a wondrous bedtime story. It is Thomas Mulcair, standing tall and staring down the Prime Minister, cross-examining his witness with question after question after question—simple questions driven by a slowly unfolding drama. It is Justin Trudeau in the corner, outdone by Mr. Mulcair on this file, but still holding that promise of something somehow better, or at least an extended lead in the polls. It is Stephen Harper, challenged as never before, perhaps struggling as never before. A man who beat Michael Ignatieff, Stephane Dion and Jack Layton, out-maneuvered the press gallery and outclassed his most wild-eyed critics, now struggling to beat Mike Duffy, one of his own appointees, a celebrity who travelled the country singing the government’s praises, assailing its opponents and raising money for the Conservative cause. A Prime Minister having to answer not for any official policy or action or inaction of his government, but for some tawdry agreement with a political appointee. A politician who has survived or sidestepped so many questions about what he and his government have done, threatened by a deal to make $90,000 disappear. And a Prime Minister’s Office facing precisely the sort of scrutiny it is not supposed to attract.

It is a spectacle, with tales of grubbiness and secrecy and underhandedness, private emails and cheques and phone calls. All of it laid out on the public table. With the possibility of more to come tomorrow, or in the next episode. Here now, we are seeing how one of our pizzas came to be made. And it is actually rather mesmerizing.

It might yet prove a passing fancy, of course. How will this matter in two years? Will it be a footnote? Will it prove to be a drag on whatever good news the government attempts to herald from here on? Will it be salt in the wound of any other misstep the government makes? Is this a government burning away its capital and credibility? Is this the beginning of the end of the Harper government? Or just the most entertaining drama on TV? Or both?

***

The Prime Minister’s explanation for the second cheque seemingly left something of an incongruity—why pay legal expenses which, at least in Mr. Duffy’s telling, were related to a matter that was, as Mr. Harper concedes, inappropriate?

Mr. Harper otherwise insisted on his version of events. This was a matter between Mr. Wright and Mr. Duffy. Mr. Duffy had done a bad thing. Mr. Wright had done a bad thing. People who do bad things should be held responsible and accountable. Yesterday, Mr. Harper’s parliamentary secretary had suggested that the three senators facing suspension might apologize. Today, Mr. Harper said the time for apologies was over. Whatever the government leader in the Senate was willing to do for Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, Mr. Harper said the time for settlements had passed. Mr. Harper made his resolute hand gestures and persisted in focusing on the few widely agreed-upon—or at least the least disputed—facts. He insisted that he had been deceived. At one point, he seemed to confirm that Mr. Duffy had been threatened somehow (“Mr. Duffy was being threatened with sanctions because he collected expenses he should not have collected”).

But Mr. Mulcair just kept coming up—the NDP leader taking each and every of his party’s allotted spots to stand some 26 times in the space of 45 minutes. And eventually the NDP leader seemed to narrow in on the matter of the second cheque.

“Why did the Prime Minister, if it is also inappropriate, ask the Conservative lawyers to pay his expenses?” Mr. Mulcair asked. “Why the contradiction?”

“Once again, Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Harper explained, “political parties do provide legal assistance to their members from time to time.”

“Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister therefore sees nothing wrong with using the money of the Conservative Party to reimburse the legal expenses of someone he says has broken the law. That is the ethics of the Prime Minister,” Mr. Mulcair thus pronounced. “Duly noted.”

Or were the legal expenses and the agreement with Nigel Wright not related? What precisely did the Conservative party pay for? Is the second cheque a red herring?

A moment later, Mr. Mulcair decided to forgo entirely a question. “It is true that Mike Duffy has almost zero credibility,” he declared, “but his story is still more believable than that of the Prime Minister and that is quite a feat.”

Mr. Harper was unimpressed. “Mr. Speaker, this is extraordinary,” the Prime Minister ventured. “The leader of the NDP thinks he can believe Mr. Duffy, who said on national television that he took out a loan against his assets to repay money he had taken inappropriately from the taxpayers…”

“It was in the script!” cried a voice from the opposition side, seemingly in reference to Mr. Duffy’s allegation that the bit about the bank loan was a suggestion of someone in Mr. Harper’s office.

“… and now turns around and says, ‘By the way, I never should have repaid any of it. I was entitled to it all the time. It is not my fault that I made up these lies on national television.” That is Mr. Duffy’s responsibility and why he should be sanctioned.”

Speaking of extraordinary, that the Prime Minister should have to answer for accusations made by a senator who says he was previously only doing and saying what the Prime Minister’s Office told him to do and say and that the Prime Minister should counter that that doing and saying demonstrates the senator’s unreliability—that too is a rather extraordinary moment.

It’s all rather extraordinary, this pizza shop of ours.

***

“Mr. Speaker, just to conclude that story, we also had a driver, Eugene,” Mr. Calandra explained with his second opportunity. “He was a Philippine immigrant and he used to deliver pizzas. Part of the agreement was that he would provide receipts for gas. Could Eugene have provided extra receipts? He could have, but he did not. He was honourable. That is the standard that we should expect from our senators. If we can expect it from a guy who delivers pizza, we certainly should be able to expect it from senators.”

And so we know what we must do. We must find Eugene. And we must make him a senator. Or perhaps put him in charge of the PMO.

 

 

*A few hours later, on second thought, the wording of this paragraph has changed. It originally read, “Though it would be interesting to know on what basis Mr. Harper offered the former declaration—and perhaps why he even bothered to offer it when he did—neither is quite ruinous for the Prime Minister’s cause. But they are unsteady steps when Mr. Harper is already walking on something other than solid ground.” 

I’ve also adjusted the pizza store analogy slightly to change who was responsible for announcing that the employee should be fired.

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/10/29/the-sketch-stephen-harper-is-the-mana...

NorthReport

Bruce Stewart | October 29, 2013

stephen harper

Beacon columnist Bruce Stewart says Prime Minister Stephen Harper should do the right thing and resign.

Stephen Harper should be held accountable for appointments and PMO

Prime Minister Stephen Harper should resign. Canadian political and parliamentary tradition demands that he resign. But will he?

There are many in the Conservative Party of Canada who believe the Senate scandal will blow over. Once the “wrongdoers” are punished — for them, that means Senators Duffy in particular, and Brazeau and Wallin if possible, are suspended without pay — they think the whole issue will go away.

I’ve heard Conservatives say “well, we don’t like the Senate anyway — I was Triple-E, but now it might as well just be abolished,” as though Prime Minister’s having to make appointments was behind the whole thing.

stephen harper

Senator Mike Duffy. Photo: Handout.

Funny, I’ve heard this script before, about a decade ago, when it was “well, perhaps a few people were overly zealous about national unity, move along, nothing to see here.” That ended with the Gomery Commission, and brought the Conservatives to power.

That fresh-faced new government’s first act, you may remember, was the Federal Accountability Act. But the MPs’ and Senators’ oaths of office, taken when first admitted to the House or Senate, were sufficient.

Just as American legislators and leaders take oaths to the American Constitution, Canadian Parliamentarians take an oath to serve the Queen. That’s the language of a Parliamentary monarchy to uphold the letter and spirit of the law, to preserve the country’s traditions and institutions, and to be responsible and accountable to them for the actions of your officials.

This isn’t about “beating on Harper means letting Duffy off the hook,” as one passionate Albertan put it to me yesterday. Both are oath-breakers. Both deserve their fates.

The problem with the motion being forced in the Senate to suspend Senators without pay isn’t that somehow the perpetrators of repeated expense account-driven pocket-lining will “get away with it” if it doesn’t happen. It’s that due process isn’t being followed. It’s that it’s being treated as a whipped vote on party lines.

mike duffy

Pamela Wallin of the Canadian Senate. Photo: CBC.

Should Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, (Mac Harb already resigned), and the others in that chamber we haven’t glommed onto yet remain Senators? If they took their oaths seriously, they’d have resigned ages ago — in fact, they’d have never played expense games in the first place.

But they didn’t treat their oaths seriously. Neither has the Prime Minister.

Stephen Harper is responsible for the actions of his officials. That means that when people in his Prime Minister’s Office arrange for his political party to write a cheque (as, in the amount of some $13,000, was done for Senator Duffy) to hide the expense fiddles, Stephen Harper is responsible to the House for it. When Nigel Wright whipped out his chequebook (whether he was reimbursed from party funds or not, no one yet can say), Stephen Harper was responsible for that act. When the PMO has given talking points to the principals involved in this situation, Stephen Harper is responsible for that.

stephen Harper

Patrick Brazeau of the Canadian Senate.

Responsibility is a Canadian invention: upholding our traditions and institutions in this case means more, even, than in any other Westminster-style Parliamentary system, because this is our contribution to democracy. It is that “the Minister is responsible to Parliament for the actions of his (or her) officials”.

When they act inappropriately, it’s a failure of management, with the responsible Minister of the Crown as the manager. The traditional response to that is to offer one’s resignation to the Prime Minister.

When it’s the Prime Minister, the resignation is offered to the country, by stepping down.

If Jean Chrétien had done that in January 2002, instead of packing Alfonso Gagliano off to be Ambassador to Denmark and going into “stall, obfuscate, deny” mode, the Liberal Party of Canada would likely not have been destroyed by the sponsorship scandal.

Stephen Harper claims to want to change the political culture of Canada, so that it is naturally conservative. Chrétien figured that he could deny his oath of office because he was indispensable. Harper, so far, has been acting the same way.

Resign, Mr. Prime Minister. Take responsibility for the actions of your officials, as you ought to. Uphold this country’s traditions and institutions, instead of trying to bend them to your will. Be accountable.

If Stephen Harper goes now, his party has a fighting chance to come back from this. If he stays, playing the “it’ll blow over” game, the Conservative Party of Canada will lose government — and the chance at it — for at least a decade.

Conservatives: do you stand up for Canada — or for Stephen Harper? For they’re not the same thing, not now.

 

http://beaconnews.ca/blog/2013/10/resign-stephen-harper-resign/

DaveW
DaveW

a twist, Harper shot at Mulcair:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/harper-points-to-mulcair-s-legal-fees-paid-by-party-1.2288345

 Harper repeated what he had told the Commons on Monday, that it is common practice for the party to assist members in good standing.

The prime minister then turned to Mulcair and asked the NDP leader about "his party" repaying his legal expenses to the tune of $100,000 in a libel case.

"How many members of the NDP are aware that this party leader not only claims expenses for court cases he loses, but also expects his political party to actually pay for him the damages imposed by a court of law?" Harper asked.

Mulcair never gave Harper the satisfaction of an answer despite numerous attempts by the prime minister to draw an answer from him.

In 2005, a court ordered Mulcair, who was an elected official sitting in the national assembly for the Quebec Liberal Party at the time, to pay $95,000 in damages to Yves Duhaime​.

Duhaime, a former Bloc Québécois MP, was working as a lobbyist when he sued Mulcair for defamation in 2002.

The Liberal Party of Quebec paid for the damages as well as Mulcair's legal costs.

NorthReport

Gotta love the CBC sleaze - the number one story on their website - Harper pinned something on Mulcair

WTF!!!

What does that have to do with the Harper-Wright-Duffy pizza shop operation of ripping off the Canadian taxpayers? 

NorthReport

It may be in Nigel Wright’s power to destroy Stephen Harper

 Is Nigel Wright, the prime minister's former chief of staff, the evil mastermind behind a scheme to cover up Mike Duffy’s controversial expenses?

 

Only a saint or alternatively someone with a guilty conscience would continue to play dead as his former boss wreaks irreparable damage on his or her reputation.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper can only pray that former chief of staff Nigel Wright falls squarely in one or the other category.

In the House of Commons on Tuesday, the prime minister depicted Wright as a deceptive political operator.

Harper openly contended that when his top aide cut Mike Duffy a personal cheque to covertly reimburse a Senate housing allowance on the senator’s behalf he actively engaged in a deception that duped his boss along with all Canadians.

To listen to Harper, Wright abused his trust.

As an aside, if the sight of a prime minister who says he is very angry about a dubious scheme cooked up without his knowledge by backroom operators feels like déjà vu, it is because Harper has now replicated former prime minister Paul Martin’s initial response to the sponsorship scandal.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/10/30/it_may_be_in_nigel_wrights...

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janfromthebruce

As to the above, it shows PM Harper countering his interrogator with illogical comparisons and thus having to reach bk 15 yrs as a sign of desperation. But the other difference is that Mulcair was "elected" and not "appointed", and it was not hidden from view and made to be deceptive from the public view.

And so much in view that it was reported on during the leadership race

Thomas Mulcair is Mr. Angry

His aggressive style stands up to Harper. It could win him the NDP leadership race.

It was a good year for Mulcair, then the deputy leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec. With his indignant stare and a knuckles-first style honed during his years as a lawyer, Mulcair’s constant haranguing of the government helped bring down PQ minister Gilles Baril for alleged influence peddling. Then less than a week after Baril resigned, a La Presse story alleged that Yves Duhaime, a lawyer and former Péquiste minister, had leveraged his friendship with Premier Bernard Landry to land a $180,000 lobbying contract. Duhaime denied everything during an appearance on a popular television show, but on the same show Mulcair accused him of influence peddling and brandished excerpts of the Criminal Code to support his case. Later, after the taping, Duhaime confronted Mulcair and accused him of defamation, to which, according to a Quebec Superior Court judgement, Mulcair responded: “I’m looking forward to seeing you in prison,” before using an extremely vulgar French term to describe him.

 

In 2005, Justice André Denis decided Mulcair’s televised indictment of Duhaime and his off-camera bon mot were indeed defamatory, to the tune of $95,000. The justice’s judgment was particularly damning. “We are of the impression that Mr. Duhaime was a simple contingency in the war [Mulcair] is waging against the government leader,” wrote Judge Denis. “Why wish to see him in prison? Why suggest that Mr. Duhaime is prostituting himself? Why deny things that were said? Why the reference to the Criminal Code?” Yet the incident was telling. Upbraided by a judge for his outburst, Mulcair’s political star only blazed brighter following his run-in with Duhaime. His reputation cemented, Mulcair became environment minister and deputy house leader in the newly formed Liberal government less than a year later.

socialdemocrati...

I'm glad they're digging into that part of his history. People ought to know about the battles Mulcair had with the separatist movement, and his belief in a more benign form of federalism.

mark_alfred

DaveW wrote:

a twist, Harper shot at Mulcair:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/harper-points-to-mulcair-s-legal-fees-paid-by-party-1.2288345

 Harper repeated what he had told the Commons on Monday, that it is common practice for the party to assist members in good standing.

The prime minister then turned to Mulcair and asked the NDP leader about "his party" repaying his legal expenses to the tune of $100,000 in a libel case.

"How many members of the NDP are aware that this party leader not only claims expenses for court cases he loses, but also expects his political party to actually pay for him the damages imposed by a court of law?" Harper asked.

[..]

The Liberal Party of Quebec paid for the damages as well as Mulcair's legal costs.

Hmm.  It's an historical attack from Harper on Mulcair, and it's not really relevant to Harper's Duffy situation (or to any present situation).  But, it's somewhat effective in establishing that it's not unusual for parties to pay legal costs of members and in clouding some of the 'you Harper are not pure' tone of Mulcair's line of questioning.  That's the problem when the route of attack is taken.  It invites the same in return.

janfromthebruce

SD, actually that is the story, but also the corruption in Quebec politics which is also part of the story and playing out right now. the Que Lib govt ended up, as the story shows, winning power and Mulcair's popularity actually increased and also his political capital with a cabinet position.

mark_alfred

The video from the article Harper points to Mulcair's legal fees paid by party is very good.  Paul Calandra, Ralph Goodale, and Charlie Angus were on it.  Angus and Goodale argued that the issue isn't a political party openly paying legal fees of a member, but of legal fees being secretively paid to pull off a scam.

janfromthebruce

And how a TorStar media person saw it:

Susan Delacourt ‏@SusanDelacourt 7h

PM seems to be practicing to be opptn questioner of @ThomasMulcair. Those must be some bad overnight polls the PMO is reading. #cdnpoli

mark_alfred

Interesting speculation.

NorthReport

Harper would not know the truth if it hit him right between the eyes with a 2 by 4.He's a sleazeball  prime minister who was born to lie.

As much as Herbert's column is very appealing, in the real world Harper's current punching bag and scapegoat Nigel Wright will keep quiet. And then in a couple of years, if not before, we will read, according to Harper, this terrible scumbag Wright will be appointed  as a CEO to one of Canada's major corporations. That's rthe reality of Canada, Canada's business world, and Canada's right-wing Liberal and Conservative politics. Get used to it peasants.

----

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NorthReport

In Senate spending scandal, honest lies have been rechristened ‘spin’

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/national/Senate+spending+scandal+hon...

NorthReport

Canadians should be ashamed, especially the idiots who voted for the creep, to have such a lyin; scumbag person like Stephen Harper for Prime Minister.

What a friggin;' disgrace Harper to Canada has turned out to be!

jerrym

On the CBC National, Joe Clark when asked what Harper should do, Clark replied that "Harper needs to tell the real story. He should have done that a long time ago."

I was never a Joe Clark fan, but he at least knows what integrity means. 

NorthReport

Let's get this straight: Harper appoints these people to the Senate. These Conservative Senators get caught with their collective hands in the cookie jar. Harper lackey Nigel Wright tries to blow it off by secretly paying the Duffster's bills. These Harper-appointed Conservative Seantors are going to be provided with their group benefits for being crooks. This is Canada's Prime Minister's version of justice. If you are a Con you will be protected, and looked after, but if you are not a Con watch out, as Harper will do everything he can to destroy you. Thanks Prime Minister, as us Canadians just wanted to know how the process works in Canada. 

 

jerrym

NorthReport wrote:

Let's get this straight: Harper appoints these people to the Senate. These Conservative Senators get caught with their collective hands in the cookie jar. These Harper-appointed Conservative Seantors are going to be provided with their group benefits for being crooks. This is Canada's Prime minister's version of justice. If you are a Con you will be protected, and looked after, but if you are not a Con watch out, we will do everything we can to destroy you. Thanks Stephen, as us Canadians just wanted to know how the process works in Canada. 

 

Warren Kinsella, the Liberal strategist, provided the real reason this is occurring on the The Current podcast Senate Scandal Strategy: Winners and Losers came from 15:30 minutes to 16:20 minutes at:

http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/10/30/senate-scandal-strategy-... 

Quote:

The real reason why Duffy and Wallin are getting a sympathetic hearing from other Senators is that the Auditor-General has announced some months ago that he is going to audit every Senator so I guarantee you that they are moving from spot audits to widespread audits. They are going to find other problems in that, so this is why they don't want to kick Duffy and his gang off the payroll because they know that this is going to happen to some of them too.

The only problem with Liberal Kinsella's reasoning is that it shows the Cons and Liberals are in the same boat when it comes to the scandal. 

 

NorthReport

So this is what passes for Canadians these days , eh!

What a shame!

Senate scandal to haunt federal Conservatives as convention gets underway

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/senate-scandal-to-haunt-federal-conservat...

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NorthReport

Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy tossed aside after helping Stephen Harper's Conservatives win election

http://www.straight.com/news/518256/pamela-wallin-and-mike-duffy-tossed-...

NorthReport
NorthReport

David Climenhaga, author of the Alberta Diary blog, is a journalist, author, journalism teacher, poet and trade union communicator who has worked in senior writing and editing positions with the Toronto Globe and Mail and the Calgary Herald. His 1995 book, A Poke in the Public Eye, explores the relationships among Canadian journalists, public relations people and politicians. He left journalism after the strike at the Calgary Herald in 1999 and 2000 to work for the trade union movement. Alberta Diary focuses on Alberta politics and social issues.How will we get back to the 19th century without him? Why Stephen Harper should go, and won'tBY DAVID J. CLIMENHAGA | OCTOBER 30, 2013

Richard Nixon

My first exposure to the news business from the inside was during the summer of 1973, the year the Watergate Scandal really rattled the United States and the cracks began to appear in the administration of President Richard Nixon.

The newsroom of a small provincial newspaper on an island off the coast of British Columbia was a very far indeed "outside the Beltway" of Washington, D.C., but nevertheless it was Watergate headlines that dominated the front page most days during that long-ago summer of interesting politics.

I can still recall clearly my sense of wonderment at the mighty Nixon Administration's inability to control events as the presidency veered from a second-rate burglary of interest to almost no one toward impeachment and the possibility of conviction in the Senate, borne forward on a tide of hubris, denial and contempt for the law.

As Shakespeare's Brutus observed, there is a tide in the affairs of men that can lead to shallows and miseries as well as to fortune.

Having lived through that -- if only from a distant vantage point -- I can't say I've seen anything quite like it again until our own Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his henchmen brought the Senatorial Duffygate Scandal down upon themselves a few months ago.

Like Watergate, the original issues in l'affaire senateur Duffy were trivial, but the hubris and dishonesty that drove them to the present state of crisis have not changed since Adam and Eve were tempted from the Garden.

As historian Michael Bliss observed in the Globe and Mail a few hours ago, "The problem is that, as in the Watergate affair that destroyed the Nixon Administration, lies, stonewalling, and law-breaking in high places about initially insignificant matters can escalate to the point where they bring down vast political temples."

Our Canadian system of Responsible Government does not operate quite like our American cousins' Separation of Powers model -- for one thing, there is no mechanism for impeachment of a head of government, even if the well-trained seals of the Conservative Caucus were of a mind to do so.

But it's increasingly difficult to imagine that this crisis can simply be manipulated or prorogued away, as has always been this supremely cynical government's alternative to honouring the traditions of our Westminster Parliamentary system.

It was written in this space last May 30 in the wake of the resignation of Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Harper's oh-so-generous chief of staff, that the wrong man had resigned.

"The doctrine of ministerial responsibility, surely, requires that the prime minister himself must go," I argued at the time.

As the Parliament of Canada itself explains in its primer on ministerial responsibility, ministers -- including prime ministers, it must be said -- "are individually responsible to Parliament … for their own actions and those of their department, including the actions of all officials under their management and direction, whether or not the Ministers had prior knowledge."

It's mildly satisfying to learn that others are coming at last to this conclusion.

Brent Rathgeber, my Edmonton-St. Albert riding's now-independent Member of Parliament and known to be an avid if frequently irritated reader of this blog, has now reached the same point I did less than a week before his resignation from the Harper Caucus.

"Nigel Wright cannot have taken 'full responsibility' for this fiasco," Rathgeber wrote Tuesday on his Parliamentary blog to the astonishment and delight of the news media. "It is the Prime Minister who is responsible for him and every other employee complicit in, or willfully blind to, what was going on."

Well, yeah!

But none of us should hold our breath just yet, as I also cautioned back in May. This prime minister thinks he is too essential to his project of dragging the country kicking and screaming back into the Nineteenth Century.

And given the quality of the majority of his market fundamentalist acolytes, Albertan members of the Okotoks Elite and dead-enders from Mike Harris's Ontario provincial regime, he may just be right.

If that means a debacle for his party on a scale unimagined since the departure of Brian Mulroney, it's said here he’s more likely to roll the dice and chance it than risk the possibility a prime minister Jason Kenney or Rob Anders can keep his neoliberal flame alight.

So, alas, it will be a while yet before Prime Minister Harper voluntarily boards the helicopter for the flight into retirement at Bragg Creek, or whatever western redoubt in which he decides to retire.

 

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2013/10/how-will-we-get-bac...

NorthReport

The Liberal stench is starting to smelll big time in these Senate scandals.

It is the Liberals who tried to delay these Conservative Senators from being suspended.

Nice.

I wonder what Canadian votes think about this!

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/no-reprieve-for-duffy-wallin-and-brazeau...

NorthReport

What's the right-wingers creed in all of this:

All politicians are crooks!

Gotta hand it to the Liberals and the Cons. - they come with effective and simple answers, even if they are full of shit which they are.

That $90,172 question: Who knew about Duffy’s cheque?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/that-90172-question-who-kne...

 

NorthReport

The reason Harper is eventually going down on this is that he has built up too big an enemies list for himself. Give it time to perculate.

Too bad National Post - your prince charming is going down in flames!

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/10/29/john-ivison-a-g-senate-pr...

“Thank God, I don’t have to go back to my riding,” said one. “I don’t know what to tell them anymore.”

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/10/30/john-ivison-calgary-conve...

 

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/10/30/jonathan-kay-a-modest-pro...

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NorthReport

Well said.

Leaders should govern for all, not just cater to their own ‘political base’

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Letter+Leaders+should+govern+just+ca...

NorthReport

In today’s news: Harper loses the message

“The notion that Stephen Harper should bear any responsibility for the actions of his staff, or indeed his own, is one of those quaint relics of a bygone age, like outdoor showers or honesty.” —the National Post‘s Andrew Coyne

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/10/31/harper-loses-the-message/

NorthReport

This is the important stuff - follow the money folks!

Conservative party donations drop almost 30 per cent Funds donated to Stephen Harper's federal Tories fell during the third quarter this year compared to the spring.

Sen. Mike Duffy’s contributed to the Tories in 2013, with a $900 donation from him and another $900 from his wife, Heather, sent to the party on April 9, according to Elections Canada reports.

Sen. Mike Duffy’s contributed to the Tories in 2013, with a $900 donation from him and another $900 from his wife, Heather, sent to the party on April 9, according to Elections Canada reports.

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/10/31/conservative_party_donatio...

NorthReport

Will the Senate scandal be Stephen Harper’s Watergate? There’s more than one similarity between Senategate and Watergate. Will Harper share Nixon’s fate?

A feisty President Richard Nixon defends himself a a news conference during the Watergate investigation on March 15, 1973. Left,  Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds during  Question Period in the House of Commons where the focus on Tuesday was the so-called Senategate.

A feisty President Richard Nixon defends himself a a news conference during the Watergate investigation on March 15, 1973. Left, Prime Minister Stephen Harper responds during Question Period in the House of Commons where the focus on Tuesday was the so-called Senategate.

Popular Photo Galleries

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/10/30/will_the_senate_sca...

NorthReport

Harper has ignored Canadian ways while destroying our reputation There’s a clear disjuncture between Canadians and the Harper government on Canada’s foreign policy, writes former Conservative prime minister Joe Clark

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/10/30/joe_clark_charts_ca...

mark_alfred

NorthReport wrote:

In today’s news: Harper loses the message

“The notion that Stephen Harper should bear any responsibility for the actions of his staff, or indeed his own, is one of those quaint relics of a bygone age, like outdoor showers or honesty.” —the National Post‘s Andrew Coyne

The absolute lack of responsibility Harper takes is astonishing.  Reminds me of Captain Francesco Schettino.

NorthReport

For goodness sakes Canadians, let's stop exchanging the white cats for the black cats, eh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqgOvzUeiAA

 

What utter nonsense!

Justin Trudeau says he fights for the middle class in new ad 1

http://www.torontosun.com/2013/10/31/justin-trudeau-says-he-fights-for-t...

NorthReport

Liberals are just a bit more adept when it comes to bafflegab, deceivin', and lyin' to Canadians. They got their man to quit the Senate to try and avoid what was inevitable.
Duffy, Wallin and Harper Vie for Public Opinion

Senate drama continues as PM battles two high profile senators with intriguing tales to tell.

http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2013/10/24/Duffy-Wallin-Harper/

NorthReport

Good question Mr Prime Minister.

Why don't you make a stab at answering it truthfully instead of your usual lyin' bullshit!!!

By-the-way, enjoy your convention. Laughing

Why does Harper pay legal fees yet says Duffy did wrong - Mulcair

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-10-30/article-3453235/Why-d...

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3600

NorthReport

Chretien's hilarious if nothing else.

How conveniently Chretien forgets who appointed Mac Harb to the Senate? Smile

Chrétien says he 'had the good sense' not to appoint Duffy to Senate  

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-10-30/article-3459135/Chret...

NorthReport

You can bet reporters will be looking for one single solitary delgate who is not happy with Harper and interview him. Hopefully this delegate will come through for them and will flush the Prime Minister down the toilet.

Conservative convention and the Senate scandal Live from Calgary, Kady O'Malley answered your questions about the Conservative convention

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cpc13-with-kady-conservative-convention-...

NorthReport

Please Advise! Burgess Tells Harper Why the Senate Scandal Has Legs

And why that 'look at this free trade deal' feint won’t work.

http://www.thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/10/30/Please-Advise/

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NorthReport

This should provide some more classic zingers but he will have to do a good job of beating Duffy's performance.

Brazeau is going to speak in Senate today

NorthReport

WTF is this headline supposed to mean?

Tories paying own way for Conservative convention Senators, MPs footing the bill for attendance at national convention

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tories-paying-own-way-for-conservative-c...

NorthReport

What a shame! Laughing

Vote on fates of Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau stalled until next week Process in the Senate that should have taken a few days drags out over 2 weeks

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/vote-on-fates-of-duffy-wallin-brazeau-st...

sherpa-finn

OK,- I know its in bad taste, but it is Hallowe'en eh, so surely one can be forgiven a momentary lapse .....

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7fQAvkeQmE

quizzical

from the link in post 246

"when Carignan tried to impose closure to limit debate time as a government motion, the  Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella ruled a government closure motion can't be applied to a non-government motion.

 

Had Carignan made the suspensions government motions from the beginning, he could have brought in closure and forced a vote within a few days.

 

But he didn't, and the results of that initial decision have been damaging to the government.

the delay has also meant Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been hammered for days in question period with queries about the Duffy-Wright deal, and how much he knew about it.

 

Finally, the stalling of the Senate vote means Harper can't address Conservative Party members gathered at the Calgary convention and announce the three senators have been kicked out and deprived of their salaries. The convention is underway, and lasts through Saturday.

 

On Thursday, Carignan spearheaded a new motion, this time a government one, that will reiterate the intention to strip Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau of salaries and budgets, but will allow them to keep life, health and dental insurance.

 

He is also again expected to move closure on the motion, this time successfully, to limit debate time, so that it will speedily pass, likely by Tuesday."

guess God came down against PM Harper and his minions by letting them fall all over themselves in bad decisions the public might finally get.

NorthReport

Apart from now being in 1st place in the polls, the really big news here is that the Mulcair-led NDP has risen 5% in the polls since only September

 

One point separates Liberals, Tories and NDP: poll 
http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/one-point-separates-liberals-tories-and-n...

NorthReport

Poor Steevie - what a mess he is in!

'Let us pass that motion' to suspend senators: Tories in question period

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/let-us-pass-that-motion-to-suspend-senato...

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