Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Why Stephen Harper Will Be Hurt by the Duffy Trial

If Stephen Harper thought he could run away from the trial of Mike Duffy, as he was trying to do yesterday at a photo-op in Vancouver. 

Which is about as far away as you can get from Ottawa, and Ol' Duff's even more massive photo-op.

The look on Harper's face tells me that he now knows he can't run, knows that the scandal will hurt him. And that it could be the death of a thousand cuts.

Starting with this one.

A Crown attorney prosecuting Sen. Mike Duffy's fraud and bribery trial has contradicted Prime Minister Stephen Harper's position on who is eligible to sit in the Senate for a particular province. 

"Sen. Duffy was probably ineligible to sit as a senator, and to sit in the Senate as a representative of Prince Edward Island," Holmes told the court. "He was constitutionally eligible to have been appointed from the province of Ontario, but that is not what happened."

Because it can only remind Canadians that Harper must have known that Duffy had lived in Ottawa for DECADES.

But was willing to bend the rules because he was his superstar fundraiser...

For who can forget that travelling Con road show? Or this nightmare.

Or the massive cash cow, who Harper and his Cons would do ANYTHING to protect. Even try to sanitize an audit into his activities.

And when that failed, according to Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne, tried to strong-arm him into a cover-up. 

Bayne revealed for the first time details of an interview between Nigel Wright and the RCMP in the summer of 2013, which Bayne suggested explains the infamous “good to go” line — from a Wright email after he met with Harper on Feb. 22 to go over plans to have Duffy repay. 

Reading out Wright’s words, Bayne said Wright acknowledges the prime minister approved a plan to threaten Duffy to repay expenses he didn’t owe.

“The prime minister, knowing all of this, gave the go-ahead to this course of action with Senator Duffy, all of which was for the pure political advantage of the government,” said Bayne. “It was appearance, not reality or truth that mattered.”

Which sounds very much like the story Duffy told, in his sensational speech in the Senate two years ago...

And makes it even less likely that Canadians will believe that Stephen Harper didn't know how his faithful Nigel would try to make that massive problem go away.

And since Duffy's lawyer has a stack of e-mails bigger than a house, that he slammed down on his desk yesterday for effect.

And since goodness knows what Ol' Duff might say when he takes the stand...

As Bayne says he will.

Whether he likes it or not, Stephen Harper WILL be the tie that binds this scandal together. 

Stephen Harper doesn’t expect to testify at Mike Duffy’s trial, but he didn’t need to be in the courtroom. His name was dropped throughout the first day. In one way or another, the PM was tagged as the beginning and the end of the Duffy debacle. 

The evidence will roll out now over 40 more days, in detail, without Mr. Harper’s testimony. But there will be argument that the PM is a big part of the case, from beginning to end.

So if he thinks he can run away from that scandal.

Or float over it.

He's in for a hard landing...

That sordid scandal has finally caught up with him.

It will do him great damage.

And it will help destroy him...

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  1. Anonymous6:20 AM

    That was some photo-op. The students (or was that cardboard cutouts) lack of enthusiasm was outdone only by Harper's total lack of sincerity. For someone so adept at lying, he sure looked ill at ease in once again denying knowing anything. Sure Steve, I hope you get to tell the Warden that some day.



      What I want to know is why did the school principal and school board allow this event? This is not appropriate in anyway. Were parents consulted and asked if their children could be a backdrop to this? I would like the reporter to find out the answer.

    2. hi JD...yes, when I saw the video I was struck by how bored the kids looked. And apparently it was also completely phony. They bused them in from another school where they don't wear hard hats. And Harper flew all the way to Vancouver for what was a small announcement. They really are shameless and they really are desperate...

    3. hi David...the way the Harper stacks his photo-ops with students and workers really is scandalous. Nobody dares not serve as a prop in a factory lest they get fired the next day, and I presume that the students are equally helpless. But at least they probably won't remember his name... ;)

  2. Simon, while I certainly think Duffy was not eligible to be a Senator from PEI, contemplate this holdover from 19th century restrictions on voting and eligibility rights:

    The Constitution says that a senator "shall be resident in the province for which he is appointed," and must own property worth at least $4,000 in that province.

    That means that someone who actually does live there, and may always have, can't be appointed as a senator if he or she is a tenant, or living in the house of a family member who is the owner. It is profoundly classist.

    1. hi lagatta...well that's putting it mildly. The fact that you have to own $4,000 worth of property is simply outrageous. How am I ever going to become a Senator ????? But yeah, as far as I'm concerned they can close the place tomorrow...

  3. Anonymous8:55 AM

    The kids in the CPC and PMO should be polishing up their CVs. There are forty days and forty nights of testimony and evidence to come. It's gonna rain. And it's gonna be a hard rain.

    1. hi anon...thanks for that link, I've never heard of that version, but I have always loved the Brian Ferry version. And yes let it rain and rain and rain....

  4. I wonder how the public will react if Duffy's lawyer calls Harper as a witness and he invokes his privilege and refuses to testify?

    1. hi Kirby...I would love Bayne to call Harper, because if he did and Harper refused to appear, it would only make him guilty in the eyes of most Canadians. Not testifying would do him more harm than actually appearing. And I must say that so far I'm really impressed with Duffy's lawyer...

  5. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Simon, could you enlighten me, please! I must have missed the response to my question somewhere and I'm tired of wondering about it. Why did Wright use his own money to pay out Duffy? Is he that rich that he could afford to be out $92,000? You would be surprised at how many people are wondering about this.

    1. Yes, Nigel Wright is very rich. Read this - I wish someone would explore the coincidence of Wright and SH's obsession with the F-35's -

    2. Yes, Nigel Wright is undoubtedly very rich. There is some connection between Wright/Onex and the F-35's - suspect a lot of $$ will end up with some people if this insane purchase goes through.

    3. I think Harper said Wright used his own money because Wright didn't want Canadian taxpayers to be on the hook for the money. (And of course one of the main things a Chief of Staff does is make problems go away.)

      Wright probably got the money back from some sort of Con Party slush fund, although 90 grand is a pittance for someone as rich as Wright.



      A former CF-18 pilot and operational fleet manager says it will cost a lot of money to use the CF-18s past 2017.

      Steve Fuhr says the Canadian Forces originally extended the life of the CF-18s to 2017, giving the jets upgrades to systems, weapons and sensors, as well as structural upgrades. But other parts of the aircraft, like the engines and fuel tanks, weren't addressed.

      "Aircraft fatigue is probably the most significant factor when determining the life of an aircraft," he said in an email to CBC News.

      Officials thought some of the planes could last until 2020 if fatigue is managed very carefully, Fuhr said. But making it to 2023 is "a stretch" that is most likely to come at the cost of reduced flying hours.

      "This is significant because pilots are already flying the minimum hours to meet their mandatory requirements," he said.

      "In my opinion, stretching the CF-18 to 2023 will have significant operational consequences in terms of aircraft availability. It will also cost a pile of money."

      But senior Air Force brass say the CF-18 modernization and structural life extension programs will allow the jets to keep flying far beyond 2017.

      "The Royal Canadian Air Force's flexible approach to planning means that the CF-18 will be able to operate safely and effectively into the early 2020s timeframe," said Maj.-Gen. Yvan Blondin, deputy commander of the RCAF, in a comment emailed to CBC News.


      Get to know local Liberal candidate
      Stan Gooch | Posted: Monday, February 23, 2015 12:30 am

      With latest polls showing the Harper Conservatives and the Liberals in a dead heat, it is very possible the forthcoming election will actually be decided by B.C.
      In Kelowna-Lake Country, voters are faced with an interesting choice between incumbent Harper-loyalist Ron Cannan and ex-Conservative fighter pilot, Steve Fuhr, running for the Liberals.
      After nine years, we know exactly what we get with Ron. He has been, and would no doubt remain, a totally loyal supporter of Stephen Harper.
      This is despite Harper’s missteps — such as the appointments of Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau to the Senate and Arthur Porter (in jail in Panama) to the CSIS “watchdog,” the F-35 fiasco, the serial mistreatment of veterans and the Unfair Elections Act.
      Ron has faithfully stuck to PMO talking points to defend his boss.
      Unfortunately for Ron — and his constituents — loyalty has brought no rewards. Just since the beginning of 2015, Harper has twice shuffled his cabinet (already the largest in history) and also his lineup of parliamentary secretaries.
      Lots of the Harper MPs from Ontario have been given more prominent roles, but nothing ever for Ron.
      Perhaps Ron has been ignored for nine years because Harper takes Ron and the people of Kelowna-Lake Country for granted.
      Contrast this with Liberal candidate Steve Fuhr.
      Steve courageously broke with the Harper Conservatives because he realized the F-35 was the wrong, extremely expensive, choice for Canada and expressed his concerns publicly and in specialized military magazines.
      His support for fellow veterans and reopening the office in Kelowna has been outspoken. His business credentials have led him to question the alleged Harper competence on the economy, in serious decline because Harper put too many eggs in the oilsands basket.
      The surging Liberal Party wants to use new talent and has already identified Steve Fuhr as someone who can play a significant role nationally and recently moved to appoint him to the leader’s top advisory group on foreign affairs and defence.
      If we elect Steve, he has outstanding prospects to play a significant role nationally, quite possibly as a member of cabinet.
      I strongly urge voters to make their own decision on this — get to know Steve, judge how well his strong voice will advance the interests of Kelowna-Lake Country in Ottawa and consider the significant contributions he can make to Canada.

      Stan Gooch, Kelowna

    6. hi anon 9:48...I don't remember your question, but the answer is that Nigel is very wealthy, so $90,000 is pocket change, and who knows whether he thought he might get some of it back from the party. Because remember the bagman Gerstein was OK with paying back what he thought was about $30,000 but balked when he found out it was more than that...

  6. The prosecution rolled over a couple of times yesterday. Holmes admitted that Duffy was probably not in violation of Senate rules or laws and that Harper's appointment of Duffy was probably unconstitutional.

    Strangely passive and coupled with Wright's admission of forcing someone who had done nothing wrong made the mounties case look pretty contrived.

    1. hi rumleyfips...yes it's interesting how the crown has damaged Harper more than Duffy's lawyer has done yet. Because that statement that Duffy was ineligible must have made the Cons faint. This trial is getting off to a VERY good start... ;)

  7. Anonymous10:44 AM

    So the Duff has not changed his side of the story in over two years but the PM & PMO keep flip flopping, so who are you going to believe?

    My vote is on the Duffer and I wish and hope and pray [even though I ain't religious] the Duffer topples Harper's tower of babel...

    Huh huh huh would not that be swell?


    1. hi Mogs...yes isn't that surprising? I remember how many ridiculed Duffy when he made that speech, but it now seems to be all true. Duffy is an old scoundrel, but I have to pull for him because the Cons are so evil and anything he can do to damage them would be most welcome...

  8. “Get Duffy” - Song by Daft Tories

    1. hi David...thanks for that one, I may use it one of these nights. And I definitely want one of those Harper masks... ;)

  9. Anonymous12:56 PM

    If Duffy's appointment as Senator representing P.E.I. was unconstitutional because he was actually a resident of Ontario, then it could be argued that Harper is an accessory to fraud if Duffy is convicted of such for his ineligible housing and expense claims (because Harper had appointed him against constitutional requirements).

    At the very least, I am sure that the NDP and Liberals will be reminding voters of this. If they do not do this constantly, then they deserve to lose.

    And it is not only Duffy. There is also Wallin who was appointed for representing a province she was not also resident in. And then there was Carolyn Olsen who had also been appointed to represent N.B.? despite having resided in Ontario.

    Several of Wallin's alleged inappropriate claims have already been reported. Olsen, however, would have been almost in the same situation as Duffy and yet there have not been any investigation into whether she had made any fraudulent or inappropriate claims. Perhaps this will be addressed when the AG's report is released because it appears there are about 40 Senators who had been flagged.

    Yep, Harper could be heading for the closet again, eh?

    BTW, did anyone notice that Closet Leader had lost an estimated $3.5B (when the Provincial loss, smaller than the federal, was added) from the sale of GM shares two days ago in order apparently to balance the coming budget? Recall how Closet Leader had claimed that he had advised his mother to buy shares during 2009 financial meltdown. Looks like he took he own advise with the GM shares and now we are on the hook for a few lost billions. If his mother had taken his advice, she probably would not be laughing today. What an economist, not, eh?

    1. Anonymous5:22 PM

      They just blew 3.5 billion so they could balance the Books. Wow! Just so they could give the aura of being fiscally responsible. This story better be front and center when Grampa Joe finally delivers the "budget".

    2. hi anon. 12:56....I couldn't imagine a better way for the trial to start than by the crown making Duffy AND Harper look sleazy. And yes you're right others are in the same boat including Harper's VERY good friend Carolyn Stewart Olsen who hopefully when she testifies will be asked about that. And can you imagine the impact if Wallin is charged before the Duffy trial is over. I think that double whammy would just about finish Harper off...

    3. hi anon..5:22 pm ...yes isn't that scandalous. Not only did they lose billions, they also threw away the shares that could help pressure GM into creating more jobs in Canada. And then don't forget that Tony Clement is insisting on all kinds of other cuts from the Healthcare Agency to Via. So they are practically selling the furniture to get themselves the surplus they need to bribe as many voters as possible. If there were any justice those Con artists would be in jail...

  10. Anonymous4:24 PM

    Just saw this. Enjoy your laugh for the day .... students and parents protesting against Closet Leader using bused students as props while refusing to answer any questions about Duffy:

    Wasn't the look on his face priceless? I think this guy knows he is in trouble, if looks are anything to go by. ;)

    1. hi anon...yes thank you, I mentioned that above. What an absolute farce, And yes I got several screen grabs of Harper, and I had trouble deciding which one made him look more desperate. Because they all did... ;)

  11. Speaking of piling on, it looks like Fat Steve's old fremeny Barack Obama has laid another turd on Steve's plate.
    Steve he says" put up or shut up now on the TPP trade deal. You cant lie about it today and sign it after the election"

    1. hi Steve...yes I saw that, and I haven't the slightest doubt that Obama will treat him as a punching bag until his term is over, or Harper's ends first...

  12. e.a.f.3:10 AM

    either you had to live in the province or you'd didn't. if he represents PEI then its o.k. to claim for expenses while in Ontario, and there is no limit that I'm aware of how many days you have to live in an area to be the senator from that area. Now in duff's case, he really did live in Ottawa, because that has always been his principle residence, but if he is the senator from PEI, then that was his home, like this just goes on and on.

    harper doesn't need to take the stand and it would not be a good idea if he did because then he can be cross examined and that would not go well for him. We saw how well it went for him in the House of Commons when Mulcair was doing it.

    However, whether this will cost Harper the election, is another thing. Too many in the country this is old news. They aren't listening. It will be up to the other parties to make this an election issue. Can we trust Harper?

    1. hi e.a.f...I'm more optimistic than you are. The trial may not be what brings the Cons down, but it will add to his negatives. A lot of Canadians don't trust him and the intrigue in the PMO will only make them trust him less. Remember this issue took him down at one time to the lowest polling numbers he has ever had since he came to power. And at this point in the election campaign, any erosion could be fatal...

    2. e.a.f.1:56 PM

      you'll forgive me, but I live in B.C. and we have seen it all, so some of us don't see Harper and his Cons gone. they could just make it back into control.

      B.C. was and is a mess. What did the voters do? returned the B.C. Liberals to office. What was stevie doing in B.C. really? Funny place to come and announce the new student grant. Education was and is going down the tubes here. the Vancouver school board is hotly debating why the B.C. Liberals have decided to put off bringing schools up to earthquake standards of today, until 2030. Turns out the b.C. liberals say we don't have the money to do it by 2020, as promised. People would rather endanger the lives of their children then vote into office a government which would ensure schools were brought up to code. So given all of that, do you think they really care about a little "corruption" In B.C. we don't have to wait until an election to get rid of an MLA. We have recall legislation.. now granted its difficult to achieve the removal of an MLA, but people just won't bother, even if the lives their children are endangered in B.C. schools.

  13. Mike Duffy Trial

    Day 1

    Day 2