Thursday, November 12, 2015
Could Stephen Harper Be Forced To Testify At the Duffy Trial?
When we last saw Stephen Harper he was running or waddling quickly down a corridor, in a desperate attempt to escape the media.
Or as portrayed in this Le Devoir cartoon, crawling out the back window for the same reason...
But according to some parliamentary experts, he could soon be running for his political life.
Should Mike Duffy decide to summon him to his upcoming trial, and he can't use his parliamentary immunity.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Conservative senators may have difficulty invoking parliament privilege should they be called to testify at Senator Mike Duffy’s trial, say some of Canada’s top experts in parliamentary procedure.
Harper, who named Duffy to the Senate, stepped down as Conservative Party leader but remains an MP, prompting some to speculate that he is staying on as an MP to avoid having to testify in the Duffy trial.
The courts might not support his immunity claim.
“I’m inclined to think the courts would be loath to allow privilege to prevent a member of Parliament being available as a witness in a criminal matter. I’m inclined to think the courts would not want to grant and recognize an exemption to members of Parliament with respect of criminal proceedings but I’m just not sure.”
And of course neither would the Liberal government...
“In this particular case, it would be a pretty cold day in July before a Liberal dominated House insisted on the privilege for the purpose of preventing Mr. Harper from testifying in the Duffy case. It just wouldn’t happen, I would think.”
Now I should say at this point that Justin Trudeau has raised my expectations so high I dare not raise them any higher without an oxygen mask.
But I do note that the trial, which resumes in just six days, is supposed to last for another five weeks, so anything could happen.
And wouldn't it be great if Harper was called to testify? For whether he actually got to sit in the box or not, it would be a frightful scandal.
Or the final humiliation...
Or with a little luck, the end of this sordid story...
You know, I have to admit it, I'm BAAAAAAAAD.
Or maybe I just want justice more than most, or have a longer memory.
But I don't want to see Stephen Harper and his Cons merely defeated.
For what they did to our Canada, I want to see them destroyed...
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