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Politics and its Discontents: CPC slogan 2015: “No grounds for criminal charges.” *

* H/t Dan Gardner

In the twisted morality of the Harper universe, it will be claimed and conveyed as a complete vindication of the Prime Minister.

That the RCMP has found no grounds upon which to lay criminal charges against Nigel Wright in the $90,000 payoff-to-Mike-Duffy-scandal does nothing to dissolve the deep and abiding suspicions about Harper’s influence-peddling machinations was not lost on the At Issue panelists last night:

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Montreal Simon: Why the Senate Scandal Can Still Bring Down Stephen Harper

For a brief moment today I wondered whether I should remove Nigel Wright from the poster for my new and exciting season of Senategate.After the RCMP announced that he was no longer under investigation. The RCMP has ended its probe into Nigel Wright, the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and his $90,000 payment to suspended Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.But then I thought no, this scandal is still as sordid as ever. It couldn't have happened without Nigel. Bless him. And it could still bring down Stephen Harper.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Redford-Hancock Government moves ahead with plan to gut public sector pensions

Alberta Environment Minister Robin Campbell, right, in one of the rather undistinguished jackets that are causing such a brouhaha in the provincial Legislature this week. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Doug Horner, below, is moving to attack the pensions of 300,000 Alberta public employees and no one is paying much attention. Below him, NDP Leader Brian Mason, who opposes his plans, and former prime ministerial chief of staff Nigel Wright. But you’ll have to read to the bottom if you want to know what Mr. Wright has to do with this story.

Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner gave notice yesterday that the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Scandalous Senate and PMO appointments say Harper is unqualified to criticise Trudeau’s f-bomb

by: Obert Madondo | March 31, 2014

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau dropped the f-bomb when he addressed the crowd at the Fight for the Cure charity boxing match in Gatineau, Quebec, over the weekend.

“I’m going tell you, there is no experience like stepping into this ring and measuring yourself,” Trudeau said. “Your name, your fortune, your intelligence, your beauty, none of that fucking matters.”

The crowd reportedly cheered.

But, as usual, the Conservatives weren’t amused. Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to capitalize on the expletive to score cheap political points.

“This is yet another example of Justin Trudeau’s lack of (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: I Guess Sometimes It Doesn’t Pay To Have Friends In High Places

Although I have no sympathy for those who work, either directly or indirectly, for the Harper regime, there is a story in Toronto Life entitled, With Friends Like Harper: how Nigel Wright went from golden boy to fall guy which made for some interesting reading.

Part profile of Wright and part portrait of a cold, calculating and ruthless Prime Minister willing to jettison even those closest to him, the article revealed things I was quite unaware of. For example, I did not know that Wright and Tom Long were instrumental in luring Harper back into politics after he left following (Read more…)

LeDaro: Stephen Harper and Senate scandal

Richard Nixon seemed to have spoken the same words when faced with the Watergate scandal.

LeDaro: Mike Duffy in his defence

LeDaro: Mike Duffy: The Rise and Fall – CBC Fifth Estate

                     Fitting caricature given his ego                     

It was a comedy, for real. Mike Duffy, the ultimate Ottawa insider, a cartoonish character who has become the leading symbol of Senate corruption, claiming living expenses for a cottage in Prince Edward Island he hardly occupied. The ultimate oversized sense of entitlement. He is a schmoozer who likes access to power, and has a giant ego to boot. A highschool dropout who made it big.

The documentary showed how Mike Duffy had been (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Will the Voter Suppression Act Help Bring Down Stephen Harper?

If Stephen Harper thought he could get away with his foul assault on democracy, by ramming his so-called Fair Elections Act through Parliament, after this weekend he must be having second thoughts.Because first he got spanked by the Godfather of the Conservative movement, Preston Manning, for trying to muzzle the chief electoral officer.And now a former chief electoral officer has pointed out yet another flaw in that anti-democratic bill. Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On official business

It’s no surprise that the Cons’ idea of accountability for themselves is to provide nothing but blank pages when faced with a request for information about their dealings with Senate reimbursements. But one of the reasons for the secrecy looks like a noteworthy story in itself.

Here’s the exemption being applied to several pages of the record: 21. The head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains … (b) an account of consultations or deliberations in which directors, officers or employees of a government institution, a minister of the Crown or the (Read more…)

LeDaro: Mike Duffy wishes you (taxpayers) Happy New Year

Calgary Grit: 2013: Year in Review

January: SunTV applies for corporate welfare, arguing that they cannot survive unless the government forces people to watch them.

Later this year, they would give Rob and Doug Ford their own show…before cancelling it faster than Lucky 7.

Whoever could have guessed this fine young man would find himself at the centre of so much controversy?

February: Patrick Brazeau is knocked out of the Tory caucus. While the Senate has yet to change rules around travel expenses, they were quick to pass a “no pictures of senators in thongs” bill.

March: In what was really the only (Read more…)

LeDaro: Mike Duffy

I wonder what is he doing these days?

Alberta Diary: Pretty rich: Manning Centre founder and namesake lectures Ottawa Press Gallery on ethics

The Parliamentary Press Gallery, apparently as seen, sort of, but not quite, by Preston Manning. New ethical guidelines required? Doubtful. Below: The founder and namesake of the Calgary-Based Manning Centre; Senator Mike Duffy.

Let me get this straight: the founder and namesake of the Manning Centre presumes to lecture Ottawa’s Parliamentary Press Gallery on a supposed dearth of ethics because one disreputable Conservative Senator was once a member of the exclusive journalistic club and another worked as part of the Fourth Estate?

Preston Manning, the godfather of the Canadian Organized Right who acts as its chief financial matchmaker, teaming (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Deflect, Spin, Misdirect: Preston Manning and the PMO

Apparently, Preston Manning must have received new orders from the PMO.  In yesterday’s Globe and Mail, we found Mr. Manning opining on the supposed issue of ethics in the Parliamentary Press Gallery.

The upshot of Manning’s arguments is that the whole Duffy affair wouldn’t have happened if the Parliamentary Press Gallery had a rule in place that prohibited members from taking a government appointment for five years after they leave the Press Gallery.

In short, “Hey look!  The problem is over there!”.

No Mr. Manning, your transparent and ridiculous attempt to direct attention away from the centre of the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On deflection

Shorter Preston Manning: Mike Duffy openly flouted the Parliamentary Press Gallery’s rules for years by seeking to trade his celebrity for a patronage appointment. When Stephen Harper was the only Prime Minister willing to offer that deal for political gain, Duffy proceeded to flout every new set of rules which applied to him as a Senator while serving as the Conservatives’ most prominent fund-raiser, setting up a scandal and cover-up reaching to the top levels of the Prime Minister’s office.

Obviously, this story demonstrates there’s a problem with the Parliamentary Press Gallery, and no other person or party involved. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s Ghastly Personality Cult

It's a personality cult worthy of a place like North Korea. With a monomaniacal Great Leader who seeks total power.Who would muzzle his opponents, declare the truth to be what he says it is, attempt to brainwash us into submission with OUR money.And replace the Government of Canada with the Harper government. Read more »

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: How Shocking …

So, apparently the PMO has “found” a bunch of e-mails that they previous claimed had been deleted.

The emails of Stephen Harper’s former legal advisor were not deleted when he left the Prime Minister’s Office, according to a letter sent from the Privy Council Office (PCO) to the RCMP. 

Benjamin Perrin, who was named in RCMP documents last week as a player in the deal between Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy, left the PMO in late March. 

The letter released Sunday night states when Perrin left in March, the PCO said they deleted his emails records as part (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: How Shocking …

Alberta Diary: He haunts us still: ‘Welcome to the 1980s’

Welcome to the 1980s, everybody. Above, Pierre Trudeau, saying just that. Below: Justin Trudeau, embracing victorious Liberal candidate Emmanuel Douburg last night in Montreal’s Bourassa riding. (Montreal Gazette photo.)

“Well, welcome to the 1980s!” He haunts us still.

I don’t know about you, but I could almost hear Pierre Trudeau’s familiar, scratchy, defiant, weirdly challenging voice last night, reaching out to us all from whatever corner of the Universe he now resides in and welcoming us all back to the ninth decade of the Twentieth Century as the federal by-election results started rolling in.

It may be (Read more…)

Valerie Burns: When you vote today, remember Chuck Cadman

There is very little satisfaction in saying “I told you so.” Being right is no fun when the consequences are actually dire. There is no bragging when we look back in time and know that we were right all along; however, it can be important to remind everyone of what happened when it forms part of a larger pattern.

Canadians are shocked that Stephen Harper’s staff would pay Mike Duffy $90. Duffy is a sitting legislator, and there are strict rules, criminal law rules, about when payments can be made to law-makers of this type. Since even in the (Read more…)

Calgary Grit: He sees nothing

Stephen Harper adds “Sargent Schultz” to his list of impersonations

PM didn’t know staff asked Conservative Party to pay Duffy’s expenses: spokesperson

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had no idea his staff had asked the Conservative Party to pay Sen. Mike Duffy’s ineligible expenses, his spokesperson said Sunday.

In an interview with CTV’s Question Period, Harper’s director of communications, Jason MacDonald, also said Harper didn’t know PMO staff wanted a Senate report into Duffy’s expenses sanitized, or that the party’s chief fundraiser tried to influence the independent audit of Duffy’s claims.

The problem for Stephen Harper is that, regardless of where (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: A Scandal in Two Institutions: The Senate Half

What has become known as the Senate Scandal is really a scandal in two institutions: the Senate, of course, but also the PMO. The PMO half of this scandal was written here. What follows is the Senate half of the scandal:

One of the advantages of living in a (relatively) functioning first world democracy is that we are (relatively) unburdened by the kinds of systemic corruption that plagues other polities. Cases of direct financial payoff – suitcases full of cash changing hands in empty parking lot in exchange for political favours – is relatively low. Where in countries with far (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Senate scandal: New RCMP docs suggest Harper is “guilty of corruption”

New documents released by the RCMP suggest that the Senate expenses scandal is closing in on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

The post Senate scandal: New RCMP docs suggest Harper is “guilty of corruption” appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Good to Go Cover-Up

Well he wasn't in the House of Commons today. He was out in Lac Megantic handing out a $95 million cheque. But he couldn't run away from the questions about another cheque. The one he was apparently prepared to write Mike Duffy to paper over a budding scandal with party funds.The one that can be boiled down to this question: who do you believe Stephen Harper or the police? Read more »

Paul S. Graham: Stephen Harper, Duffygate and the Cadman Affair: grounds for criminal charges?

According to the Canadian Press, “The prime minister’s chief of staff went to Stephen Harper for approval of a secret plan that would have seen the Conservative party repay Mike Duffy’s contested expenses and whitewash a Senate report, new RCMP documents suggest.”

According to the article by Jennifer Ditchburn and Steve Rennie, published today:

When the party balked at the ultimate total of Duffy’s $90,000 bill, however, Nigel Wright paid the bill himself — apparently without Harper’s knowledge. Harper has called that a “deception.”

But emails included in Wednesday’s new RCMP court filings quote Wright as getting (Read more…)