Another Conservative government scandal grows
May 23, 2013 Leave a comment
Ok. Another scandal hitting the Conservative government of Canada.
First some background. Late last year, an auditor found that four Canadian senators [three of them Conservatives] were found to billed for expenses they weren’t entitled to. Two of them billed for living expenses if their primary residence is farther than 100KM from Ottawa. But one in particular, Mike Duffy, was billing for the province of Prince Edward Island when in fact lived in Ontario for most of his time as senator and even had Ontario government cards. So at one point Senator Duffy sent in a cheque for $90,000 to cover the expenses.
Fast foward to this month. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, actually gave Duffy the $90,000 even though Duffy never mentioned it. [Wright himself is a multi-millionaire from his Bay Street “high roller”.]
According to rules, politicians can’t accept any gifts from anyone else. The story goes is that Wright and Duffy are friends and Wright gave the money to Duffy like “any” friend would. Right? Wright has since resigned as chief of staff and the opposition parties are calling for a police investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile two Conservative senators sanitized a report removing key issues related to this scandal and are also in trouble.
The Prime Minister, himself, is on a trip to South America. He’s trying to reduce any criticizing by limiting two questions from Canadian reports and two from local reporters. So in Peru, one of the two local reports asked him to comment on the scandal.
Harper was sorry and frustrated with the scandal and never authorized or knew about the $90,000 “gift”. The real question is when did Harper knows about the scandal and when did he first learn about it? From his actions to ignore questioning, most are wondering if he actually did know about the scandal early on and did little. Maybe he ordered the sanitation of the report [that hasn’t been revealed yet].
Of interest to note is that Harper met with the Conservatives caucus [in front of reporters] to give a stern lecture to them regarding this and other issues. His government has been in power now for a number of years. With all the other scandals, you would of figured that he would of had this lecture before and they should know better.
This, I’m afraid, won’t be the last scandal before the next election in a couple of years.