Former Conservative backbencher MP Brent Rathgeber resigned the Conservative caucus tonight, citing the government’s lack of accountability as the reason. This comes as he tried to pass private members Bill C-461 which aimed to release public sector salaries but got shot down by the Conservative government. Rathgeber was one of the 9 MPs that revolted in support of Stephen Woodworth’s right to discuss abortion politics and stood against PMO muzzling.
Elections Canada has sent letters to the Speaker putting two Conservative MPs in legal limbo after failing to file campaign documents in the 2011 election. Saint Bonifice MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Finance Minister Shelly Glover and Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan are challenging Elections Canada and if a judge rules against them, they will be thrown out of the House of Commons.
The RCMP announced it is looking into whether it will launch a criminal investigation into the Duffy affair but added it will not make such a decision public. Assistant Commissioner of the new National Division Gilles Michaud said they are is looking at the evidence it has obtained and insists it will resist pressure from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews who was mandated to monitor and regulate its activities.
Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton will ask the auditor general to conduct a “comprehensive” audit over senate expenses. She said she will launch the audit Tuesday and will put the entire senate under the microscope.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau told the Federation of Canadian Municipalities yesterday in Vancouver, the only way to restore public trust in public officials is to “raise the bar” on accountability. He also told the audience he is not in favour of the status quo in the senate and explained his stance on opening the constitution. Trudeau announced plans to announce new transparency measures in the near future.
What started as an isolated set of robocalls misdirecting voters in Guelph expanded to effect over 50 ridings as irregularities happened during the 2011 election campaign that gave the Conservatives their coveted majority. Did the Conservatives legitimately win the 2011 election campaign? Let’s take a look at the scandal from how it unfolded.
A new string of emails from September 2009 suggest Duffy was trying to cash in from Conservative coffers. The senator who entered claiming to be non-partisan was already caught in another email, just three months sooner, asking who to charge for an “expanded role” in the Conservative Party.
An email from 2009 shows former Conservative senator Mike Duffy asked the Conservative party for more perks just six months after Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed him. The email shows Duffy’s desire to get greater compensation for an “expanded role” in the Conservative party. He suggested joining cabinet without a portfolio to get more perks.
The barrage of opposition questions came again today but rather than stutter and be caught off guard, Prime Minister Stephen Harper fought back, changing the topic and responding with direct attacks on his opponents. NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was able to get through a bulk of his list of questions and like Tuesday, they were sharp and concise.
The Senate’s Internal Economy committee has unanimously sent senator Mike Duffy’s expense claims to the RCMP for investigation last night. The motion came from Conservative Senator Larry Smith after the committee heard a report from Senate Clerk Gary O’Brien which revealed a pattern of living expense claims in Ottawa while working on senate business outside the capital. This comes after days of relentless pounding from the opposition and Liberal Senators who asked for this days ago.