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.
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.
Former RCMP Superintendent Gery Clement told CTV’s Question Period Sunday that he sees “strong grounds” for criminal charges, pointing to fraud or, “more appropriately,” breach of trust charges under the Criminal Code as possible avenues for investigators looking into the Duffy affair. However, how independent is the RCMP? New government policies oversee its actions.
On May 23, Federal Judge Richard Mosley ruled he won’t toss the election results in six ridings amid finding “thinly scattered” voter suppression and fraud in the May 2011 election. The case comes amid a challenge from citizens and democracy advocacy groups after learning of election fraud. The Conservatives cheered the ruling and recently, Chief Electoral Officer Marc Mayrand demands a crackdown.
Last week we learned a deal was cut between former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright and former Conservative senator Mike Duffy to try to sweep the growing senate scandal under the rug. It turns out Harper’s former legal advisor was the pen to the agreement that was made to go easy on Duffy and pay off his $90,172 in inappropriate expense claims.