In its length, in its cost and in its debate schedule, this election is unusual. The first and possibly only real debate of the campaign ended and here are the highlights of what happened.
The Supreme Court has unanimously shot down Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plans to reform or abolish the senate and in response Harper has dropped the ball. The man who promised an elected senate since as far back as 2006 is now saying there’s nothing he can do and is closing the door.
The four-day Liberal convention closed yesterday setting the stage for 2015. Despite a leaked Conservative memo suggesting attempts to disrupt the convention, the events continued as though they weren’t there. The Conservatives and media did try to surface negative publicity, but recent polls show Liberal support is on the rise as the Tories and NDP prepare for the most negative campaign seen since 2006.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau turned the Senate and pundits on their heads this week following his announcement that Liberal Senators would cease to sit in the Liberal caucus in a bid to remove patronage and partisanship from the scandal-plagued Upper Chamber.
The senate voted to suspend senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau without pay yesterday, an unprecedented move that has trumped due process in an attempt to silence a year-long scandal.
Within six days of Duffy’s bombshell allegation implicating Harper in the Duffy affair, Duffy released documents today which implicate Conservative Party lawyer Arthur Hamilton in a second cheque.
The Conservatives have desperately tried to dodge the scandals floating in the senate but as time progresses, the situation appears to be getting worse. The Duffy Affair already has some explosive new leads: one of the senators who became known for whitewashing an independent audit is also wrapped into scandal, a mysterious binder belonging to Harper’s former Chief of Staff reveals Duffy’s calendar, Duffy contracted $65,000 for “little or no apparent work.”
Disgraced former Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin is on the hook for $121,348 in inappropriate travel expenses since her appointment in 2008. Despite already repaying nearly $38,000 prior to the total set in the Deloitte audit, the senate committee could ask for up to $20,978 more to be repaid. The controversy becomes evermore damning when the politics factor in, including the defense of Prime Minister Stephen Harper this spring.
Democratic Reform Minister Pierre Poilievre announced the government can reform the senate without opening the constitution.
A new document reveals the Conservative party wanted to pay disgraced senator Mike Duffy’s owing in a bid to cover up his scandal. The documents obtained by the RCMP and obtained by CTV show the Conservative Party would have cut the $90,000 cheque former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright did.