Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson is telling Canadians her probe will be limited as she readies a third look at former chief of staff Nigel Wright who is involved in a potential conflict of interest when he gave then-Conservative senator Mike Duffy $90,172 to pay off inappropriate housing allowance claims.
Mike Duffy spoke to reporters yesterday and while dodging most of their questions, said he would cooperate with investigations and said he wants Canadians to know the “full story.” He said he wants a “full and open inquiry” to answer many of the questions that have floated around for the past weeks. Meanwhile, the RCMP is closing in, but Duffy said he hasn’t been contacted by them.
On May 16, the RCMP sent a letter to the senate requesting a series of documents they need to investigate the expense claims of senators Mac Harb, Mike Duffy or Patrick Brazeau. Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella confirmed today the RCMP’s anti-corruption unit is looking into the affair. The results of the investigation will determine if there are grounds for a criminal investigation.
Two senators were allegedly behind the order to whitewash the independent audit to protect former Conservative senator Mike Duffy. One of which, David Tkachuk, chairs the Internal Economics committee, which is where the senate decided to send Duffy’s case for a second look. The other is long time loyal advisor to Stephen Harper, Carolyn Stewart Olsen.
While the NDP made a national statement asking the RCMP to investigate the dealings between former chief of staff Nigel Wright and former Conservative senator Mike Duffy, the senate debated what to do with the case. Conservative senators overwhelmingly rejected Liberal calls to bring in the RCMP in favor of sending it back to the same committee that whitewashed the first audit.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper allowed cameras into his caucus meeting today to address recent events. He gave a campaign-style speech saying he’s upset about the ordeal but refused to take questions and dodged most of the questions Canadians want answered about the affair. Harper used the speech to muse about a track record on accountability and a need to focus on the economy.
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.
The NDP are calling for a probe into the $90,172 cheque former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright gave disgraced former Conservative senator Mike Duffy in the midst of a senate spending scandal. The scandal has since evolved, particularly since CTV learned that Duffy’s actions were linked to an agreement that saw the government cover up his fraudulent housing allowance claims.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright resigned this morning in the wake of controversy surrounding disgraced Senator Mike Duffy’s housing allowance scandal. After receiving the full confidence of the PMO, Wright has resigned, raising a lot of doubts and questions on what happened and the integrity of the Harper government.
The PMO released a statement Friday defending Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright after he gifted disgraced senator Mike Duffy $90,172 to pay off inappropriate housing allowance expenses. The gift is now under scrutiny for breaking more senate rules and certainly contradicts Harper’s attitude in 2006.