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.
There is no going back on The Duffy Affair, the breach of trust and scar to the Conservative brand will last a while. The story is on people’s minds and despite an aggressive effort to get it off the agenda, the fall session of Parliament is picking up where the spring session left off – in an interrogation room setting with an opposition playing whack a mole with a defiant prime minister.
The Duffy Affair exploded with controversy Tuesday when disgraced senator Mike Duffy implicated Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the scandal in a speech to the senate to save his job. The speech has led a domino effect exposing over a dozen Conservative insiders who knew of the affair – despite Harper’s claims that former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright acted alone.
It is no secret the only media the Conservatives trust is their own and insiders will often refer to the “liberal media” or “media elite” as a cause for criticisms on their governance and their difficulty attaining power prior to 2006. This mistrust and hatred as spilled to the way Harper deals with journalists and a recent feud is now the centre of a Tory fundraising ploy.
The Conservative government is set to return Wednesday with a throne speech that will avoid the senate scandal by taking pages out of the opposition’s – notably the NDP’s – playbook.
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.”
The alarms were raised when Carolyn Stewart Olsen helped whitewash a senate audit into then-Conservative senator Mike Duffy. Recently, Olsen has herself pledged to repay monies that she took from Canadian taxpayers on the basis of false housing allowance claims while she owned property in Ottawa.
Major U.S. Democratic Party fundraiser Tom Steyer sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggesting his firm lobbying for the XL Keystone pipeline may have contributed to the U.S. shut down.
Elections Canada has laid charges on Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro and one of his campaign staffers after a two year investigation into his campaign finances. If convicted, Del Mastro could face a $5,000 fine and 5-year jail sentence for concealing $21,000 in campaign expenses. The PMO has since expelled him from the Conservative caucus and his court date is set for November 7, 2013.