Former Conservative Senator Mike Duffy began his trial yesterday with 31 charges laid against him. Bribery, fraud and accepting a $90,000 cheque to pay back falsified expenses will be a major part of the case, however, what the prime minister knew and did not know will be paramount to finally getting answers on what happened.
Did PM Stephen Harper know of the $90,000 cheque that Nigel Wright had given to Mike Duffy and if so, when did he know it? The cheque was given to Duffy in March through their lawyers, the media started questioning this in May and that is when our Prime Minister said he first learned of it.
Will this trial show that our PM did know and lied to the Canadian people about it? The 41 days of Parliamentary witnesses will certainly stir things up for the Conservatives coming up to a federal election this fall.
It appears that the Crown prosecutor does not agree with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Mike Duffy’s eligibility to be a Senator in Parliament.
Our constitution makes it very clear that in order to be a Senator, they must reside in the province to which they are representing but Duffy did not live in PEI. Our Prime Minister knew he was not eligible, and chose to ignore our Constitution and the rules to be a Senator, and instead appointed the well-known media personality anyway.
Duffy in return travelled across Canada and spoke at Conservative party fundraisers, bringing in lots of money for the Conservative party.
The Conservatives tried to cover up the fact that Duffy owed too much, when his expenses were brought into the public light. Their party was willing to pay for his expenses to the tune of 30K to keep it quiet, but when they found out it was more like 90K he would owe, they refused to help him.
This is where the Nigel Wright our PM’s former Chief of Staff came in, and created a plan to have Duffy collect a $90,000 cheque and pay back these expenses.
It is illegal for anyone to give money to a sitting member of the Senate, and it is illegal to accept it, which Duffy has now been charged with. I still wonder why Nigel Wright is not being charged for giving the $90,000 to Duffy.
This trial is going to get very interesting before it’s over.