Stephen Harper’s Conservatives caught misleading Canadians

RCMP documents about the Senate spending scandal revealed yesterday shed some new light on the contradictions, misleading statements and outright lies put forward by Conservatives about the Senate expense scandal and the $90,000 cover up.

 

CONSERVATIVE CLAIM :

“Those were his [Nigel Wright] decisions. They were not communicated to me or to members of my office."
–Stephen Harper, House of Commons, June 5th, 2013

THE TRUTH :

“The documents allege that Wright recalls three staff members within the Prime Minister’s Office were aware of this arrangement.”
– CTV News, July 4th, 2013

 

CONSERVATIVE CLAIM :

“Mr. Wright himself said that he acted alone in the case of Mr. Duffy, and that is why he resigned. He acted alone”
–James Moore, House of Commons, June 11th, 2013

THE TRUTH :

“The documents allege that David van Hemmen, executive assistant to Harper’s chief of staff, and Chris Woodcock, director of issues management in the Prime Minister’s Office, also knew about the deal.”
– CTV News, July 4th, 2013

 

CONSERVATIVE CLAIM :

“That report mirrors the recommendations of an independent audit conducted on behalf of the Senate.”
– Stephen Harper, House of Commons, May 28th, 2013

THE TRUTH :

“The final Senate report … relating to Duffy’s expenses was less critical than the original draft report, which is consistent with the purported deal between Duffy and Wright.”
–RCMP court documents quoted by CTV News on July 4th, 2013

 

CONSERVATIVE CLAIM :

“The Prime Minister has been very clear to all senators, including Senator Wallin, that any expenses have to be paid and have to be associated directly with their responsibilities as a senator and that any expenses that are not associated should come directly from their own personal pocket.”
– James Moore, House of Commons, June 17th, 2013

“The Conservative Party has already been clear that it pays its own campaign expenses. In fact those were reported and in fact when we became aware that Mr. Duffy had possibly in effect double billed, that is obviously why the Senate has now referred the matter to other authorities. Once again, in this case, the Conservative Party acted immediately on the information it knew.”
– Stephen Harper, House of Commons, June 4th, 2013

THE TRUTH :

“The Conservative Party was initially going to repay the money for Duffy from a Conservative fund.”
–RCMP court documents quoted by CTV News on July 4th, 2013

 

CONSERVATIVE CLAIM :

“I was not consulted on, and did not participate in, Nigel Wright’s decision to write a personal cheque to reimburse Senator Duffy’s expenses.”
–Statement from Stephen Harper special adviser and legal counsel Benjamin Perrin, May 21st, 2013

“Mr. Speaker, Mr. Perrin has already answered these questions. It was Mr. Wright who gave the cheque to Mr. Duffy.”
–Stephen Harper, House of Commons, May 28th, 2013

THE TRUTH :

“The documents allege that Wright recalls three staff members within the PMO were aware of this arrangement, including Harper’s former special adviser and legal counsel Benjamin Perrin.”
– CTV News, July 4th, 2013

 

NDP leader Tom Mulcair grilled the Prime Minister repeatedly with clear and straightforward questions about who in the PMO was involved in the secret payout. He asked about the involvement of the Conservative Party. He asked about the involvement of the Prime Minister’s lawyer.

Now we learn that RCMP court documents time and again contradict Stephen Harper’s version of events. We have a secret cover up, orchestrated out of the Prime Minister's Office, and the Conservative Party was implicated and knew about it.

But many more questions remain unanswered, including:

  • What changed between the time Stephen Harper expressed his total, absolute support of Nigel Wright and the moment he accepted his resignation just three days later?
  • Which directives did Stephen Harper gave to his staff relating the Senate expenses scandal?
  • When did Stephen Harper first speak with Nigel Wright about the whole question of the Senate expenses scandal?
  • Did the Prime Minister ask all PMO staff about their possible involvement in that scheme?
  • Was the Conservative Fund used for similar payments in other cases? If so, which ones?
  • How is it the Prime Minister’s lawyer knew about possible illegal activity going on in the PMO, and yet did not report it to the Prime Minister?
  • Pamela Wallin said she informed the PMO she had already been forced previously to repay inappropriate expenses – without being asked to resign from the Conservative caucus. Why did Stephen Harper claim he knew nothing about this?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers willfully misled Canadians.

Canadians deserve the truth about that whole scandal. They deserve answers about the extent to which the PMO was involved in covering up this possible fraud, they deserve answers about what role Conservative Party operatives played in the cover up and they deserve answers about the low ethical standards of Stephen Harper’s office and top advisors.

Canadians deserve better.