Chris Aylward

The gift goes on giving


One tries to avoid pleasure in another’s misfortune, but it’s hard to keep a slowly spreading smile off my face with this week’s developments in the Duffygate/Harpergate scandal.

That the Senate audit committee whitewashed Mike Duffy’s improprieties is now beyond any doubt. The relation between that attempted coverup and the Wright/Duffy agreement (which appears now to have vanished) is still unclear, but the media have their teeth in this thing now, and delicious anticipation reigns.

Stephen Harper is unhappy, but he somehow failed to mention either Nigel Wright or Senator Mike Duffy by name in his statement to his caucus. He did answer some questions, finally—4,000 kilometres away from the House of Commons. He spent much of his time claiming that he was unaware of what was going on in his own office.

Government Senate leader Marjory LeBreton is unhappy, and blames the media. And the Duffster continues to dig.

Meanwhile, according to Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate, the RCMP has begun to probe Senate expense claims. Sleep tight, Mike.

Maclean’s Aaron Wherry tells us why this affair is not like all those other scandals, and will have staying power:

This matter of Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy is not a matter of simple pork (the G8 Legacy Fund), nor complicated accounting and procurement (the F-35), nor electioneering (In-and-Out), nor the conditions of third-world prisons in a war zone (the Afghan detainee controversy). It is neither arcane (prorogation), nor legislative (omnibus budget bills), nor parliamentary (the 2011 finding of contempt), nor merely a matter of expensive orange juice (Bev Oda). It is, instead, the stuff of primetime television drama: the allegations are the stuff of entitlement, privilege, corruption and the evasion of justice.

And with Wherry, I would give the last word (so far) to Pat Martin, whose legendary gift of gab has obviously not deserted him:

They rode into Ottawa on their high horse of accountability, and all we have to show for it is the mess that horse left. They should take their Federal Accountability Act and run it through that horse and throw it on their roses for all the good it has ever done us.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris Aylward published on May 24, 2013 8:30 AM.

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