HARPER WATCH – MAY 13 to 18, 2013 (The Duffygate Edition)


CTV News – Mike Duffy made secret deal with Harper’s chief of staff during audit
Two months before the audit was released, Harper’s top advisor Nigel Wrighthad a PMO lawyer work on a letter of understanding with Duffy’s legalcounsel.

Sources told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that the deal involved Duffy reimbursing taxpayers in return for financial help and a promise from the government to go easy on him.

CBC – Senator Mike Duffy quits Tory caucus
Senator Mike Duffy has resigned from the Conservative caucus and will sit as an Independent amid controversy over his living and travel expense claims….

Conservative sources told The Canadian Press the vast majority of Duffy’s Senate colleagues had signed a petition calling for his ouster from caucus and were prepared to confront him with that petition at a meeting next Tuesday evening.

CTV – Mike Duffy tried to influence CRTC decision on Sun Media: source
Sen. Mike Duffy attempted to influence the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s upcoming decision involving the right-leaning Sun News Network, a source has told CTV News.

A well-placed source told CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that Duffy approached a Conservative insider with connections to the CRTC three weeks ago to discuss Sun Media, which is asking the federal regulator to grant its news channel “mandatory carriage,” or guaranteed placement on basic cable and satellite packages.

CTV News – Pamela Wallin forced out of Tory caucus over preliminary audit results
Prime Minister Stephen Harper forced Sen. Pamela Wallin out of the Conservative caucus after learning the preliminary findings of an audit looking into her travel expenses, a source has told CTV News.

Wallin issued a statement Friday evening saying she has recused herself from the caucus as she awaits the results of the external audit.

CTV News – Damning findings removed from Sen. Mike Duffy’s audit report
The Senate’s internal economy committee sanitized the original audit of Sen. Mike Duffy’s expenses to remove damning findings, documents obtained by CTV News show.

A confidential report obtained by CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife shows the original version of Duffy’s audit found that the senator broke the Senate’s “very clear” and “unambiguous” residency rules.

G&M – Conservative MPs drop out of CBC and CTV talk shows at last minute
The Conservative Party pulled out of popular political talk shows on CBC and CTV on Friday in what appears to be a response to heavy news coverage of the Senate expenses story.

The hosts of CBC’s Power and Politics and CTV’s Power Play – two competing programs that feature commentary and political panels – both announced that Conservative MPs cancelled their appearances at the last minute.

iPolitics (Michael Harris) – The senator, the PM and the rot at the top
(Hard facts and superb analysis in a creative writing style.  A delight to read.   Micheal Harris at his best.)
In a better world than this one, here is what would happen. Duffy, Brazeau and Harb would quit the Senate; Duffy quit the caucus, but it’s not enough.

The PM’s chief of staff would resign. The leadership in the Senate would be replaced. The Senate itself would have nothing further to do with adjudicating this matter, having disgraced itself.

iPolitics (Lawrence Martin) – More hard times in Harperland
This one — the latest imbroglio in the Mike Duffy saga — is hard to figure. There is much that goes on in Harperland that is difficult to fathom. There are scandals of greater potential heft — the robocalls’ story being one of them, should the allegations be proved.

But the case of a senator’s duplicity in the handling of his living expenses now reaches deeply into the prime minister’s office. As such, it could prove more punitive than imagined.

Even Rex Murphy turns on the Harper government over pork barreller Duffy (VIDEO).


CBC – Disgust with Tories led to Labrador byelection win, Liberal says
Yvonne Jones, the Liberal who defeated former federal cabinet minister Peter Penashue in Monday night’s Labrador byelection, says voters were turned off by how the Conservatives managed the campaign.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Party of Canada raised eyebrows by suggesting that new Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau should be blamed for dragging down the party’s turnout.

Hill Times – Tories ‘doing away with research’ in more cuts at Agriculture and Agri-Food, say unions
Hundreds of job cuts at Agriculture and Agri-Food announced last week are further targeting science and innovation inside government, say union leaders.

“Basically, they’re doing away with research. If you’re not going to facilitate industry, creating a gimmick for sale in two years, they don’t want to hear from you. Basically every research program that sort of put Canada ahead worldwide in agriculture, these guys just don’t see a value for any more,” said Bob Kingston, president of the Agriculture Union, which represents 235 of the affected Agriculture workers.

Hill Times – Government vows to fix widespread ‘irregularities’ in election day voting procedures, but opposition parties say Tories stalling
Former British Columbia chief electoral officer Harry Neufeld conducted the compliance review and said in his report that 114,693 Canadians’ votes from the 2011 general election are “in question” because Elections Canada employees did not follow proper voting day procedures in 165,000 cases. That’s 0.9 per cent of all votes cast on election day, and an average of 372 “irregularities” per riding.

Toronto Star – Critics slam government’s ‘secretive,’ ‘shadowy’ handling of millions in taxpayer-funded consulting contracts
(The Harper government promised to reduce the Public Service, forgot to mention it was by contracting out to corporate buddies.  2.4 Billion for “management” consulting while people who do real work like scientists, borders services agents and Canada Revenue Agency investigators are getting their walking papers.)
The federal government should be required to provide descriptions of the work done for the millions of dollars it routinely spends on management consulting, opposition critics say…..

While the government’s public disclosure sites show it has paid $2.4 billion for management consulting in the past decade, 90 per cent of those contracts come with no description of the actual work done.

G&M – Harper government withheld documents in indigenous human-rights case
The Harper government withheld tens of thousands of documents that it was obligated to disclose as part of a human-rights case in which it is accused of discriminating against indigenous children. Now, it is using its failure to hand over the files to try to get the proceedings put on hold.

The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2007 saying it is wrong for the federal government to pay 22 per cent less for child welfare on reserves than the provinces pay for non-aboriginal welfare services.

Liberal.ca (Wayne Easter) – Harper Government axes U.S. Advertising – Major Concern for Tourist Operators in PEI
(Millions for Economic Action Plan propaganda ads but nothing to promote tourism!!!)

“It was unbelievable,” said Easter, “to hear that it didn’t seem to matter to the Minister of Industry (responsible for tourism), Christian Paradis, that Canada has slid from 7th to 18th in terms of being a destination for international tourists. He confirmed that the Canadian Tourism Commission has eliminated its general advertising program into the United States promoting Canada as a tourist destination. For Canada to ignore the United States as the largest middle class base in the world is extremely poor decision-making on the part of the Harper  government”, continued Easter.

CBC – Fracking may jeopardize Gros Morne UNESCO status
Gros Morne National Park’s status as a world heritage site may be in jeopardy due to plans for controversial oil exploration on Newfoundland’s west coast, CBC News has learned.

Black Spruce Exploration wants to use hydraulic fracturing — the so-called fracking process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth — to find oil and gas in Sally’s Cove and other areas, which lie just a few kilometres from the boundaries of the park.


About TheAlektera

I am a Canadian who, like many is upset at the state of our country under the Harper Regime. I do not wish to see Canada change into Harperland under the Harper Government. This blog will help document the actions of the Harper government which are eroding Canada's democratic process.
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