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December 8, 2013

Harper scandal

The Canadian Charger

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In the November 22, 2013 edition of the National Post, Kelly McParland writes: A full-scale press is put on to get the money repaid and the issue out of the headlines. The taint is spreading and there are fears it will reach the prime minister, despite Cpl. Horton's view, as stated in the documents, that there's no evidence indicating Mr. Harper had any knowledge or involvement in the gathering mess.

However, this doesn't mean that Mr. Harper didn’t know about this gathering mess. With the amount of information available at this time, no reasonable person can conclude that Mr. Harper was unaware of this gathering mess.

Moreover, Mr. Wright himself, clever wordsmith that he is, has stated in writing that Mr. Harper did, in fact, know about this “gathering mess.”

Mr. Wright said: “The prime minister knows in broad terms only that I assisted Duffy when I was, getting him to agree to repay the expenses.”

In other words, Mr. Harper was well aware of this gathering mess, but at any time in the future, should third parties be looking into this matter, it would be awfully difficult to prove anything more than that, beyond a reasonable doubt, in a court of law.

The only reason that there is no evidence that the Prime Minister had any knowledge or involvement in this gathering mess is because, as McParland states: His officials were well aware that this problem could spread to him and he had highly intelligent people like Mr. Wright working frantically and being extremely careful to execute this gathering mess in such a way as to not leave any evidence that Mr. Harper was involved.

Mr. McParland writes: “Mr. Wright however, is having almost as much trouble with Senate Conservatives as with Mr. Duffy. He hopes to calm Mr. Duffy by softening the criticism he faces in the Senate and Deloitte examinations.”

In other words Mr. Wright is willing to stretch the truth of Mr. Duffy's questionable conduct – at best – in order to solve the Duffy expense claim problem.

Mr. McParland writes: “The PMO feels that if Mr. Duffy's expenses are repaid, it negates the need to decide where he really lives.”

In other words the PMO knows that this is unethical conduct – at best – but it has no problem allowing it to continue, so long as it doesn't cause any threat to the Prime Minister.

Mr. McParland writes: “But Mr. Duffy is the biggest problem, ping-ponging around Ottawa, sharing his troubles, blabbing to reporters and digging bigger holes for himself. When Mr. Duffy mentions he'd spoken to Mr. Tkachuk about per diems charged while he was in Florida, Ms. Stewart Olsen warns the PMO: 'He just handed the Libs the reason to go to the police.' “

This is an indication that these Conservative Party officials were well aware that - at best – there may be some concern that they may be breaking the law.

Mr. McParland writes: “When Mr. Duffy tells reporters he repaid the debt himself with the help of a bank loan, Ray Novak, who succeeded Mr. Wright as chief of staff, laments: 'His lying really is tiresome.' ”

This means Harper government officials are well aware that Mr. Duffy was lying to the Canadian media and thus the Canadian public but they had no problem tolerating it – at best – provided it didn't jeopardize the Prime Minister.

Mr. McParland  writes: “On the day a Senate report is to be revised to weaken criticism of Mr. Duffy, an official in Ms. LeBreton's office mounts a last-minute effort to block the move, prompting a PMO official to email Mr. Wright: “This is unbelievable.”

This is incontrovertible evidence that Harper government officials were massaging the truth.

Mr. McParland writes: In a February email, Mr. Wright makes clear that “we are going to need to manage the briefing of the Conservative senators (including, hopefully, the chair) of the committee (this being the committee which is examining Mr. Duffy's expenses).  If the rules and procedures committee doesn't have the right membership, then the Senate by motion should constitute a special committee that will have the right senators on board. We cannot rely on the Senate leader's office to get this right ... have to do this in a way that does not lead to the Chinese water torture of new facts in the public domain, that the PM does not want.”

In other words, Mr. Wright is aware that unless he can get Senators on this committee examining Mr. Duffy's expense claims who are Conservative government stooges there is no way there are going to approve Mr. Duffy's expense claims because they have such a putrid smell to them that the impartial senators know they can't justify it - at best – in the public domain, should this subterfuge ever find its way into the public domain. In poker this is called “stacking the deck.”

Mr. McParland writes: The RCMP officer is equally unimpressed with interviews with Ms. LeBreton and Ms. Stewart Olsen. “I believe that Sen. Stewart Olsen's version of events to police was incomplete and not consistent with the facts.”

In other words, the RCMP officer has reason to believe Sen. Stewart Olsen may know more than she is letting on, similar to the Prime Minister himself, who did not let on to Canadians for many months, the full extent of what he knew about this gathering mess, that took precedence over most other government duties. “Not consistent with the facts” is really the only way the RCMP officer could characterize his professional assessment of Ms. Stewart Olsen's information because, after all, none of this has been proven in a court of law. 

Mr. McParland  writes: “But perhaps most prescient is an email from Mr. Wright to PMO colleagues in the earliest days of the conflict, long before it made any serious news: “Let this small group be under no illusion. I think that this is going to end badly.”

In other words Mr. Wright knew early on that this sordid affair – because at that time it was not yet “a gathering mess” - had already past its “best before date” and, thus had a bit of an odour to it; and in the not-too-distant future it was going to stink to high heavens.

Now once again, with all the information available, any reasonable person would have to conclude that Prime Minister Harper's political career is over and it appears that the Conservative Party of Canada is well aware of this. Let history will record that the historical revisionism of this sordid affair – because it is no longer a gathering mess – began most fittingly on November 22, 2013. Why do I say that? Dear reader, please read the following from the front page of the November 22, 2013 edition of the National Post, written by Mr. Kelly McParland:

“I've never met Nigel Wright, and all I know of him is what I've read. But after consuming the 80-page, minutely detailed RCMP document released Wednesday, I have to say I sympathize with the guy. He comes across in the document just as his defenders have described him: capable, dedicated, “a person of good faith, of competence, with high ethical standards,” as Jason Kenney put it. You get the impression of a man who found himself in a rat's nest, and tried to keep one of the rats from destroying himself. Instead he got destroyed, too.

That's not the sentiment you're supposed to have toward Stephen Harper's former chief of staff. You're supposed to denounce him as the Machiavellian hand behind the dark and devious manipulations that helped bring a corrupt Senate to public disgrace. His great sin, personally paying off $90,000 in expense claims made by Mike Duffy, was a monumental mistake. But you can understand how he got there after months of maddening efforts to achieve what must have seemed a simple quest: getting Mr. Duffy to repay the $90,000 he'd claimed in inappropriate housing and other expenses.”

Any human being on the whole planet earth who has read this should have chills and anyone who doesn't, doesn't have a soul.

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M. Elmasry

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