Vote on three senators’ fate possible Friday after Tories move to limit debate

| | Last Updated: 30/10/13 8:52 AM ET

OTTAWA • The Conservatives in the Senate moved Tuesday to limit any remaining debate on motions to suspend three senators, arguing that debate had gone on long enough and was holding up the government’s legislative agenda.

Government Senate leader Claude Carignan argued that the Senate needed to resolve the future of Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau.

Liberal senators argued that the Conservatives were using “procedural trickery” to limit debate, and challenged the move to the Speaker of the Senate Noel Kinsella.

If the motion to fast-track debate is passed by Wednesday, a final vote of the fates of the three could be held by Friday afternoon. Beginning late Thursday, the federal Conservatives hold a major policy conference in Calgary.

So I was back home in P.E.I., after the prime minister had decided we were going to do this nefarious scheme and Nigel was working the phones, coaxing me to go along with this terrible plan

But it may be “impossible” to hold a vote Friday, Mr. Carignan told reporters, as the two sides traded barbs about who was the cause of a delay both outside and inside the Senate chamber.

Mr. Carignan also said he wasn’t willing to bend on the punishments being proposed.

Tuesday’s events followed explosive new accusations by Duffy Monday. He laid out allegations against not only Nigel Wright, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, and the Prime Minister’s Office, but against Mr. Harper himself, who Mr. Duffy directly accused of overseeing a “scheme” to secretly pay back Mr. Duffy’s housing claims.

“So I was back home in P.E.I., after the prime minister had decided we were going to do this nefarious scheme,” Mr. Duffy said, “and Nigel was working the phones, coaxing me to go along with this terrible plan. He even said he would pay the $90,000. All I had to do was to go along and do as I was told.”

Mr. Duffy’s speaking notes, distributed to reporters Monday afternoon, didn’t include that line about being in Prince Edward Island, or about the prime minister’s alleged role, but did reference Mr. Wright “working the phones.”

Mr. Duffy also said that the Conservative party covered his legal bills after discussion of his expenses. He charged that Mr. Wright — who had paid the $90,000 toward Mr. Duffy’s housing expense claims — had also directed Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton to have his legal bills paid, amounting to a further $13,560.

Conservative party spokesman Cory Hann confirmed the payment Monday, and Mr. Harper echoed that Tuesday.



Tory Senator Hugh Segal has been advocating “due process” for the senators.


“We have seen throughout democratic politics around the world that often people who think they’re doing the right thing, do things in the prime minister’s name of which he knows nothing,” Mr. Segal said. “I don‘t believe he knew anything about any of the cheques that were discussed. I think he’s a straight-up guy and I think that to suggest otherwise is both unfair and inaccurate.”

Mr. Segal said he expected that Mr. Carignan would try to ensure a vote on the motion to suspend the three takes place by either Wednesday or Thursday.

Sen. Larry Smith said it would be important for his fellow senators to consider all potential “mitigating factors” and information before making a decision.

Alberta Conservative MP Peter Goldring said he had spoken with 40 to 50 Tory caucus members and 80% agree there’s been a “lack of due process” on the Senate file.

He argued the matter should be “punted” to a committee where witnesses can answer questions in a “controlled fashion” so as not to adversely impact the RCMP investigation.

Mr. Wright’s lawyer, Peter Mantas, reiterated Tuesday morning that his client had no comment about Mr. Duffy’s latest allegations.





Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre


Harper now has his back to the wall and the conservative party is now lining up to join the firing party or end up being fired as a government themselves.

When the normally faceless men of the Conservative party start talking about a lack of due process, its a sign that Mr. Harper has pulled one too many stunts and shown yet again contempt for the fundamental principles of Justice.

What is disturbing is that Mr. Harper's actions are right out of the book of dirty tricks practiced by the legal profession which again, is a symptom of the appalling culture of abuse of power that exists in the Prime Ministers Office.

Canadians need to take this opportunity to see how the Courts, Family Court, are all overloaded with legal issues generated by a culture of abuse of power.

In Ontario, that abuse of power and authority is typified by Marguerite Isobel Lewis, a corrupt lawyer for the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa who personally fabricates evidence, to keep children in care for the business of "baby-snatching" the heartless most disgusting vile example of criminal offences against children and the administration of justice that one can imagine.

In Ontario, the law society, the Attorney General and the Ottawa Police all turn a blind eye to any criminal offences by lawyers or child protection workers. They have become the new secret police of Ontario and its that apathy by the police, the Judiciary and of course, our politicians that encourage and promote
Canada's chronic problems with abuse of power.



On the surface an excellent post but rather diversionary, a brilliant tactic used by the Conservative Spin Specialists.

Odds are we will never know the answers to the above questions because Harper is an expert at plausible deny-ability. 

We know Harper fabricated evidence, provided false information, and now wishes to blame the senators for his own paranoid knee jerk reaction to use them as sacrificial lambs because the unproven allegations of Mr. Harper are lowering his ratings..

When the normally faceless men of the Conservative party start talking about a lack of due process, its probably dawning on him like it did to the astronauts of Apollo 13, "Huston, we have a problem"...