Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is your Member of Parliament tainted by the Duffy scandal?

Good Day Readers:

During the 2011 election campaign CyberSmokeBlog received an unsolicited voice mail from, yes, "The Honourable" Michael Dennis Duffy on behalf of its candidate in the St. Boniface, Manitoba Riding Shelly Glover. If it were, which it wasn't, suitably disposed to voting for Ms Glover that immediately disappeared upon hearing Mr. Duffy's voice.

The reason CSB will not endorse Shelly Glover is because she has been unable to shake her former police officer mindset as evidenced in the following photograph.
Shelly Glover seen here in a file photograph chasing and trying to apprehend and handcuff a poor, defenceless little frog. The frog got away -  Yes! The "Old Girl" isn't as fast as she used to be!

That coupled with the established fact any elected Conservative who goes counter to Stephen Harper is relegated to the back benches in CSB's view made her an undesirable candidate.

Disclaimer: This site has never contributed to, nor will it, to any federal political party and has never been a card carrying member. It has a healthy disrespect for all politicians and parties until they can prove otherwise. To date none have.

Given the following article, CyberSmokeBlog in its capacity as a constituent formally requests from its Member of Parliament:

(1) Was Mike Duffy paid for the voice mail message CSB received, presumably also sent to all qualified St. Boniface voters?

(2) If yes, what was the total cost of this initiative?

(3) From where did the funding come?

All replies will be reproduced on this site.

CyberSmokeBlog encourages other constituents in other Ridings who received "a Duffy call" to do the same.

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
Constituent, St. Boniface, Manitoba

shelly.glover@parl.gc.ca
shelly@shellyglover.ca
Conservative senator Duffy claimed expenses while campaigning in 2011

By: Jennifer Ditchburn
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Senator Mike Duffy leaves a meeting of the Senate Internal Economy on Parliament Hill Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Ottawa. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

OTTAWA - Conservative Senator Mike Duffy submitted expense claims while Parliament was dissolved during the last federal election, reporting he was on Senate business on days he appeared to be campaigning for the party.

The full extent of Duffy's Senate expenses during the writ period remains a mystery — the Conservative government is refusing to reveal the full breakdown of the senator's claims and his repayment of $90,172.24.

But independent auditors at the firm Deloitte listed Duffy as being in Ottawa on Senate business and claiming a daily expense for seven days in April 2011, a month that was dominated by campaigning for the May 2 vote.

He was also listed as being on Senate business at an "other location" on another six days. Using cellphone records, Deloitte managed to catch one inappropriate "other location" claim from 2012 while Duffy was in Florida.

But the auditors said they remained in the dark about whether taxpayers paid his expenses on many other days, since Duffy failed to fully disclose his activities and records.

Social media and newspaper reports offer a glimpse of how Duffy's busy campaign schedule overlapped with the Senate business he reported to auditors:

— On April 5, Duffy spoke to the Kootenay-Columbia Conservative association in British Columbia. His travel claims indicated he was on Senate business.

— On April 8, candidate Sandy Lee tweeted that she was meeting Duffy in Norman Wells, NWT Lee's campaign paid Duffy $209.01 in expenses. His travel claims indicated he was on Senate business.

— On April 21, Duffy was reportedly campaigning with candidate Scott Armstrong in Nova Scotia. Armstrong's campaign paid Duffy $409.91 in expenses.

— On April 28, Duffy appeared to have a busy day in the Toronto area, campaigning with candidates Maureen Harquail, Wladyslaw Lizon and Gin Siow. Lizon's campaign paid Duffy $169.45, as did Siow. His travel claims indicated he was on Senate business.

— On April 29, former cabinet minister Lawrence Cannon tweeted a picture of Duffy at an event outside of Ottawa that same day. The Deloitte audit listed Duffy as being in Ottawa on Senate business and claiming a per diem.

If Duffy collected daily Senate expenses while on the Conservative campaign trail, taxpayer may have paid twice: Conservative candidates who paid for Duffy's hotel stays would have received federal rebate money for those expenses.

Duffy's campaign events did not end there. On at least five other occasions documented in media reports, Duffy campaigned with Conservative candidates. He did not tell Deloitte about his campaign calendar, forcing Deloitte to list his activities as "undocumented."

Meanwhile, the public Senate attendance register does not cover April or May 2011, the period that Parliament was dissolved.

"We are not on a leave of absence — Parliament was dissolved — we are still senators. However, all party work we are doing is paid for by the party," Duffy told Postmedia News during the campaign.

"MPs continue to be paid. So do we."

Duffy did not respond to a phone call or an email message requesting comment.

On Wednesday, the prime minister's office revealed that Stephen Harper's chief of staff Nigel Wright had given Duffy the $90,000 he needed for housing expense repayment as a gift.

But Duffy appeared to contradict that, according to a CTV News report Wednesday night. The network said it received an email from Duffy in which he claimed he repaid his expense claims with a loan from the Royal Bank and that "Nigel played no role.”

Once the repayment was made, Deloitte said Duffy ended his participation in the audit, stopping short of providing financial records, credit card statements and information about his calendar. He also did not meet with the auditors.

"Based on the information provided in the travel claims, it is not clear from the claims where Senator Duffy was located on days he claimed per diem amounts," Deloitte wrote.

Senator Mac Harb, formerly a Liberal who is now independent and contesting a Senate demand he repay $51,482 in housing-related expenses, is also listed as having been in Ottawa on Senate business on four days during the federal election period, but reported no Senate business outside of Ottawa.

Senator Patrick Brazeau, also now independent after being kicked out of the Conservative caucus, only listed one day of Senate business in Ottawa during the writ period. He is also fighting a demand for repayment of $48,744 in housing expenses.

Deloitte also highlighted six expense claims when Harb said he was in Ottawa on "Senate business" without being able to prove what he was doing, and two for Brazeau. In both cases, Harb and Brazeau provided Deloitte with more documents than Duffy, and met with the auditors in person.

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