Is the "Little Guy from Shawinigan" starting to lose it?
Good Day Readers:
It seems the Little Guy is becoming a tad forgetful. What about former Quebec Liberal Senator Raymond Lavigne currently doing six months in jail for fraud (false expense claims). Then there's Pana Merchant another of his appointees (wife of high profile Saskatchewan lawyer Tony Merchant) who for years has been embroiled in an ongoing dispute with the Canada Revenue Agency. It seems recently he was named in a CBC News report as squirriling away a million dollars or so in an offshore account. Problem is Senator Merchant went on the public record as saying the laws for this kind of activity had to be tightened. Well, guess who was named as the beneficiaries of said fund? That's right wife Pana and their two boys.
And who can forget the Mother of all Liberal Senator's Andy Thompson remember him? Although appointed by Liberal Prime Minister Lester Pearson, he's the one go got himself expelled (November 1997) from the Chamber of Second Sober Thought for vacationing in sunny Mexico during the winters while collecting his full salary and benefits.
How quickly they forget!
Clare L. Pieuk
And oh yes Monsieur Chretien almost forgot. What about perhaps your most famous appointment? Remember Hac Harb? In case not he's the Senator you chose in 2003 who recently resigned (to protect his pension in case he's indicted). It seems Mr. Harb was ordered to re-pay over $231,000 in illegitimate expenses. So you see, Sir, perhaps you should shut your face on matters related to Senate appointments.
Chretien says he 'had the good sense' not to appoint Duffy to Senate
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Chrétien was in Prince Edward Island Wednesday for a fundraising dinner.
In an interview with The Guardian, he said Duffy was always bugging him to be named to the Red Chamber.
“When he was in the lobby of the House of Commons, he would say, ‘Hi prime minister. I’m ready, I’m ready.’ He must have said that a hundred times,” Chrétien said.
“I had the good judgment not to name him, I guess.”
Since Duffy was constantly floating his own name as a possible candidate, Chrétien admits the idea did cross his mind.
He says the fact Duffy was not a resident of Prince Edward Island at the time would have given him pause, if he had ever seriously considered it.
“I would have thought twice before doing that, especially in a small province. You can do it in Ontario or Quebec where they have 24 (Senate seats), but when you have only four? People were not happy when the appointment was made here, I’m told. And understandably.”
The former Liberal prime minister was loathe to comment on the expenses scandal that has placed the Senate and the current prime minister’s office under intense public scrutiny.
He did say it is a ‘big problem’ for Stephen Harper.
“The problem is not only with the (three) senators, but what the prime minister’s office did is the biggest problem,” Chrétien said.
“Who knew and who did not know? Who is lying, who is not lying ... There are always mistakes made in any institution, but this one is attracting a lot of attention. Everybody talks about it, every media, and it’s a big, big problem for the prime minister.”
Chrétien may not have appointed Duffy, Pamela Wallin or Patrick Brazeau, but he did appoint Mac Harb, a former Liberal senator who is also facing an RCMP investigation for inappropriate expense claims.
Harb was ordered to pay back more than $230,000, and resigned in August after paying the money back.
Chretien says the difference between Harb and the other three is – Harb stepped down.
“What he did, I don’t know. If he did something inappropriate he may have to pay back or face the courts, I don’t know. Anyway he’s gone so he’s not on the payroll of government anymore.”
The fallout of the Senate scandal has led to many to call for an outright abolishment of the Senate. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has been championing this idea since the summer.
Chrétien does not believe the Senate will ever be totally abolished, as such a feat would require unanimous consent of the provinces. But he did call this “a very sad period for the Senate at this time.”
As for any advice for Harper on dealing with this scandal, Chrétien says he will not share this publicly.
“If he called me, I would tell him. But he’s not going to call me.”