Rivers gets the gift that keeps on giving - comments on an $8 million ask.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

September 1, 2017



It’s the gift that keeps on giving – for journalists anyway. I’m talking about Mike Duffy who has put himself back into the spot light by suing the Canadian government, RCMP and Senate for close to $8 million in total. One would think that once he had been acquitted on all 31 charges the RCMP had filed against him, the man would count his lucky stars and lay low.

Mike Duffy, toasting - on the public's dime?

Mike Duffy, toasting – on the public’s dime?

But not the Duff. Never shy of being a spectacle, he actually thinks we tax payers owe him something. First of all, being a senator is hardly a real job in any meaningful sense of the word. Even after Mr. Trudeau has tried to make that body of political hacks appear non-partisan, it is still a political body without a functional rationale. All the PM has done is further emasculate it – which is probably a good thing. And besides, when it comes to being owed salary, it wasn’t like Duffy was ever known for doing anything but attending Conservative party rallies.

Second, Mr. Duffy accepted the senate seat for PEI even though he wasn’t qualified. He apparently had pointed out that he really didn’t live there. But when it was PEI or nothing, he went for the lie and used his vacant cottage there as his pretext.

And then there were the expense claims. That he had to return bags of money is a pretty clear indication that even Duffy knew he was in the wrong. Sure the Senate rules may be fuzzy about entitlements for expenses, but he should have known he had been pulling a fast one.

Duffy + Judge

Mike Duffy and the Judge who sent him home.

He was a lucky man to find a judge who obviously felt sorry for him. Or perhaps, as was suggested in his decision, the judge needed to make the point that the RCMP had missed the real perpetrators – Mr. Harper and his henchmen in the Senate and the Prime Minister’s Office. And though Duffy was mainly just a patsy in the whole messy Senate-gate that is hardly an excuse.

So while Duffy may have been set free, nobody really believed that he was innocent. Except for Duffy, that is. So having been expelled from the Senate, he felt he was still owed his back pay and that riled the man. Whether righteous indignation or greed, or both, Duffy believes, that obtaining lots of taxpayer money will restore a reputation that he never had.

Duffy and the PM

Mike Duffy with Stephen Harper when he was Prime Minister; it was a contentious relationship.

It was the same argument that Omar Khadr, the former self-confessed terrorist, used to extract over $10 million from the taxpayers. He needed a big chunk of change to restore his reputation. What reputation? Duffy, was a retired journalist who was put into the Senate on a lie. His biggest contribution was in raising funds for the Conservative party, and he used his position to reward himself.

The RCMP had been suitably chastised for doing the PM’s bidding, instead of upholding the law of the land. And so they dropped the rest of the investigations against the other errant senators who had also padded their expense claims. And that was that bit of justice done.

In our post-Khadr Canada would anyone bet that those senators don’t also start suing for ‘damages’ to their reputations? And that would make the Senate even more a waste of money than it already is.

MikeDuffy smiling

Smiles – much to be happy about.

As for Duffy, if he gets his Senate back pay reinstated, he’d be lucky. But when going to court can be akin to rolling the dice at a casino, who knows? I recall watching former PM Mulroney following his admission of accepting envelopes of cash from that slimy Karlheinz Schreiiber character.

Going to court on this ridiculous $8 million claim might make good theatre and a nice diversion, but I’m guessing it would do as much good for Duffy’s reputation as the Oliiphant Commission did for Mulroney. And on the upside, were this matter actually allowed to go to court, Mr. Duffy might finally have to face real justice.

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Duffy’s Lawsuit –   Justice in the Trial –     Eight Million Cool Ones

Mulroney’s Inquiry –     Senate-Gate

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4 comments to Rivers gets the gift that keeps on giving – comments on an $8 million ask.

  • Stephen White

    I am no fan of Mike Duffy, but in fairness, the Senate expense guidelines were so broadly written and subject to such wide interpretation that they practically contributed to abuse. The fact that the Court failed to convict Duffy on any of the 31 charges is a reflection of the weakness of the Crown’s case to begin with. That he feels he has been wrongfully treated and is now seeking restitution is his prerogative under our legal system.

    What this case clearly highlights is the utter uselessness and degradation of this institution and the need for its abolition. The piecemeal changes that the Prime Minister has initiated (i.e. appointing Senators who are independent of party affiliation) is just another feeble effort at giving the illusion of progress where none exists. Having looked at the people Trudeau has appointed they are, with the exception of Sabi Marwah, generally lacking in political acumen, professional training or substantive business experience.

    Stop prolonging the inevitable and just put this sad old relic out of business….please!

  • d.duck

    From the scandalous senate scenario hopefully (I pray) changes may emerge. The senate’s governance, code of conduct, senate expenses, deduction, etc should all be changed so that transparency and accountability are enshrined. If the senate’s trifecta embarrassment helps to make these long overdue changes then it is worth the cost.

    The Duff-mister will receive some substantial compensation as he was acquitted of all the 31 charges and thus he has a right to compensation. Don’t waste our tax-payers’ dollars fighting BUT please now tighten all the loopholes these senate ingrates have to manipulate to their advantage. Furthermore, NONE should be allowed to sit on any company boards due to possible conflicts of interest.

  • David Fenton

    If it is has been reported in the media it must be true. Well thats what I used to think anyway.
    The Duffy and Khadr stories didn’t really interest me that much personally, but the media seemed to have their knickers in a knot about the pair of them, both in the initial frenzy of condemnation and now the subsequent defence of these two individuals.
    My pockets are being picked daily by the elite so a few more millions added to the debt really does not bother me.
    But while writing this comment I can honestly say I am holding back from what I really think because I don’t know whether I can say them. Oh Canada! Oh Dear, now that really does worry me.

  • Gary

    Face “real justice”?

    I suppose the fact that the court heard all the evidence the Crown could mount against Mr. Duffy and failed to convict was “false justice”. Perhaps you might consider the overweening concern of the court for Mr. Khadr’s rights to be false justice as well. You certainly are laying a lot of umbrage at Duffy’s doorstep, much more than you did in previous columns regarding Khadr.

    Mr. Duffy did not create the Senate – blame John A. MacDonald and Westminster for that one. He did not make the Senate rules when he was appointed – he simply saw how other senators conducted themselves and what passed for acceptable practice and acted accordingly. That is pretty much what the court concluded. Look to the Liberals to eventually to pay out $4 million to make Duffy go away, because, well, after all, if they let it go to trial he might win even more, and how very terrible that would be. They set the precedent with Khadr so it should not be surprising that Duffy is “following acceptable practice and acting accordingly” as he has always done.
    Anyway, it is only our money, it is not as if it belongs to the government, so why not throw some Duffy’s way (there is plenty more where that came from). He is not less deserving that Khadr.

    I think you have done the RCMP a disservice. It made no sense to try to prosecute other Senators when Duffy did so well in court.