Police documents sworn under oath show the RCMP is investigating allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust inside the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The behaviour reported to have taken place earlier this year at the highest levels of Stephen Harper’s government is deeply troubling.
Far from being the work of a single rogue (i.e., PMO Chief of Staff Nigel Wright) acting all alone, a dozen or more people in the Prime Minister’s inner sanctum have been mentioned by police in an elaborate scheme to pay off the controversial expenses of Conservative Senator Mike Duffy, disrupt a forensic audit, whitewash an official Senate report – and cover it all up.
Most of these people still work for the Harper government. Some have been promoted.
The Prime Minister claims he knew nothing, saw nothing, was told nothing, asked nothing and did nothing, as a grotesque “deception” (as he called it) was pulled off right under his nose by his most trusted confidantes. And he refuses to answer any specific questions about what went on and why. His strategy is to deflect, deny and obfuscate, which makes Canadians even more suspicious.
In a particularly troubling portion of the police documents about a deal with Duffy, Mr. Wright is quoted as saying: “I do want to speak to the PM before everything is considered final.” A short while later his emails go on to say: “We are good to go from the PM.” What exactly does that mean?
The Conservatives claim “good to go” meant Mr. Harper approved Duffy repaying his own expenses. But that seems nonsensical. Why would the prime minister have to approve that? This and so many other serious questions remain unanswered. That’s why we have called repeatedly for Mr. Harper to testify under oath.
His government has lost its sense of right and wrong. Canadians deserve better.
Ralph Goodale, MP
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada