EDITORIAL: Nothing but the truth

It's time for everyone – including Prime Minister Stephen Harper – to testify under oath with regard to the recent Senate scandal

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in August that he wasn’t planning to appoint any new senators in the near future.

No doubt his resolve has been strengthened in recent weeks. His appointments of Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau to the Senate, at least of late, have not gone well for him. Now, Harper must distance himself from the people he once recommended to an institution he’d like to do away with.

He must also persuade Canadians that actions of the Office of the Prime Minister have only a tenuous connection to the prime minister himself.

Harper is now claiming that former-journalists Duffy and Wallin – previously valued fundraisers for the Conservative party – and their colleague Brazeau are guilty of abusing the public purse. That’s why he’s fully behind the senate resolution to suspend the three without pay or benefits – even though many have argued such punitive suspensions violate due process.

But Harper must recognize there is also a perceived gap in his own credibility. He denied, when the scandal surfaced, that he was involved in Duffy’s repayment of unjustified living expenses, but his tune has been changing as the embattled senators voice their side of the story. Their accounts allege backroom deals to cover up the scandal, followed by threats from the PMO and senate colleagues to repay the expenses and, subsequently, to resign to avoid further embarrassing the party.

Now, Harper says he did tell Duffy – in front of his caucus – to repay the money claimed, although he categorically denies Duffy’s account of a private meeting between himself, Duffy and former PMO chief of staff Nigel Wright to discuss it. In response to questions about Wright’s $90,000 cheque to Duffy to cover the repayment, Harper – who previously said Wright “resigned” – now says Wright was “dismissed” for his lapse of judgment.

Critics say Harper has seriously mishandled the Senate-expenses affair by hewing to a familiar line of stonewalling in hopes the scandal would simply die quietly.

No chance of that now.

While it’s clear the self-serving excuses of Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau have not rehabilitated them in the public eye, Harper should realize they have raised serious questions about his own credibility.

It’s time for all the parties – including the prime minister – to testify under oath to get to the truth.

Just Posted

Jack and Arleen Mar celebrated their wedding 60 years ago. (Contributed photo)
White Rock couple celebrates 60 years of marriage

‘Listen to your wife,’ Jack Mar offered as advice to newlyweds

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Fraser Health to host 32-hour ‘Vax-A-Thon’ in Surrey

It will start June 19 at 11 a.m. and run until June 20 at 7 p.m.

South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course – a 15-acre property that also includes a residence – has been sold. (Colliers Canada photo)
South Surrey’s Meridian Golf Course sold to new owners

Deal for popular par 3 course expected to close by end of the year

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read