Senate expense scandal dominates federal discussion, Conservative deflect questions
With weeks of the Senate expense scandal dominating the federal conversation, opposition parties continued to pressure the government for answers during Monday’s Question Period.
The federal NDP and Liberals have been pressing the government for answers, after news broke that Nigel Wright, Harper’s former Chief of Staff, gave $90,000 to Senator Mike Duffy to pay back the government for improper expense claims.
“On what specific date did the Prime Minister first speak with Mike Duffy about his expenses?” NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair asked at the top of Monday’s Question Period (QP).
Since the scandal unfolded, the New Democrats have consistently been questioning the Conservatives with what they call “simple questions,” making them as short and concise as possible.
With steady questioning on this issue, the Conservatives have been trying to deflect the conversation. “We’d like to see the leader of the NDP come clean,” John Baird added, after answering one of Mulcair’s questions in place of Harper, who was not in QP on Monday. “Why did he take 17 long years before telling the police he’d been offered a bribe by the former mayor of Laval?”
Questions about a public inquiry on the matter by former Liberal interim-leader, Bob Rae, were met with attacks as well. “What we’d like to see from the Liberal Party of Canada is for them to come clean about the off-shore tax havens with millions of dollars.”
Harper told Parliament last week that Nigel Wright has taken sole responsibility for the matter and that he had not been aware of the deal between Duffy and Wright until May 15, after news reports surfaced.
Since this scandal erupted, Wright has resigned as Harper’s Chief of Staff and Duffy has resigned from the Conservative caucus, remaining an Independent Senator.
Connect with Parker Lund on Twitter @lund_parker.