Mike Duffy should resign, opponents say

Teresa Wright
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Senator Mike Duffy leaves a meeting of the Senate Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration committee on Parliament Hill Thursday, May 9 in Ottawa. His opponents say Duffy should resign over the latest controversy to dog the senator.

Local and federal politicians are calling for P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy to resign and a full investigation to be launched into the involvement of the prime minister’s office in Duffy’s repayment of improperly-claimed residency expenses.

Reaction Wednesday over news that Duffy received a $90,000 gift from the prime minister’s chief of staff to repay the residency expenses was fast and fierce in P.E.I. and in Ottawa.

Charlottetown MP Sean Casey says he believes Duffy should resign.

“He’s shown very poor judgment and the degree to which the prime minister’s office has supported and stood behind him casts very serious questions on their judgment.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s spokesperson Andrew MacDougall confirmed Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright, wrote Duffy a personal cheque for $90,172 to allow Duffy to pay back expenses he claimed in housing allowance for his home in Kanata, near Ottawa. He claimed this was his secondary residence and that his cottage in Cavendish is his primary home.

Independent auditor Deloitte investigated the matter and found Duffy spends only 30 per cent of his time in P.E.I. Duffy released a statement last week saying he and his wife “came to the conclusion that repaying the $90,000 was the right thing to do.”

But MacDougall said Duffy was “unable to make a timely repayment.” National media outlets are reporting Duffy and Wright are friends and Wright, who is a wealthy businessman, gave Duffy the money out of fear for his health.

The federal Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is now looking into the matter.

Senate conflict of interest code rules require senators to disclose all gifts over $500 and bar senators from accepting gifts ‘considered to relate to the senator’s position.’

The PMO made no apologies for the deal between Wright and Duffy Wednesday.

“We believe that taxpayers should not be on the hook for improper expense claims made by Senators,” MacDougall said in his statement, adding that Senators Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau, who were also found to have improperly billed taxpayers for housing expenses, should likewise “pay taxpayers back immediately.”

Malpeque MP Wayne Easter said he is not surprised at the close connection between Duffy’s expense scandal and the PMO, but said the money is a distraction from the real issue of Duffy’s eligibility to be a P.E.I. senator in the first place.

“The constitutional requirement is that a Senate appointee must be a resident of the region they represent. In my opinion, Duffy is not,” Easter said.

“If he’s not a resident here he shouldn’t be a senator.”

NDP MP Charlie Angus, who has been hammering government in the House of Commons on Duffy’s residency concerns since they were first raised earlier this year, said he finds the whole situation ‘absolutely appalling.’

“What we’re talking about is money that was taken from the taxpayer that Mr. Duffy wasn’t entitled to, and now we find out that, rather than doing the honourable thing, rather than fessing up there was a deal cooked up right in the prime minister’s office to pay this off and make it go away,” Angus said in an interview.

“I think it cuts to the very heart of this prime minister’s leadership.”

Both he and Casey are calling for an independent investigation into matter, similar to the one conducted into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair.

“(Harper) needs to come clean with the Canadian people, he needs to show he takes this seriously and he needs to establish an investigative process so that we can get to the bottom of this,” Angus said.

The Guardian contacted all of P.E.I.’s MPs and senators for comment on this story. Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay was unavailable for an interview. Senators Catherine Callbeck, Percy Downe and Libbe Hubley would not provide comment.

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz also refused to speak on the matter

National Revenue Minister and Egmont MP Gail Shea was not made available for an interview, but a spokesperson with her office echoed the statements made by the PMO.

“The government believes that taxpayers should not be on the hook for improper expense claims made by senators,” Shea’s spokesperson Clake Olsen said in an emailed statement to The Guardian.

“No taxpayer funds were used to repay the expenses.”

The Guardian also attempted to reach Duffy for comment, but received no response.






Organizations: House of Commons on Duffy

Geographic location: P.E.I., Ottawa, Kanata Cavendish

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Recent comments

  • Daniel
    June 12, 2013 - 20:24

    Duffy became one of the feeders at the trough - to him being a senator is a get all you can proposition and feed well as long as you can off the taxpayers. This mentality has long been part of all governments , and that's not to say that there are not genuine people who do their jobs but one thing they all have to start understanding is that the taxpayers trough is not bottomless and people are getting tired of seeing millions squandered.

  • Lyn Cowperthwaite
    May 16, 2013 - 16:28

    I am disgusted with the whole Mike Duffy story, as well, and agree that he should resign

  • don
    May 16, 2013 - 15:18

    MP Sean Casey. i think you and all members should be investigated of all your papers fro,m the day you decided to run for a free cheque with no work. your buddy easter was nailed and after all the years he has been in and he said it was a mistake i did not hear you whining why? i wonder how many of you have not been a 110% honest. why duffy are you all SCARED of him? as to me you are scared of duffy and need him out. lets have a tax investigation into all members of the house from day one. and casey you are still a baby in this game but remember you may be next.

    May 16, 2013 - 14:53

    Harper has decided Mike Duffy is too big to throw under the bus(pun intended).It is amazing what lengths Tories will go to to prove Duffy is just a good old boy.After watching the Bruce Rainey interview on Compass and see the old Duff look Rainey directly in the eyes and lie convincingly perhaps Harper has developed a soft spot for him and has much grander plans for this menace.

  • Platinus
    May 16, 2013 - 13:39

    C'MON MIKE - WE'RE WAITING FOR YOUR RESIGNATION. (Right now you are an embarrassment to true journalists everywhere. Not only to Islanders and Canadians.)

  • MOE
    May 16, 2013 - 12:40

    I feel Mike Duffey should be left alone , move on with our lives . He wouldn't be the first nor the last to make a mistake . It's not my personal monies or yours . Resign he is one of the best things that happened for P.E.I. , say Thank You and get back to work .

    • robb
      May 16, 2013 - 13:28

      wow!!!! really? you a part of the problem why government keeps pulling these stunts,,,give your head a shake,,or educate yourself before making such foolish posts.....wow.

    • Island Boy
      May 16, 2013 - 14:50

      MOE: Mike Duffy is a disgrace. If you think he is one of the best things that happened for P.E.I....then please book your surgery time to receive a brain and a standard of ethics. As it is now, you probably would hire him to prepare your Income Taxes. Talk about "defending the indefensible".

    • moe
      May 22, 2013 - 10:27


  • lilley
    May 16, 2013 - 11:40

    Gosh Mike, how did you come to this? You reported the sins of others with enthusiasm and conviction, and yet, here you are!! $90k, a "GIFT" yet, to repay to tax-payers what you improperly collected in the first place. Wayne Easter is right, for the rot is in the appointment process to begin with. Resign?? That will be the measure of the morality and values you have Mike. A wink for "Mom".

  • robertjb
    May 16, 2013 - 10:58

    Conservatives don't resign. Integrity is not part of the vocabulary

  • hmattl
    May 16, 2013 - 10:55

    Firstly, I will admit, I voted Tory in the last election. I won't make that mistake again. Where is Mr Harper on this issue ? He usually has lots to say, when it's happening to other parties. Not much of a Leader. If the Tory's think, Justin Trudeau is in over his head, as they state in their attack ads..I think Duffy is completed submerged.

  • Platinus
    May 16, 2013 - 10:14


  • carol
    May 16, 2013 - 10:07

    I do not understand the two tier justice system..one for the ordinarys people like us and another for politicians..Daffy the Fraduster is not the first politician to misuse the taxpayers monies but they always get away with it...but a gift of 90K unreal...maybe some kind lawyer from PEI could launch a provincial suit against him for misrepresenting himself as an Island senator i think a lot of Islanders would be behind this..time for talk is over as it will be swept under the carpet...

  • Rose
    May 16, 2013 - 10:05

    I have a theory that the cheque given to Duffy was a scheme that Harper came up with to shut everyone up. I believe he told Nigel Wright to pretend to give a cheque to pay off the money he owes Canadian taxpayers. I believe that Duffy still owes this money and has no intentions of paying it back. I believe that PM Harper thinks we are all idiots and too stupid to figure out what he has done. Duffy should be fired and removed from the Senate. Harper and Wright should be charged and thrown out of office. Of course, this is just a theory.

  • Lloyd
    May 16, 2013 - 09:56

    Duffy must have some dirt on Harper to get Appointed to the senate in the first place. Lies lies and more lies. He is a disgrane to PEI and Canada. He is an embarassment to Harper. Why is he still in the senate?

  • Travel Bug
    May 16, 2013 - 09:53

    I was travelling from Charlottetown to Ottawa, with a 45 minute stop over in Montreal, earlier in May. Mr. Duffy and his wife were on the same flights. In the Montreal airport, just after lunchtime, he walked to his restaurant table with a large tray of booze and bar food for all four people sitting there. He paid the bill. No doubt this was an "expense" that we, as taxpayers, had to pay for. If he health is poor, you would think he would make healthier choices. He does not deserve to resign and recieve full pension. He should be dismissed and lose any future benefits from his time as a Senator.

  • Theresa Cudmore
    May 16, 2013 - 09:41

    yes i think mIKE Duffy should resign, he's not to be trusted, along with many other in politics

  • islander
    May 16, 2013 - 09:41

    Please resign already Duffy !! PEI doesn't want you!

  • A
    May 16, 2013 - 09:39

    Duffy should be ousted. It seems that he can't even manage all the money he siphons from tax payers - via submitting claims for expenses he's not entitled to --- such as per diem expenses when he is vacationing, among others. This is evident by needing Harper's chief of staff to bail him out with 90K. How can he manage Senate affairs? Keeping him in the Senate is a disgrace to PEI and to the country as a whole.

  • One of the Sheep
    May 16, 2013 - 09:25

    About time to get rid of the Senate completely.. How much of this crap is going on every day that we never find out about. My guess its the taxpayers that are paying this The 90 thousand he got caught with first and now the other 90 thousand . The crooks take care of their own.

  • voter
    May 16, 2013 - 09:22

    there are many politicians, senators, and their friends relatives and associates who have the same attributes as Duffy exhibits --Canada would be a better place if they were all forced off the free life support system they depend on -- Here are a list of the words FROM A DICTIONARY that match the actions of these egomaniacs ::: egoistic (also egoistical),-- egomaniacal,-- egotistic (or egotistical), -narcissistic,-- self-absorbed,-- self-centered,-- self-concerned, -self-infatuated-, self-interested, -self-involved-, selfish-, self-loving-, self-obsessed, -self-oriented-, self-preoccupied-, self-regarding-, self-seeking-, self-serving-, solipsistic--- inner-directed;-- complacent,-- conceited--, overweening,-- pompous,-- prideful--proud--, self-complacent--, self-conceited--, self-contented,--- self-directed, --self-glorifying,-- self-important,-- self-indulgent, --self-opinionated, self-pleased,-- self-satisfied--, smug--, vain--, vainglorious- or simply, "PIGS AT THE TROUGH"

  • karma
    May 16, 2013 - 09:21

    The hypocrisy of any politician living on the public purse who comments on Duffy can only be a cause for mirth. We all know what they can get up to and most of them have. None of them have clean skirts. That NDP MP Charlie Angus is a joke and a drama queen and has been for a long time. We all saw his act during the Chief Spence episode. Easter made one of the few astute comments of. Duffy should resign, because he's not a resident. However, I for one am glad the taxpayer is not on the hook for the 90 grand and if Wright wants to lend a friend money I don't care. BTW as an aside, it has been outstanding to see the pundits, the press and the pollsters totally embarassed by the BC election results. Well deserved

  • Gerard W.
    May 16, 2013 - 09:11

    All senators should be FIRED ........ just a tax grab orginization for old retired politicians. Also, Is anybody honest anymore????????????????????????

  • no faith in government
    May 16, 2013 - 09:02

    Never had faith in government, not surprised by this at all bull. Any politician that remains silent is supporting his actions, so get a spine and pick a side! As for Wright being concern with Duffy's health? Gee, don't worry about Duffy's health, he has said publicly that he stays in Ontario because of the care that is available, what does that say about PEI's Health Care people?! Senate consist of ass kissing Harper's buddies, make it a elected position by the tax payers or get rid of it, it is useless and costly!

  • tweetie
    May 16, 2013 - 08:54

    Resign...NO. Fired..YES! I am assuming if he resigns, he will get his full pension, and a lot more. He is a thief, he should get nothing but jail

    • Rosy
      May 16, 2013 - 11:45

      Here here!

  • not surprised
    May 16, 2013 - 08:50

    I wonder if the $90,000.00 slid across the table in a plain brown envelope in true tory fashion!

  • Fed up
    May 16, 2013 - 07:57

    It was a GIFT!! At least he paid it back! The others didnt...where is the stories on the Liberal who didnt even attempt to pay it back?!? So like the Guardian..anything to take the dislike off Ghiz and this ridiculous HST!

    • Moe
      May 22, 2013 - 10:29

      good for you

  • Elizabeth MacDonald
    Elizabeth MacDonald
    May 16, 2013 - 07:49

    I totally agree with the suggestion that Mike Duffy should resign from his unelected post to the Senate. He has proven himself in so many ways to be untrustworthy and should have no connection in any way to the taxpayers purse. Shame, shame Mike Duffy. Any credibility you once had is long gone.

  • Katella
    May 16, 2013 - 07:48

    i agree that Duffy should resign and Nigel Wright can adopt him and his wife so they are cared for.

  • Larry W. LaPorte
    May 16, 2013 - 07:44

    Hell no. He should be fired and jailed.

  • Adolphus
    May 16, 2013 - 07:37

    Bye, Mike - we won't miss you. You can't even keep your lies straight. Some reporter!

  • Been Around Dizzy Block a Few Times
    May 16, 2013 - 07:16

    I wonder if he will eventually, will or if this is another minor irritation for our teflon PM. Duff won't go easily, cheaply or honourably. He's already proved it won't be easily and if he had any honour he never would have taken the job in the first place. He doesn't live here folks, this man is Harper's friend, not our senator.

  • dave singar
    May 16, 2013 - 07:09

    Duff hasnt been a islander for a long time just a summer visitor he should resign the senate he is a island discrace dave

  • Holly
    May 16, 2013 - 07:04

    Mr. Duffy should be fired. I witnessed firings of lower rank public servants for far less serious breaches of conduct. Why should Mr. Duffy be given a free pass?

  • dump mike
    May 16, 2013 - 06:36

    it amazing that the further up the "hill" the less it sticks. and you wonder why they are hunting down the e i claimant for trying to make a few extra bucks

  • Disgusted
    May 16, 2013 - 06:10

    Enough is enough! This senator is an embarrassment to PEI and to himself. It's high time he called it a day and did the right thing by resigning and repaying what he owes us, the taxpayers. There is no doubt in my mind that Wright will be repaid his 'contribution' with taxpayer money, hidden from view yet again. Duffy do the right thing as you profess you and your wife had decided!! The coverup and deceit surrounding this has to make one wonder if this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as our politicians go. I, personally, feel very naive in that until this I had a great deal of respect for the Senate and Senators. Parliament - not so much. But if Senators are involved in this sort of dishonesty, what is Parliament up to that we taxpayers are funding without being aware of it???? It's time to call it a day Duffy!!!! You are an embarrassment!!!! At the heart of the matter is the fact that PEI has not been your place of residence for many years and you never belonged in the Senate as our representative in the first place!!!!

    • Dennis
      May 16, 2013 - 08:50

      Even if he retired, he'd receive something else equally lucrative. Suggest we start a petition to remove him from our seat in the Senate and replace him with some other honourable person.

  • Does Not Cut It
    May 16, 2013 - 05:06

    This statement just doesn't cut it .(No taxpayer funds were used to repay the expenses.) As a blue voter , this just sickens me to see what appears to be a case of fraud being covered up . Harper must come clean & clean out his PMO to show the people of Canada that he runs a honest Government . Gail also needs to take a stand on this . Is she in favor of fraud being committed & not punished as long as its a political person doing it .

  • Dan
    May 16, 2013 - 05:03

    Resignation is not even an option. Since he was never eligible to be a Senator in the first place, all that needs to be done is to calculate how much money he has to pay back for the time that he impersonated a Senator.

  • Disgusted with the whole story
    May 16, 2013 - 04:40

    Is there any redeeming reason this man should remain a senator? The ongoing spectacle adds to our cynicism with respect to politics and the senate!

  • not surprised
    May 16, 2013 - 04:39

    Keep him in Ottawa. We don't need or want him here on the Island any more than he wants to be here. He seems to see that his role is to push Mr. Harper's agenda Islanders. We don't see him as one of us, representing us. We don't see him around the communities. His neighbours here don't see him and haven't even met him. On the other hand we have 3 legitimate Senators here doing a wonderful job. They are well liked by Islanders they are seen here among us and are approachable. They are in tune with the Island community. They understand the concerns of Islanders, from the Island perspective, and they are credible! Islanders have not forgotten how Mr.Duffy unfairly criticised our beloved Premier, and compared in unfavorably with his late father. We see him on the news showing arrogance to our local reporters and shunning the media. We therefore see him as shunning Islanders;, as these reporters are representing us and asking questions on our behalf. As a former Journalist, he should know better.