Duffy says proud of his work in Senate for P.E.I.

Nigel
Nigel Armstrong
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P.E.I. 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.

Callbeck votes against Duffy's suspension

Copy of what was to have been Senator Mike Duffy's final address to the Senate on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Closure of debate on the motion to suspend him prevented Duffy from delivering this speech:

"I’m here again in this chamber – against the advice of my cardiologist – to continue my campaign for fundamental justice.

 

I want to begin by thanking the drafters of the motion before us for having the decency to include the continuation of health care and insurance.

 

Friday I am to undergo a procedure at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute which I hope will help improve my health. Knowing my family will have coverage if something goes wrong is of some comfort. Thank you.

 

And while I have some important new points to make about the horrible process that has brought us to where we are today, I’m also going to talk about the work that I have done as a Senator from Prince Edward Island.

 

For me it is both a tremendous honour and an opportunity to serve Canada and Prince Edward Island. I’ve worked diligently and honourably to do that.

 

And after years as a journalist on Parliament Hill, I knew I wasn’t by any means the first Senator to be appointed with this same residential situation.

 

I also knew that I was crossing over from a non-partisan, journalistic role to a new role as a Conservative politician.

 

I understood the several different aspects of Senate work:

 

I knew I was to be an advocate for Prince Edward Island and Atlantic Canada here in Ottawa.

 

I knew this place is supposed to be a chamber of sober second thought.

 

And of course as a Conservative politician I knew I would have a role to play in building and strengthening support for the Party.

 

For the last five years I’ve dedicated myself to these tasks.

 

Sometimes it was my job to represent Cabinet Ministers at announcements of developments for which  I had advocated and which government saw fit to implement.

 

Working with our excellent Minister, Hon. Gail Shea, I was able to help a substantial number of Island businesses and community groups achieve federal government funding for key initiatives. I’m thinking for instance of MacDougall Steel, Island Abbey Foods in Charlottetown and PEI Juice Works in Alberton.

 

I’ve met with key figures in the agriculture and forest industries, listened to their concerns and dedicated myself to getting their messages heard in government. Organizations ranging from Special Olympics to Egg Producers have approached me to help them get their voices heard in the seats of the mighty.  And I have worked vigorously to do so.

 

I meet frequently with representatives of the PEI Tourism industry and help develop strategies to increase visitation.

 

I work with the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown in making their funding case to Ottawa.

 

I’ve met with and developed plans for NGOs such as Friends of the Farm, the L.M. Montgomery Land Trust and the Montgomery Theatre.

 

At the request of the Charlottetown Airport Board, I am working to address funding challenges facing our country’s small airports.

 

Perhaps the project of which I am most proud is the expansion of Holland College.

 

This multi-million dollar project was funding by the Knowledge Infrastructure Fund, and has triggered the redevelopment of the Eastern entrance of Charlottetown.

 

Honourable Senators will know how much competition there was for this kind of funding; and working with Minister Gail Shea, we pulled out all of the stops.

 

I lobbied the responsible ministers, and even spoke at their local riding associations as part of my on-going campaign.

 

Minister James Moore told the Confederation Center of the Arts, that I had become a pain in the neck, constantly pressing him for funds for the Confed Center and our 2014 celebrations.

 

I am not unique in this. All honourable Senators do similar things for their provinces.

 

I am proud to be a voice for Prince Edward Island here in the Senate of Canada. And I admit, I loved every bit of this work—I was putting knowledge gained in my years in journalism to work in a new and meaningful way. Helping to build a better province and a better country.

 

When the election came in 2011, I was pleased to accept invitations to help in the campaign by speaking at events across Canada.

 

Throughout this partisan activity I followed all the rules regarding expenses.

 

I wasn’t trying to rip off the government, the Senate or Canadians.

 

Serving in this chamber is, I repeat, the greatest public professional honour I have ever had – why would I want to subvert or discredit it in any way?

 

I did not, and I do not.

 

Since I came here I have dedicated myself to working for a better 21st century Canada, and specifically to building a better Prince Edward Island.

 

I have been absolutely thrilled to be able to do this. And even if suspended, I will continue this work.

 

No-one is more sorry than me that this controversy has diverted us from more important issues. The toll on my friends and family has been staggering. But faced with unfair attacks on my character, I felt compelled to do what any honest Canadian would do. I fought back.

 

The Government leader in the Senate brought in closure, because he wants this rammed through quickly, so he can then turn the page.

 

Let me tell you the page isn’t going to be turned on this issue for a long time.

 

The auditor-general is just starting; and doing audits of all Senators going back to 2009, as he must if he is going to treat everyone equally, will take a long time.

 

And now we have the RCMP investigating to determine just how many people in the PMO, the Conservative Party and the Senate leadership, knew about the deal to force me to repay money I didn’t owe.

 

The Conservative Convention is over.

 

So what’s the rush?

 

Why throw away due process when all of the competent authorities are working?

 

It just doesn’t make sense.

 

Colleagues, the Senate and the House of Commons are not courts, or if they are, they’re Kangaroo Courts undermined by partisan, political or personal conflicts of interest.

 

Due process is the only way to achieve fairness and fundamental justice in our cases.

 

Witch hunts are bad, our ancestors learned that after the trials in Salem, our parents and grandparents learned it from the slanders of the late Senator Joe McCarthy, my generation learned it from Watergate.

 

Please stop this witch hunt and allow the police and the auditors to do their work.

 

Thank you, honourable Senators"

Organizations: Holland College, Red Chamber, RCMP Senate chamber University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Geographic location: P.E.I., Ottawa, Prince Edward Island Atlantic Canada Parliament Hill

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • w kennedy
    November 08, 2013 - 02:50

    the Alliance party have an agenda to dismantle the Canadian senate and make it more like Texas with 39% percent or less of a mandate. They also got us involved in war crimes in Libya, removed the per voter stipend that helped finance the opposition and increased immigration at a time of higher unemployment. Can we trust them?

  • Island Veteran
    November 06, 2013 - 20:46

    Thanks Duffy you sure helped the veterans on PEI by announcing the closure of the District office,,, I am sure we will all praise and thank you for forcing us to drive to Saint John or Halifax for help.

  • I wonder
    November 06, 2013 - 15:40

    I wonder what medicare card Duffy has. If an island one, guess PEI will have to pay the cost of this recent hospital stay?

  • fed up
    November 06, 2013 - 14:12

    A great bunch of true Islanders. Everyone wanted to be Duffs friend but he has a slip up and you all want a kick at him when he is down. That is the true Island way .

    • Ned Flanders
      November 06, 2013 - 22:20

      Slip up? And what is a "true Islander"? Jeebus is not happy with you.

  • voter
    November 06, 2013 - 14:11

    get rid of these money sucking senators-all of them not just the the ones who got caught but all the others who suck taxpayer money through their brown nosed patronage appointments-- they think they earn the money they suck out --

  • Robert Bennet
    November 06, 2013 - 13:13

    ‘I COULD”T CARE LESS’: BACK_ROOM DEALS? How dare you? The ‘Iron Ladie’ of Ottawa is an affront to Common’s decency – a criminal thug in charge of criminal thugs. At the Wright opportunity the majority of peoples will not forget. Due-process? OUTRAGEOUS

  • Confused Conservative
    November 06, 2013 - 11:43

    Okay, I just want to do what's "right". I think one of my employees has stolen $6000 from me. Do I have to now give him the money to pay me back, pay his legal expenses, let him go for a while but let him keep all his benefits and then hire him back later on?

  • Duffy Duck
    November 06, 2013 - 11:17

    The jails are full of people proud of their work. However, along with pride they also feel like victims, mostly because their work didn't work out!

  • Resident
    November 06, 2013 - 10:18

    Hubley, Downe, it was once said, that the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. (Dante Alighieri). You betrayed people who you "represent".

  • concerned taxpayer
    November 06, 2013 - 09:12

    You are right, you should not have been kicked out of the senate without due process, you should have been kicked out of the Senate for not legally being entitled to be a Senator. One more thing, about the $65,000 you paid to your friend's "fictitious" company for no work.....

  • Rob
    November 06, 2013 - 08:48

    That shows how good our PEI reputation is and hot rotten politics really is. This senate scandal of expenses and residency for Mike Duffy is nearing the one year anniversary and for the first 11 months of this process it has all been all provincial government and PEI Senators saying get rid of him he shouldnt be here. Now when the conservatives stop defending Duffy they suddenly join the other said and argue on due process. If Harper was still trying to defend Duffy/Brazeau/Wallin, I guarantee you Callbeck/Hubley/Downe would have voted to suspend. There is no integrity anywhere. I am very glad that Mike Duffy is now finished, next to that I'm pretty glad to see Catherine Callbeck is 8 months away from her mandatory retirement. Possibly the worst Premier in PEI history, and now has a resume of nearly 17 years in the Canadian Senate and I have no idea what she has done and accomplished, other than claim a secondary residence in Ottawa and take a $100,000+ salary plus expenses. Hubley is about 4 years away, long way for Downe but I'm not too concerned there because I'm quite confident the the Senate will be abolished before he reaches 65 years old, let alone 75!

    • eyeonthings
      November 07, 2013 - 05:21

      Brings back old times and that infamous 7.5% clawback from our wages - a breaking of a legal contract by Callbeck - adn no explanation that was pal;atable at the time ; just a swift retreat through the catacombs to her Premier's office1 How sad to think we have been paying her and her ilk for all these years when the feds are pulling food off our tables to maintain a pruposeless and toothless Senate! Shame Shame Shame on Canadians for allowing this to keep happening. Who was there for us when our paycheque s were slashed by this useless ex-premier?

  • Fundamental flaw
    November 06, 2013 - 08:29

    So the senators that didn't even bother to vote: question for you - is this your way of protecting our democracy? And are you really concerned about due process? And to mr Duffy: you refer to yourself several times as a Conservative politician: how so? Politicians are 'elected' - senators like yourself are 'appointed'. Please do not delude yourself into thinking PEIslander's had any say in your 'appointment'. This is only one of your many statements that smacks of your overinflated ego.

    • I'm Awake!
      November 06, 2013 - 11:30

      Agree with you completely about the abstaining senators. This was a complete aberration of Canadian law and Charter rights and abstaining is the best you could do?! The door has been opened wide to taxpayers getting sued over the lack of due process and you played right into Harper's hand. If this affects the police investigation, as many are suggesting it will, it means no money is missing and those three will come out smelling like roses and they'll be suing us so fast our heads will be spinning. Kudos to you Ms Callback! Ironic that you have the biggest pair among the Island bunch.

  • lloyd macleod
    November 06, 2013 - 08:07

    Sneaking lying and making backroom deals is not what senators are paid to do. Taking money and perks you were not entitled to is what you did. Thanks for nothing. You were a good guy until greed overtook commonsense. Enjoy your old age.

  • Good Riddance
    November 06, 2013 - 07:59

    I am glad Mr Duffy (I won't call him senator because I don't believe he ever was a legitimate senator) is proud of his actions because no one else is. Of course Mr Duffy has always been his own biggest admirer. If he had simply apologized a long time ago he could still hold his head up and retain some dignity. I know I would have had more respect for him. Yesterdays vote won't really result in any financial hardship as he, like a lot of high profile criminals, will simply write a book about this and make a ton of money.

  • It Only Goes To Show
    November 06, 2013 - 07:52

    This only goes to show how much respect our Senators have for us ; their employers who pay for their wages & perks . When we the share holders fire a employee , they are fired & we owe them nothing more . I resent us still being responsible for health care & insurance & most likely pension . Just where is the sober second thought when our employees still believe that we the taxpayer should be on the hook for expenses . I'm sure when Ms. Callbeck was in business for herself , she didn't give anyone continued benefits from herself or company after firing them . The other two are useless and gutless . Just a waste of our tax money . Time to get rid of this retirement home & use the money saved for something use full to Canadians .

  • p
    November 06, 2013 - 07:36

    Senator Callbeck is correct. There is more to this suspension. Turns out Senator Duffy may go on disability benefits from his Senate position which will be the same his salary and even though suspended all three will will still accumulate time toward their pensions een during the suspension.

  • More information required . . .
    November 06, 2013 - 07:27

    First, congratulations to the reporter here - well written, well covered, useful links to primary documents. However, now it's time to inform people what benefits these three people will receive. What is the insurance plan, the health plan? It's understood that they are suspended but will remain senators - what does that mean? At all costs, let's not let Harper's plan to bury this story work!

  • Mel
    November 06, 2013 - 06:40

    David, The Duffer is not really gone, just suspended for a couple of years. He will be back unless he ends up in jail.

  • David
    November 05, 2013 - 22:54

    Thank God he is gone!!! I am just a bit disappointed though in the other Senators for not having the backbone to stand up and support the taxpayers who said they wanted him gone. Main thing is that the embarrassment is FINALLY GONE!!!

    • Apparently
      November 06, 2013 - 08:47

      Apparently Trudeau told Lib senators not to vote. I am not amused. They all should have voted.

  • Islander who has had enough of Duffy!
    November 05, 2013 - 21:43

    Please go away and never return to the Island!!!!