Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt cleared Senator Mike Duffy of all 31 criminal charges against him and criticized both the Prime Minister's Office under former PM Stephen Harper and also the RCMP.
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|An article in the CBC by Neil MacDonald praises the judge's decision:|
Ontario Court Justice Charles Vaillancourt proved that in Canada, the courts are there to protect citizens against the venal machinations of those in high office, and the terrifying power of the police and prosecutors who answer to them.Not only did the judge drop all 31 charges, he described those charges as an abuse of power.
: "I'm frankly proud of the way this turned out. It is completely unprofessional to have such an active animus at work in an investigation. The RCMP was lusting to do this [charge Duffy] because of the high-profile nature of the case. There was a hue and cry to 'get this creep. It's the power of authority. I have no doubt that this was a case of pleasing the masters."Harper had obviously decided that Duffy should be punished.
In 2012, Duffy has a vacation home on the island. Duffy was one of four senators accused of saying that their primary residency outside of Ottawa in order to claim living expenses for work in Ottawa. Duffy, who has lived and worked in Ottawa for decades, has claimed his primary residence is in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island and claimed $42,802 in living expenses for the national capital region from November 30, 2010, to November 30, 2012. Duffy may have also claimed $40,333 in the two years after his Senate appointment in December 2008.While a senator, Duffy was a popular speaker for the Conservatives. In March of 2010 he criticized University of King's College and other Canadian journalism schools for teaching Noam Chomsky and critical thinking. He claimed that Canadian journalism schools were producing leftists who thought free enterprise was bad.
In late February 2013, it was alleged that special counsel and legal adviser Benjamin Perrin drafted a letter of understanding between Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada, Nigel Wright and Duffy. Perrin denied involvement in a May 2013 statement. Wright then wrote a personal cheque to Duffy for $90,172 to cover past residency expenses claimed as part of the agreement with the PMO. A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed the money was a gift with no expectation of repayment. Duffy then repaid the Government of Canada $90,172 in March 2013 for expenses previously claimed.