Stephen Harper ducks Parliament

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Won't answer crisis questions in the Commons

Prime Minister Stephen Harper came back from his four-day trip escaping the Senate crisis by flying off to South America.

But he never showed up at Question Period in the Commons on Monday to defend his government in the worst scandal since he came to power.

A spokesman for Harper's office said eight days ago they sent the Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson a copy of an agreement between Nigel Wright, chief of staff of Harper and Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.

But the next day another Conservative spokesman and said the agreement did not exist, so how could there be a document to make public.

Who is lying? Who is right? Who didn't know what he was saying?

Harper still refuses to hand over to the RCMP or to make public at least the office documents and emails regarding the transaction between Wright and Duffy, so they could be examined by cops and Canadians?

Friday night ten days ago Harper proclaimed he had full confidence in Nigel Wright. But two days later at 8:01 Sunday morning Wright suddenly resigned.

And now, it seems, Harper no longer has as much confidence in Wright. What changed in those two days? Did Wright, his trusted advisor, hide a pay-off to keep Duffy silent? Duffy told the media that in return for $90,000 he had to maintain silence, but he never said silence on what.

We know that two Conservative senators, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau did the same sort of thing as Duffy with expense accounts to which they were not entitled, according to a Senate committee. Did they also get gifts of money from Harper's office? If not, why not?

Now we learn that the Senate committee report on Senator Duffy was redacted before being made public. Some sentences were sliced out of the report. What did those sentences say? Who didn't want them to become public? It is important to know who ordered the senators on the committee to remove those sentences in the report. And why?

Was it a maneuver camouflage? It certainly wasn't for grammar mistakes.

Stephen Harper keeps saying he trusts the same conservative senators who redacted the auditors' report on Duffy. Now they are responsible for a sober second look at the Duffy spending spree?

Duffy has another small problem. Every senator is required to declare within 30 days to the Senate ethics commissioner any gift of more than $500.

So why did Senator Duffy not declared the donation of 90 $ 172 he received from Nigel Wright within 30 days?

Yesterday Harper was not in the House of Commons.

Last week he told the members of the Conservative caucus that for him, the crisis was a merely "distraction" from his daily business. Maybe that was the reason.


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