There could be $1 million in it
L'ancien chef de cabinet Nigel Wright
The people around Stephen Harper talk about the existence of a secret fund in the Prime Minister’s office that is used to pay partisan expenses.
It’s all because of a $90,172 that Harper’s former chief of staff Nigel Wright and Senator Mike Duffy tell us that Wright gave Duffy. It was out of the goodness of his heart, says Wright. It was to keep me silent, says Duffy.
Harper says Duffy was supposed to use the money to pay back what he owed the Senate after charging up unjustified expenses. But Duffy never paid it back, says Harper, which really ticks him off.
And so how did Harper reward Wright for his generosity towards Duffy?
He fired him! That’s what he did, well sort of fired him, after saying how much he regretted that Wright was leaving and that he was such a good guy and all that.
But it wasn’t the first time Harper has changed his mind about somebody working for him.
Now a lot of people are wondering if there was a connection between the secret fund that Wright was administering and the big cheque he wrote to Duffy.
In itself there is nothing criminal about using a secret fund lying around the office for a rainy day or writing out a cheque to a senator, as long as it’s not to make him keep silent or something like that.
All political leaders in democracies have "little boxes" in their desk drawer that they use to pay for unexpected expenses or to help an MP or a senator. They don’t all have a million bucks in the kitty, though.
Now that Ray Novak is chief of staff, he is likely the one writing the cheques, but that would be up to Harper.
A secret fund like this one, which is never made public, not even to Elections Canada, means that political leaders don’t have ever to explain where the fund money went.
Luckily it’s a secret fund. It could have been embarrassing for the prime minister at the recent party convention in Calgary to have to explain where every penny in the fund went, and whether there was a connection to the $ 90,172 that Wright says he gave Senator Mike Duffy.
The RCMP is still searching for that famous $ 90,172 cheque.
Now that Wright has left the prime minister’s office for good, he won’t be writing any more cheques to anyone out of the fund.
Wright is nowhere to be found and Duffy is out of the Senate and silent as a carp.
Police continue their research in the office of Prime Minister.