IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ on Harper's role in Mike Duffy appointment

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): 

    Mr. Speaker, we are still waiting for the Prime Minister to respond to the disturbing allegations that Mike Duffy himself raised concerns about being appointed as a senator for Prince Edward Island when he was a resident of Ontario.

    The Constitution is clear: a senator must reside in the province for which he or she is appointed.

    The Prime Minister has to answer sooner or later. What did the Prime Minister do when Mike Duffy told him he was not a resident of Prince Edward Island?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have already answered that question on a number of occasions. How disappointed Canadians must be this morning. They work hard, they play by the rules, and yet again they find out that the New Democrats are using their money callously. There are 68 of them who are accused of illegally using taxpayer resources for illegal offices, and 23 of them for inappropriate mailings. They were forced to pay back $350,000 worth of illegal union donations. They were charged $40,000 for illegal robocalls. Now we find out that working in the office of the Leader of the Opposition, using taxpayer resources, is a union member who is using taxpayer money for partisan attack.

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives say, “Let's change the subject. We don't know any Mike Duffy�, except that 74 Conservative MPs invited Mike Duffy to their ridings on the taxpayers' dime. They know him all right, he is really at the heart of Conservative scandals and entitlement.

    The Prime Minister appointed former Senator Mike Duffy. Now we have sources saying that the Prime Minister insisted Duffy represent Prince Edward Island when he knew he was not a resident there. Did the Prime Minister's Office go to such great lengths to try to bury Duffy's expense scandal because it was trying to protect the Prime Minister? Is that why there is this cover-up?

Mr. Paul Calandra (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I said, the constitutional practice on this has been clear for almost 150 years. It is also very clear that the NDP, yet again, are caught using taxpayer resources inappropriately. To have a member of the union working inside the office of the Leader of the Opposition, doing partisan political work at the expense of the taxpayers, is completely inappropriate. I hope the Leader of the Opposition will do the right thing—take a step back and pay the taxpayers back the millions of dollars he owes them. He should do the right thing.


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