Joined: 16 Dec 2009
|Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:22 pm Post subject: Duffy Strikes Back, sues for damages
|This is rich. Susan Delacourt is a good reporter, but she's also a Liberal partisan, and this is a case nobody wants to look at too carefully. You will notice who she fingers as the culprits.
Mulcair is never mentioned.
|Mike Duffy got a raw deal and that will cost us: Delacourt
The senator joins Omar Khadr seeking compensation after being abandoned when they became politically inconvenient to the PMO.
By SUSAN DELACOURTParliament Hill
Thu., Aug. 24, 2017
Canada’s political summer is ending as it began — with talk of multimillion-dollar payouts to highly controversial characters.
Mike Duffy is not Omar Khadr, but the senator and former journalist also wants to be compensated for how he was treated by his own government and let down by the Canadian legal system.
He’s suing the Senate and RCMP for $7.8 million in lost income and damages and, like Khadr, is making a case — quite possibly a convincing one — that his basic rights as a citizen were trampled by base, crass politics.
Get ready, then, for another polarizing, national argument over the price of politicizing the country’s justice system. Such debates have been the bookends for the summer of 2017, and probably should leave us with lingering questions about where political interference has played havoc with law and order. This isn’t happening in some other country — it happened in Canada.
At the beginning of July, Canadians were locked in fierce debate over whether Khadr, the former child soldier and prisoner at Guantanamo, was owed a $10-million settlement for successive, Liberal and Conservative governments’ failure to protect his legal rights.
As August winds down, the public can now argue over whether Duffy is owed compensation for his descent into political infamy, which started in 2013 and carried on right to his total exoneration in April 2016.
In both cases, the men have powerful court rulings on their side, which may not quiet the critics, but definitely tilt the balance in their favour.
Duffy, according to Justice Charles Vaillancourt’s ruling 18 months ago, was the victim of a “mind-boggling and shocking” abuse in the democratic system. The abuse started at the top, specifically Stephen Harper’s PMO, which appears to have turned Duffy into political roadkill — with the help of a spineless RCMP and Senate — to quell a fuss over expenses in the red chamber. The whole sorry tale is recapped in the 50-page statement of claim filed with Ontario Superior Court on Thursday, with colourful descriptions of political treachery: “forced scenario” and “mistake-repay strategy,” for instance.
The Prime Minister’s Office, under new management since late 2015, is not being sued by Duffy, but the Senate and the RCMP are. The lawsuit, and Duffy’s lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, mince no words in alleging that the national police force went after a Canadian citizen to suit a political agenda. That’s not a trifling accusation; we tend to assume that this is the kind of thing that happens in political thrillers or banana republics.
But Greenspon was pretty clear at his press conference on Thursday. “When the RCMP are perceived to have been taking their marching orders from the Prime Minister’s Office and/or the Senate, that’s a very dangerous road for the RCMP to be going down.”
Duffy, the journalist, was not known for his discretion. But in his more recent role as disgraced-then-vindicated senator, he has been extremely and uncharacteristically quiet since his trial ended in 2016. No whispered asides to his old journalist friends; no big leaks of his plans for revenge.
The longer he remained silent, in fact, the more that people suspected that something was up; that the “ol’ Duff,” as he liked to call himself, was amassing a case against those who had wronged him.
“It also took me a long time to draft up a 50-page statement of claim. My goodness, it’s one of the longer ones I’ve ever done, I’ve got to say,” Greenspon told reporters.
Apart from everything else, that statement is also the first real, personal glimpse we’ve had into how Duffy has been doing since his legal troubles began.
His former lawyer, Donald Bayne, had said he feared for his client’s life throughout the legal ordeal. The statement lays out the medical details: a second round of open-heart surgery (which the statement describes as “extensive and significant”); depression; severe anxiety; insomnia; and a worsening of his diabetes, specifically, a loss of vision.
As Duffy’s new lawyer put it at the press conference on Thursday, his client “near died” from the stress. Being an enemy of the state is a dangerous condition.
There is one big difference between Duffy and Khadr: Duffy’s troubles began when he got too friendly with the government; Khadr when he got involved with an enemy abroad. But both found out what happens when a citizen becomes politically inconvenient to the PMO.
It’s said that the real test of commitment to basic rights is whether we can defend them for people we don’t like. In the case of Khadr and Duffy, the top politicians in Canada failed the test, but that doesn’t mean citizens have to do the same.
I don't want to get into the parallel with Khadr, and as far as I am concerned, it is just another reportórial trick to get us associating Mike Duffy with bad-to-the-bone killers.
Mike Duffy did nothing wrong. He used to make jokes, on his show, about how the Senate was patronage heaven, and roll his eyes. During the long period of Liberal ascendancy, the Liberals often got a senatorship for party stalwarts as a way of getting them a salary and office expenses. The Rainmaker, Keith Davey was one of them. So Duffy knew what he wanted to do -- like Davey had done, perhaps.
As soon as he arrived he tried to find out what the rules were. He followed what he was told. His trial was a prime example of what I call a pseudo-event. I mean by that an event that happens entirely because of the media coverage it will get. This was a political trial organized by the opposition. Duffy wasn't the best case, there was a far more flagrant transgressor on the Liberal side, a guy who'd moved out of Ottawa so he'd get a housing allowance, and then bought a house with his housing allowance. But he was a Liberal.
The trial was set up to precede the election campaign, and it went into excruciating detail that did more to harm the Senate than Duffy.
There ought to be some heads rolling. Certainly, the people who made this into a trial ought to face some accountability in public. The judge stunk, and let the questioning go far afield in an obvious attempt to weave Harper into it. I have contempt for that.
The person with the most integrity in the whole affair was Nigel, who was the one they were trying to make the goat.
It truly illustrated how contemptible our justice system has become. They run bogus political trials to affect election outcomes and the media play ball with it. (Susan Delacourt knows way more than she's reporting, trust me.)
Look at how the Courts were used to ruin Ghomeshi, and how the girls danced away, unscathed for their collusion and lying. Why aren't they charged? Because they're girls. That's how bad the justice system is. None of them got him in bed, and they were clearly the aggressors. His real crime was that he spurned them, albeit graciously.
Another judge got recently cashiered because he dare, and actually criticize the Courts?
He exhibited some skepticism about a woman who alleged she was raped at a party, after she took her pants down and sat in a bathroom sink ... try that if you are looking for new positions. The judge was disciplined for testing the evidence! The jury, by the way, let the perp off in the re-trial too.
And I am not even mentioning Gregory Allan Elliott.
I wish people like TC, who claim to 'keep up' with the law had some higher expectations. They seem to think this stuff is OK. Where would they draw the line, I wonder. How bad would the courts have to get before it became an issue?