Colleagues, your staff sends in the form and Senate finance makes corrections and adjustments. Not a penny remains owing from these minor adjustments, which were all duly corrected and paid. Let’s get it straight.
They, the Board of Internal Economy, on live television, accused me of submitting fake expense claims, a grand total of $2.03 a claim. And for this, they defamed a sitting senator on national television?
I asked for a copy of all of the correspondence from the Senate administration over the time that I have been in this august chamber, four and a half years. I wanted every communication between me, my office and the Senate administration about anything about which they were concerned.
Did they ever, ever once write and ask me, “What’s going on? We have some concerns.” Never. Not one word.
If this monstrous defamation had been made outside, I would have sued, but it was made in committee, where senators are protected by parliamentary privilege. This was back on May 28.
The Board of Internal Economy actually met twice on that day. They met in secret in the morning. Were the 15 members of the board told there that they were about to defame a colleague on national TV over errors amounting to $2.03 a claim?
I can’t believe my colleagues on the board would have participated in this hideous distortion of the truth had they known the alleged crime was the price of a Tim’s: two bucks. $2.03. Small, inexpensive, insignificant claims mistakes, all immediately corrected.
Well, I can only conclude that this was a setup, planned by the Senate leadership under the direction of the PMO and designed to destroy my credibility with Canadians, if and when I ever went public about the real story behind the 90,000.
Given the enormity of the May 28 allegations, should any senator believe anything they are being told by the leadership today about the actions of Senators Wallin, Brazeau and me? What lies are they whispering this afternoon in caucus about if you only knew what we knew about these three terrible people?
I know one thing: You can’t trust this leadership to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Speaking of leadership, that was quite a performance last week by Senator LeBreton. She smugly dismissed my revelations of conspiracy, bribery, threats and extortion. It was a whopper. Well, it is a whopper all right. You wait until Canadians see the e-mail trail in the hands of my lawyers and, I hope, in the hands of the RCMP.
Those e-mails among the PMO, their lawyers – including Ben Perrin, who is very actively involved in vetting resolutions for the party’s national convention this weekend – lawyers for the PMO; Ben Perrin; the Conservative Party’s lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, he was involved; and my lawyer, when you look at all those e-mails in that chain, it proves this was a setup from the start and that I am innocent.
The PM knew I wasn’t guilty. Nigel Wright knew I wasn’t guilty; he said so in that e-mail. And the Senate leadership knew I wasn’t guilty. Just take a look at the documentary evidence.
So I’m back home in PEI, after the Prime Minister has decided we are going to do this nefarious scheme, and Nigel is working the phones, coaxing me to go along with this terrible plan. He even said he would pay the 90,000. All I had to do was to go along and do as I was told.
Not only that, but when I insisted on written guarantees that repaying money I didn’t owe would not be seen by the Senate as a guilty plea, Nigel Wright arranged to have my legal fees paid. That is right. One cheque from Nigel Wright? No, ladies and gentlemen: there were two cheques, at least two cheques. The PMO, listen to this, had the Conservative Party’s lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, pay my legal fees. He paid for my lawyer – Arthur Hamilton – a cheque, $13,560. That is right, senators: not one payment – not one payment – but two.
Contrary to the Prime Minister’s assertion on CFRB last week that he ordered repayment because Senate expense rules were, in his words, “beyond the shadow of a doubt broken,” he had my legal bills fully paid. Why would he do that? He would never do it, if he believed my expense claims were improper.
He did this because, as I have said from the start, this was all part of his strategy, negotiated by his lawyers and the Conservative Party’s lawyers, to make a political situation, embarrassing to his base, go away.
He took their money – I suspect; I can’t prove it yet. I suspect he took their money, the base’s money, to pay off – to make a lawyer, to make this all go away. The cheques tell who is telling the truth and who is not.