Skip to main content



Just the Facts: Top Five Myths of the PMO Ethics Scandal

Posted on July 30, 2013

Since reports first emerged that the Prime Minister’s right-hand man cut a $90,000 cheque to cover-up potentially fraudulent expenses, Mr. Harper has consistently misled Canadians.

The seriousness of this ethics scandal has only been amplified by recent news that the RCMP is requesting information directly from the Prime Minister’s Office as part of a criminal investigation into the secret payment.

The Conservatives continue to stonewall Canadians on five significant questions surrounding the PMO Ethics Scandal. Canadians deserve the truth. Today, Liberal MP Marc Garneau outlined the Conservatives’ top five myths.

Myth #1: Nigel Wright acted alone.

Court documents filed by the RCMP as part of the criminal investigation clearly state that at least four people in Mr. Harper’s inner circle also knew of the secret $90,000 payment, including Benjamin Perrin, Chris Woodcock, David van Hemmen, and Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein. This follows months of public statements by the Prime Minister that no one except Nigel Wright knew of the secret deal.

Myth #2: The Prime Minister’s Office does not have an email or any legal agreement between Wright and Duffy.

The Conservative government claimed that the $90,000 cheque was merely a private transaction between Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy. Canadians have now learned that the RCMP is trying to obtain a written legal agreement discussing the secret deal. The Prime Minister’s own communications director has even admitted he is aware of the email.

Myth #3: The Prime Minister’s personal legal counsel, Benjamin Perrin, was not involved in the Wright-Duffy agreement.

Benjamin Perrin first denied media reports that as the Prime Minister’s then-personal legal counsel he had negotiated an agreement between Nigel Wright and Senator Duffy. Mr. Perrin, who owed his job to Mr. Wright, has now left the Prime Minister’s Office, and RCMP documents reveal his involvement in the secret $90,000 deal.

Myth #4: The initial Senate report on Senator Duffy reflected the auditors’ findings.

After the Conservatives claimed the initial Senate report on Senator Duffy reflected the independent auditors’ findings, Canadians discovered the report was whitewashed to go easy on Mr. Duffy. Moreover, Canadians have learned the Conservative government promised Senator Duffy they would apply pressure to ensure he was cleared of wrongdoing.

Myth #5: The Prime Minister has been clear in his answers and has made public all relevant information.

All information has not been released, and the Prime Minister has been accused of stonewalling the RCMP investigation. Canadians deserve honest answers when it comes to accountability, ethics, and potentially criminal behaviour right at the heart of the Prime Minister’s inner circle.