Mike Duffy trial: Day 57

Mike Duffy returns to the stand for his fifth day of testimony. CBC News will be liveblogging the trial from start to finish.

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    We're back in the courtroom! Bayne is up. Here we go.
    Bayne is asking to Duffy make a correction. Duffy got the balance remaining on his mortgage wrong last week. He said last week it was $320,000 - it's actually more. It's $420,166.45.
    Bayne is going back to service contracts; Eastern Consulting Ltd., and the work of its proprietor run by Peter McQuaid. It's a political consulting firm in PEI. His father was Supreme Court justice on the island; he has roots in the political environment of PEI, Duffy says McQuaid was Pat Binns chief of staff, and top politics advisor. Duffy says he knew the history of all things in the last 15-20 years that affected PEI. He was particularly knowledgable about power services to the island.
    Duffy is now talking about power services to the island; there's an underwater power cable to New Brunswick, allows them to tap into the power grid. Duffy says that Peter McQuaid was involved in those ongoing negotiations; Duffy says he was aware of all the political and economic aspects of the power grid. Duffy says that for most of my consultants where was more than meets the eye, Duffy says he was well briefed on current issues on PEI.
    Was the consultant services you received from Eastern submitted to finance officials in the senate? Yes. The invoice shows that Duffy consulted McQuaid about issues affecting PEI on a weekly basis. The senate shows Duffy was authorized by senate officials to do work for 27 days, for a total of $5,000 the topic of research (and speechwriting) equalization.
    Did you use all $5,000? No, I used $2,887.50, Duffy says. The remaining $2,000 in change did you seek to get any of that money or get a kickback? No, never, Duffy says. Would you explain what services you received under this 2009 contract? It's related to equalization. Duffy says PEI receives $2 million a day for health care and education in transfers from the federal government. PEI says without it there would be 'great disparity.' What services were provided by McQuaid? Well, Peter McQuaid was there when there were discussions about refining the process. Duffy says you have to remembers Bosenkool, an advisor to Harper, had actively advocate for an end to equalization (he was an author of the Firewall Letter); Duffy said he was panicked, he said this would be a disaster for the Maritimes. He said he needed to be armed with data, to deal with Harper and his ideological allies. Duffy says the advice he go from Eastern Consulting was invaluable. Duffy says it was oral advice, 'how to go and tell the boss why he was wrong.'
    We're now looking at an invoice from 2011, another one from Eastern Consulting, this time for advice on the PEI power cord. $2,625 for the advice he received from McQuaid. We can see that the contract and received by senate financial, human resources, and approved. The senate authorized two days of services, for a total of $3,000. What were the services you contracted for and received? Duffy says that he was told that the federal government would not pay for a cable to PEI. He was told 'what makes you think you're special, we don't pay for cables in Ontario.' 'I began noodling around with Ray Novak, I told him you're not going to let PEI go dark? Back burning the bottom of the sea.' Duffy says that don't forget dancing around in the background was Danny Williams. Duffy says that maybe Harper could deliver an Atlantic power accord, with one power company utility for all the provinces, and not have all these competing interests, it'd be more efficient and we'd all work together. 'It could have been a big accomplish for the Harper government.' Duffy says he went to McQuaid because he knew all the players, 'helped me pull together some ideas on proposing something bigger and more grand, a legacy item for a PM as opposed to a subsidy for a people on a small island.'
    Mike Duffy facing questions about payments for controversial personal expenses cbc.ca/news/politics/… #cdnpoli #hw
    Duffy says the consulting was part of his public business; the money came from his office and research budget. Now looking at another contract from 2010, subcontracted through Gerry Donohue (as they were in 2009, 2011). $2,857.50 was the bill from McQuaid. What was this in 2010? Duffy says similar services, advice and historical knowledge of the issues as they had been in the past. What's your recollection of the focus in 2010? It was 'editing services,' as the cheque says. Duffy says there was a lot of pushback on some of the things he had said about PEI. Duffy says he would submit things to McQuaid to act as his sort of 'political litmus test,' Duffy says islanders are very political attuned, you have to be careful what you say, and McQuaid told Duffy what was 'appropriate.'
    Next service contract: George Radwanski. Duffy says he was former member of the press gallery, went on to become editor of the Toronto Star, and then privacy commissioner. Duffy says everyday there is an opportunity to make remarks in the chamber; he wanted to say something about the death of Dean Max Cohen, former head of McGill law. Duffy thought of Radwanksi right away, they knew each other too. Radwanksi said he'd do it for free, Duffy wouldn't accept that. Radwanski wrote, Duffy sent the speech on to Cohen's widow. He was paid out of your senate research budget? Yes, that's right 'senators are given a budget for this very thing.'
    Next up: Mark Bourrie, what services did he provide? He's a Ph.D., who's written half a dozen books. Duffy says he remembers him from press gallery, he's one of these people 'in tuned with the new technology,' and he mentioned that there were some remarks made about Duffy on Wikipedia page that he didn't like. Duffy said he couldn't figure out to edit the page, tried, but he says that he needed someone with 'an academic background,' to edit the Wikipedia page. 'Would you undertake this for me?' Bourrie said he'd see what he could do. There was also a YouTube video from a debate he did with Peter Stoffer. Title was 'Drunk Mike Duffy,' he says he wasn't drunk, and he was concerned about his reputation. He said he can't accept that being on the web, it was defamation and could let it stand as true. Duffy says to Bourrie, your wife is a lawyer, can you send an email to these people to tell them to cease and desist. Mark told him wife was actually a lawyer, so in the end he was paid $500 for the advice he gave me to deal with this. (That debate was on Power and Politics; the 'drunken' title is still there last I check)
    Next up a letter from Nicole Proulx, in senate finance. Part of what he was allowed to bill for under senate rules was 'reputation management.' Duffy says this wasn't a question of vanity, it was libel. He needed Bourrie, and Bourrie did work on cleaning up the websites. He was paid $500. Bourrie said he'd down it for free, and Duffy said 'listen there's a budget for this.' And Duffy thought he was mostly paying for the legal letter, but she never sent it because she couldn't.
    Next up David McCabe, another service provider. He was paid $500, he was operating a 'clipping service' for me as a senator from PEI. (David is Duffy's cousin, don't forget!) Bayne looking a senate expenses Duffy's allowed to charge for: press clipping services is listed. What does that mean, Bayne asks? David got a computer, he's a cousin of mine, I don't see him very often, and it had a scanner attached and he was sending along pictures of his kids and stuff. 'That was fine.' Duffy says when the UPEI professor raises an issue about his residency, David sent the clipping! He got the PEI paper, was scanning things and sending them to Duffy in Ottawa and he was reading them first thing in the morning. Duffy says he sent along anything that Duffy was interested in. 'Hey this is important, I should be reading this stuff.' Duffy says he was sending them along at an important time, 'now we have Google Alerts,' Duffy concedes. But he wanted to be aware of them immediately. He says this was not personal 'none whatsoever,' 'thanks for the help you've provided me ... And I sent him a cheque.'
    McCabe is also a furniture upholsterer; Duffy says he always paid for those services separately, we're not caught up in the media monitoring that David provided Duffy. 'No phoney invoices,' Duffy says, and there was no intention to keep this secret. Were any of these people paid by cash? None.
    Next up: the list again of 'approved items for senate related business,' : photographs, films, photographing, and framing and 'editorial cartoons from newspapers,' included. Duffy says that Jiffy Photo (another service provider) would mount newspaper articles and Duffy gave them out. Duffy says that the proprietor, Mark Vermeer, knew the difference between personal and private business for Duffy. Bayne asks Duffy to explain the difference between using the Senate printer and Jiffy. Duffy says 'the name says it all,' he would send photos from the road by email, mayors, councillors, and he could send it 24 hours a day to Vermeer, he knew the format (with Senate logo), and would print it.
    Duffy says Pierre Trudeau got a photographer; under Mulroney is expanded dramatically, picture from social occasions; the pictures would be sent to the people you meet. There's a white bar along the bottom, where politicians could write a note and the politicians would sign. 'As Pam and Patrick and I were doing our third party validation, the PMO suggested we get photographers. If you take a picture you've got to deliver it.' Again, this was the advice of Chad Rogers from Crestview Strategy, a lobbyist hired by the PMO, Duffy says.
    Duffy says that the Senate charged too much for the photos; it was $4. Jiffy Photo was half the price: $2. Duffy had Jiffy do it how the PMO formatted Harper's pictures (white bar: senate logo). Duffy says people were always requesting his picture, and they wanted a copy. 'Chad Rogers was right,' Duffy says. Is it a common practice to take picture across all parliamentary business? Yes. You know who was the number one for photo budget in the senate? Frank Mahovlich (former hockey player). Duffy says it was unbelievable how many people wanted photos with Frank. Duffy says Nancy Green-Raine was somewhat similar. So this expense was a personal matter? No, none whatsoever. 'People have to know we're doing on their behalf. It's a great souvenir,' Duffy says.
    We're now looking at the invoice from Jiffy. It's a work order to Maple Ridge Media (Gerry Donohue), for mounting. It's when Duffy got things framed for William Keon (Duffy's 'sponsor'). It was clippings from newspapers, tribute to him. 'Nice to put on the wall of a den,' Duffy says. Another one: Photo of Barbara Bush, Mike Duffy and Larry King from an event at cystic fibrosis. Duffy sent the picture of the three of them fo Bush. Duffy says they had a nice side conversation at the event. Two were sent, one was sent back to Duffy, she signed it, and it went up on Duffy's wall in the senate.
    Another mounting; a magazine did a major take out on what a wonderful guy David Johnston (the GG), Duffy had it mounted. Is this a common practice? Yes. Is this an inappropriate expense? 'No not at all, it's in the rules,' Duffy says. Another picture 'Mike with young men,' he says that's likely a class picture. Another picture of Duffy cutting a ribbon for opening an extension of a highway in PEI. Another picture of Duffy with Chris Alexander, and some of his friends. They wanted the photo printed.
    Duffy says now everything is on the iCloud now, exchanged that way. But before he would tell Jiffy to keep his personal photos separate from the senate business photos. Another photo of Duffy with Chris Alexander; and then one with Derek Kennedy, a producer at the CBC. Duffy says he can't remember beyond that, or why the photo was taken. Duffy says the photo was likely send on to him. Another photo with Miranda/Colin (his kids). Where does that go? Office of the senate. There's another photo of Miranda and Colin. Duffy says that's an error, I should have paid for that. Did you intend to decieve the senate of $5. Never, it's a clerical error, Duffy says. Another set of photos titles 'PEI black and white' on the invoice. He says he doesn't know, likely something archival. Another one mount of a letter from the PM, that he had mounted and put on the wall. Another one, enlargement of a picture of David Patterson, Glenn moore. And there's a d-day documentary called 'The Final Reunion,' that Tom Clark made about three war heroes; Duffy says he had videos made of the documentary, and he sent them to the children of war heroes. Did you make presentation to schools on Remembrance Dau and did you use these videos? Yes, very often Duffy says.
    Another photo, copy of a photo of Brian Lilley and Duffy, a shot from when he was on the show. Was sent to Lilley. Another one, from the Conservative convention of Duffy with partisans; one of Peter MacKay with the Will & Kate when they were in PEI on their royal tour. Greg Noonan, former MLA of Summerside; another charge for mounting an article about Brian Lilley, was sent to him. (There are so, so many pictures Duffy had printed and sent to countless people from all walks of life, as you can see from me recounting a smattering of what we're walking through here in court. Duffy certainly wanted people to have pictures of him).
    Picture with Kevin McLeod from Cape Breton ('another Maritimer who did well'), the Globe and Mail did a feature on the Queen's secretary. He had it mounted, sent to McLeod. (Also, if there was ever any doubt, Duffy is a voracious consumer of news media).
    Picture of a Globe and Mail piece about the PEI's Lieutenant-Governor and his appointment to the position. That was mounted and sent to him. And then there roughly 30+ pictures of the Queen, Will & Kate, that Duffy had printed. He had photos taken of the PM's D.Comm who left to become a citizenship judge. Then there are pictures of 'Mike & Wife,' people from Pembroke often told him 'we'd love to have pictures of you,' Duffy says there was 'a certain mysticism' about Duffy and his wife among the public because they were married at the Ottawa Heart Institute. Then here's a mounting of Callbeck, first female premier of PEI.
    Lastly, there a photo called 'son's birthday' - several different formats - for $17. Duffy says that in Bob Muir's office - a retiring senator from Cape Breton - his staff found pictures of Duffy with his son, two Polaroid shots. Duffy says that's personal. 'There are two items that have crept in here that were personal,' Duffy says. 'A couple of bucks.' 'Were you trying to deceive the senate for a couple of bucks?' No Duffy says.
    Oh sorry, not lastly. Photos of Heather, his wife. Duffy had photos of Heather turned into note pads (?!) that he used to send notes to people when there was someone who died, or for a more personal touch. Duffy thought it would be 'a soft, warmer thing.' The photo was of Heather with (their then-dead) dog on a beach. There's an example, it shows the Senate 'frank' (term used for sending mail for free). There's a photo of Bill Clinton, Duffy and 'man.' Duffy says with a grin, do you know who man is? No? It's Al Gore, they didn't know who he was. 'He invented the Internet you know!' Duffy says, to some laughs.
    Photos of Duffy with Andrew Saxton; PM; also photos of some people from Hamilton, Ont. A photo with 'my old friend and colleague' Carolyn Stewart Olson's assistant, he wanted a picture. That's an inside baseball joke, Duffy says (it's fair to say they're sworn enemies, btw).
    Duffy reiterated that he took all these pictures with people that he'd meet out and about, he'd sign them 'Dear Joe, nice to meet you.' (If only all these people knew now that Duffy can't recall who the vast majority of them are now), and then send them on to those folks.
    Another invoice, showing a bill for pictures of Heather. Mike and a hockey player. Says they're all senate business-related memorabilia (hmm). Another invoice, billed to have a cover of TV Guide (with him on the front) mounted to put up in his office (not personal, Duffy says!)
    Bayne now asking how Jiffy Photo makes mounted photos (Medite mounts); Duffy says they basically cover photos with plastic, then place them on wood. Oh! We've got to the trip to Cambridge with Harper (when they were touting the economic action place). There is a photo of Harper with Duffy, which was sent to him by the PMO. Duffy says that more than $3 million was spent on photos, in the government (according to media reports).
    To summarize Duffy's philosophy on why he printed all these photos through Jiffy: "These things were important to the people who were in them, so you'd better have a system so they don't fall through the cracks."
    Taking a break! Back in 20 minutes.
    Duffy says most of the plaques he sent to folks said 'courtesy for Mike Duffy, Senate of Canada.'
    Now reviewing R.A. Brennan; he ran an advertising agency in the Maritimes, from Charlottretown. Duffy says he's a 'brilliant writer,' he did, and we paid him, Duffy says. Duffy says it was related to his duty as a senator, under public real rooms. He wanted to put a piece on EastLink cable television, to celebrate Merry Christmas. Newspapers wanted money to run the greeting, Duffy didn't have budget for that. $754 to craft a Christmas message for Duffy. 'I thought it was very good value for money, he's a very good writer.'
    The message was sent out to the public was it? Any personal element? None whatsoever. Now: Nils Ling is the next service provider; he's a writer, actor, performer, he does a lot of work on the CBC, he says. Duffy says he heard a great speech from a politician, he found out Ling wrote it. Duffy approached Ling to write a piece celebrating the farm heritage of PEI; Duffy sat on the agriculture committee, wanted this for his website, too. Bayne goes back to the SARS (senate rules) that says a senator has full discretion. Duffy says that senators were constantly reminded to keep their websites up to date, and he thought something from Ling would be useful for his page. It was an essay, and Duffy later tried to turn it into a speech (didn't work too well, Duffy says). Duffy delivered it to the Canadian Confederation of Agriculture; he was a last minute fill in for Rex Murphy ('story of my life,' Duffy says).
    Bayne asking Duffy to look at an email to Nils Ling. It's about Duffy requesting Ling to write a speech ('all confidential' Duffy writes, meaning he didn't want some of it showing up on TV in advance). Duffy says 'you'll notice he sent the speech on the day it was supposed to be delivered.' Ling was to be paid by a 'general contractor,' Duffy told him. It was Ottawa ICF that was to pay. 'It was a reflection of what Ottawa ICF was doing for me.' Ling did send his invoice and was paid? Yes, Duffy says.
    Duffy asked Ling to do additional work on the forestry sector. Duffy says they were doing a report on the forest sector, they wanted the report to get more exposure. How do we put it on the web, bits of testimony from witnesses to make it more interactive? Duffy says Ling had experience with that, he sent the report to Ling and wanted his help to jazz it up. Duffy wanted to make it come alive, but the chair of the committee had his own person in mind, so Ling didn't get the work.
    Duffy was a replacement for Rex Murphy, and he heard about it because a speaking agency called him to tell him about the gig. Mr. Murphy had a contract? He negotiated a financial deal with the agriculture group. He was to be paid $15,000 to deliver a speech. 'I didn't expect a fee,' Duffy says, 'Murphy arranged it.' You pinched hit? I did. Were you paid? I was, $10,000, Duffy says. Was there a prohibition on paid speeches by senators? No.
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    The agriculture group represented $200,000 farm speech. Was it in your capacity as a senator? Yes, Duffy says. Holmes stands up to say 'this is all inadmissible hearsay,' presumably talking about all of Duffy's testimony about service contracts. Judge is not pleased. 'You've made that point already,' he says that it can be argued at another point. (Yikes that was really testy; Holmes most forceful I've ever heard him, judge completely dismissive). 'I don't mean to ignore the court,' Holmes says, but the Canada evidence act applies!
    We're now looking at Duffy's website, a photo grab from the Wayback machine. There's a screen grab of documents that are posted to the website. The speech that he gave to the Canadian Federation of agriculture, is on there. Duffy says Ling wrote more of an essay, not a speech, therefore it served as an 'anchor' on for senate website.'It's all public,' Duffy says, pointing out again he sat on the agriculture committee.
    About the farm speech to the agriculture group: "I was a fill in for Rex Murphy," says Duffy. "Story of my life," he jokes.
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