Mike Duffy trial: Day 59

Mike Duffy returns to the stand for cross-examination from the Crown attorney.

    Was there a shower at 10 Friendly Lane before your appointment. Yes. Did your travel patterns to PEI change after being appointed? After I became senator from PEI, I was home very often. I was on PEI a lot more than before I was appointed. Did the use of 10 Friendly Lane change markedly? Yes it did, Duffy says. I was there spring, summer and fall. I was there at Christmas. Duffy says that's where we live, in the winters we live in town because of access to the hospital. Duffy says he can get in, they can blow me in, they blow in my neighbours across the street. The problem is getting out, Duffy says. Duffy points to the diary entry that Holmes raised 'check the snow drifts,' that's not for aesthetics it was to see if we could get in.
    Duffy: I had to make PEI my residence. It was my constitutional anchor.
    Holmes: When did your main residence become 10 friendly lane?
    Duffy : The minute I became appointed.
    Are you telling me it would all be ok if I lived in town? the problem is 10 Friendly Lane. What steps do you go through to shut down the cottage in the fall? They shut off the water so they don't freeze; they leave the heat on to prevent burst pipes. And the hydro power, and the cable TV. (Duffy is drinking a lot of water today btw).
    Taking our lunch break. Back at 2 (not 2:15 today). Stay tuned.
    We're back. You told the PM that you should be appointed from Ontario? Yes. There were a lot of Tories lined up on provincial PEI scene looking for a senator's appointment. Did you have misgivings about your fitness? You hadn't lived there since the 1960s. No I had no misgivings, I knew the history. The desire to be appointed from Ontario was shut down? That's right. You wanted to represent Ontarians? I wanted to resprsent my country. You understand the senate has a regional representation aspect? Yes. It's the dominant reason it's appointed? It's one of them there are others, the Supreme Court has ruled on this. Did you know Marjorie LeBreton? Yes. Did she appear on your show from time to time? Yes
    Were you aware in 2008 that you had to be a resident of the province you were going to represent? Yes. Were you concerned about not living on PEI? Duffy says he was concerned about local political rivalries that would pop up, and they did. Duffy said he knew there would be controversy, but Duffy says nobody in Ottawa really took Bulger seriously; there's no law school in PEI. PCO, LeBreton, the PM had all reviewed, said I was fine. Were all senators you met appointed from the provinces where they lived? Michasl Kirby had a cottage in NS, had lived there, moved to Ottawa, and then was appointed from NS. He was well and clearly known, his constitutional anchor was Nova Scotia. Duffy said everybody knew he was living here when he was appointed. So was CSO, she lived here when she was appointed from New Brunswick.
    Were you surprised that there was controversy? Duffy says nobody in Ottawa took him (Prof. Bulger) seriously as a constitutional expert, took him seriously as a political problem. That's why senate speaker was going to ignore his letter. No one in a position of authority, that Duffy spoke to (he clarified that when Holmes get testy), took this is as serious constitutional problem. When was Guardian article published? Dec. 24. Duffy then met with Marjorie to discuss it, her legal expert cleared it. Holmes says - wait a minute - you met with Audcent, law clerk, on Dec. 23. Duffy says yes we didn't talk about the article, we just talked about my eligibility. Holmes says - you just said you spoke to the PM and the law clerk about the Bulger article. Did I? I didn't say that. If I did I must be tired and confused.
    You revealed the seasonable nature of the property to the PM? Yes, it wasn't a secret. I'm just asking, Holmes said. Duffy said of course I needed a property, I'm the senator from PEI. You needed a house? I own my cavendish property, and half a house in Sherwood. Did you tell the PM that the home was closed up and inaccessible, you didn't share those details did you? No. Prior to becoming entangled in this affair, had you heard of the Blais commission. Yes, I knew Jean-Jacques Blais. Duffy knew in broad strokes that they made changes to the way parliamentarians were compensated. Duffy said his understanding was that they made a recommendation of moving pay away from politicians themselves raises. Would be independent commission.
    Before Blais commission, there were no travel expenses. Duffy says before that every parliamentarian was given a lump sum of money and they could spend them as they wish. They moved to a modern accounting practice, 'submit expenses and get paid.' You were aware that senators and MPs received compensatory payments to come to Ottawa to do their work? Yes, Duffy says. You knew that John Baird wasn't eligible for compensation? I assumed that all Ottawa MPs weren't eligible. 'But I live in PEI and come to work.' When did you begin to live in PEI? Somewhere in the evidence there's a certificate from the ministry of transportation. I moved to PEI. It was Dec. 28, 2008, I began establishing PEI as my constitutional anchor, by getting a drivers license. Mr. Audcent (law clerk) suggested it, Duffy says, when he met with him on Dec. 23.
    You met with Tkachuk on Jan. 7, he told you you must claim all expenses. Yes he told me there 'shouldn't be any light,' between him and other senators. So you were urged to make expense claims so there wouldn't be a political problem? No, I was urged to make expense claims because all senators from PEI claim expenses. Tkachuk told you to explain expenses or you're not a resident of PEI? No, he's telling me to claim expenses like all other senators from outside the NCR. If I failed to behave in a manner like them, that would raise the question - why isn't he claiming expenses? Duffy says.
    You told Tkachuk you didn't believe in per diem claims? It was bust matter of philosophy. But you abandoned that philosophy? 'It wasn't a matter of religion. Everybody is got to eat, and I didn't understand why you got per diems when you were on travel status.' But he went along, didn't want people like Prof. Bulger to make a fuss out of him *not* claiming expenses.
    In general, you would go on to claim for every meal you ate at your Kanata residence? Yes, Duffy says, I'll accept that because that's the rules. You knew that the travel expense claim forms, submitting those, resulted in you getting paid? Those claim forms covered not just meals, they included all the air travel. The forms were filled in appropriately. Are you suggesting now I shouldn't have submitted travel claims? (Sort of catches Holmes there; per diems based on time spent away from primary residence, based on flights). Holmes turns to the designation of primary residence form.
    It's an official declaration to the senate based on where I live, Duffy says. I put in PEI, that's where I live. Now looking at exhibit 2, all expense claims. January 2009, he's entitled to housing allowance for 31 nights, every day in the month. Duffy says wait this isn't a travel expense claim (as Holmes said it was), it's for a housing allowance. Every senator is entitled to this housing allowance. Not every senator, Holmes says, not Vern White or Jim Munson. Duffy says they live in Ontario, represent Ontario. Holmes says you don't have to live in Ontario. Just 100 km outside of NCR. Duffy says 'that's right you're an expert.' (Tense here, folks).
    Looking at another form. 'My primary residence in the province or territory I represent is,' is the wording. What should I put in? 10 Friendly Lane, of course! For my secondary residence I put Kanata. Holmes says yes but this form does entitle you to expenses; your staff have to fill out separate expense reports. Duffy says, yes, like all senators from PEI.
    Is this form a 'trap?' No I think it's straightforward. If you don't fill it in it's a trap. 'It's very clear: it asks what is the primary residence from the province you represent, Mr. Holmes.' Focus on the language though in this form, Holmes says. 'I declare my primary residence is more than 100 km from Parliament Hill and therefore incur additional living expenses,' did you incur additional expenses? Absolutely, Duffy says. What expenses did you incur leaving Kanata to work at parliament hill? Holmes asks. I incurred additional expenses coming from 10 Friendly Lane. I got the housing allowance for the home here in Kanata when I was here, just like every other parliamentarian who comes from out of town. If I didn't live in Kanata, I'd be in a hotel for $200 a night.
    Holmes says you'd only charge $200 a night for a hotel if you were here on senate business. Yes that's right, Duffy says. But if you rent an apartment, you'd sign a 12 month lease, paid every month by the taxpayer even when the senate wasn't sitting (up to $1800 a month).
    Holmes moves off this topic. Asking Duffy about working at CTV. He would wake up in the middle of the night, check the papers, and then he'd right a note to the chase producers telling them what he was interested in having on the program. Then he'd go back to bed. Wake up, check in with producers, have a bite to eat, park on parliament hill or World Exhange Plaza and then would go up to the hot room. CTV covered your parking? It was a taxable benefit, Duffy says. Would you have lunch up there? Often. I'd watch QP, do the show between 5 and 6. He would do CFTO hit at 6:22 everyday. Would then either go to functions or go home, drive back to Kanata, Duffy says.
    That was your routine five days a week. That's correct. What would be your routine in February 2009 when you were a senator? Broadly the same? Duffy says well you'd start earlier and leave later, senate actually has long days, Duffy says. Duffy would be on the Hill by 8 am, leave around 8 pm. Parking was covered, taxable benefit. He'd eat on the hill. If there was sitting they'd start at 1:30 and go to 6, committee go to 8 pm. You'd go out and socialize? In the senate it was mostly go home, Duffy says.
    The Senate only sits three days week? Duffy says I'll take your three days. As a rule it only sits every other week, Holmes says, is that right? No, where did you get that from Duffy asks? Duffy says total number of days changes, it varies. House is the sausage maker, and then senate would inspect the sausages. The program Mike Duffy Live shadowed the schedule of parliament hill, right? No we were on the air when the House wasn't sitting, would dream up some things; show would go on hiatus in the summer. Holmes is making the point that the senate doesn't sit very much - some months 8 days, some months no sittings, some months 14 days.
    Far from incurring additional expenses when you went to work in the senate, you had far less than you did at CTV. Duffy says I don't know where you got that calculation. 'I did not break the rules, let alone the law.' Bayne objects. Holmes says he'll move on. Duffy says he'd like to have his date book in front of him if he's being asked about what happened on a date. Duffy says he doesn't want to fall for 'another date trick,' Holmes says what was that? You think I'm tricking you? Duffy raises voice says 'I don't want to inadvertently mislead the court. You're putting words in my mouth.' Is it your testimony that I'm tricking you? 'Stop,' Duffy says dismissively.
    Duffy says getting back and forth from PEI is arduous; it would be hard on his health, he knew that. 'If you really, really want to know why I wanted to go in from Ontario was because of my health,' Duffy says. Holmes said I thought you wanted to be appointed from Ontario because of the local political problems on PEI. Duffy says there are a couple reasons why he raised PEI as problematic. 'Stop trying to put words in my mouth.' Duffy says in life there are many reasons for making decisions. Duffy says he'd like to 'maintain a shred of dignity and privacy,' he didn't want to go into detail on his health conditions. 'You've put everything out there my medical records, my banking records, you've sent it all out there without any regard.' You're suggesting I did that? 'The system!' (Duffy is shouting, btw).
    You wanted to go in as an independent? That was my preference. What was the benefit of that? I'm not sure that there are any benefits, but I was a journalist and never had been much of a partisan. So you wanted to be an independent? That was my preference. Then you accepted going in as a Conservative? Yes. So the threat of being relegated to independent status was no threat at all to you? Holmes asks. Duffy says it's very different going in as an independent, versus being thrown out of a caucus.
    Did you have vision for what you hoped to accomplish when you went into the senate? I wanted to help PEI. Did you have any designs on any committees? I wanted to be on defence, but it met Monday's and I was told I couldn't have that one because Marjorie LeBreton told me I'd be on the road most weekends, on the rubber chicken circuit providing 'third party validation,' for Harper. Did you participation in expanding the base conflict with your efforts to lobby for PEI? In fact it enhanced that ability. As I explained I had cabinet ministers come to me to ask me to come to their ridings and I could quid pro quo particularly with tony clement, Diane Finley, Rob Moore. I could lobby them one-on-one, without staff.
    Was it scratch my back I'll scratch yours? Holmes asks. Duffy said he wouldn't use that phrase. Duffy said he'd go out all over, and ask them to help with projects in PEI. When money is allocated, make sure our project isn't left at the bottom of the drawer. 'That's why I did what I did.'
    Break time for 20 minute. Crown and Bayne have to meet with the senior presiding judge now to discuss scheduling. They might have to go beyond this week?
    For those interested - there were roughly 84 Senate sitting days this year; about 127 in the House of Commons, but it's been a weird year with the election and all which virtually wiped out the entire fall session.
    Testy exchanges between #Duffy and the Crown this afternoon. Follow the live blog: cbc.ca/1.3367144 #hw
    Holmes says one of your roles was third party validation for Harper; and that transformed into partisan activities for the party? For my caucus colleagues, Duffy said, I was to expand the pool of voters. You haven't made much of an effort to disguise your disdain for Stephen Harper, is that right? Not disdain, Duffy says, disappointment. When did you become disappointed with Harper? At the caucus meeting on Feb. 13, 2013, when Harper told me that I had to repay my expenses even though he said I didn't break the rules.
    Holmes said you've identified certain policy initiatives of Mr. Harper's that disappointed you - like equalization. Duffy said no, it was rumoured changes to equalization that concerned me. That they would make changes that could impact islanders. You also said that he never wrote things down, put notes on post-it notes. I won't say he never wrote things down, I'm not in a position say, but in my presence he wrote things on post-it notes so he 'wouldn't leave fingerprints.' Duffy said he did that for the historical record. Holmes said you also said he never asked you to do things directly. Duffy says I'm generalizing, but as you can see from the emails it was a common technique. Harper doesn't ask people - he tells them or has an aide do it for him. Harper always has the out so people can't say to him 'you owe me, you owe me.' Duffy says it's about political deniability, happens in all parties.
    You were being asked to endorse the Conservative Party brand? No I was being asked to provide third party validation to Stephen Harper. Did you trust Harper? I *did*. I thought he was an honourable man, if I didn't, I wouldn't provide third party validation. Despite your preference to sit as an independent, you were appointed as a conservative. Did you embrace that role? I did my job, Duffy says. Duffy says I wouldn't have become a senator if I didn't think Harper was an honourable man.
    Turning now to June 18, 2009. 'Duty entertainment' with Gary Lunn at Hy's. What does duty entertainment mean? It was a work event. This is the meeting where you described election fraud, Holmes said. Duffy said I didn't say it's election fraud, I said they mobilized robo calls to confuse NDP voters, I'm not a lawyer, I'm not sure if it's fraud, they thought it was clever. Did you think it was clever? I didn't think about it too much. That's why Lunn told me 'I was hanging on by my fingernails,' please come out and help me on labour day to win by riding. Duffy says the motivation to invite me out was for me to help him with campaigning. Would Harper have known about Doug Finley and his black ops? I have no idea. Duffy says I have no knowledge if Harper knew about those robocalls.
    Duffy says robo calls or misdirecting goes on in every party especially during leadership races; Duffy says parliament hill is rife with stories of manipulation. Holmes says did you keep Lunn's story to yourself. Yes. You didn't see it fit to go to Elections Canada to report this? No. Lunn only knew that he got a phone call when someone says 'you're welcome.' Duffy says when Michael Sona took the fall for the robo calls in Guelph, Doug Finley flew off the handle. 'He hasn't taken our courses,' on black ops, 'he wouldn't know enough to do this,' Duffy says Finley said.
    Would this segment of parliament hill that has the 'win at all costs' mentality - would that include you? Duffy says he just did what he knew how to do - talk to people, I didn't have the technology to be part of the black ops. I wasn't frankly that partisan. We're now looking at Duffy's diaries. How did you send this Nigel Wright? I assembled it with Mary McQuaid in Charlottetown. Was it your habit to delete things once it was recorded in the (Lotus Organizer) diary? Depended on how much space I had, this is an old program. If something was filling up the file, I deleted it. Duffy says 'he learned he had to manage these things,' now he has separate files for each calendar year.
    You've been using this Lotus software for many years? Before the senate? That's right, Duffy says. I regularly deleted so I could manage the output size so I could email my calendar. Duffy says his staff used Microsoft Outlook. Is this diary something you shared with your staff? Yes, by email. When it was updated, I'd email it. Duffy says he has repeating appointments every day like every night there's an entry at 9 pm for CBC The National, so he's reminded to watch or that it's on. Same for CTV.
    Duffy says he'd often delete those repeating appointments; he'd take out routine things, like CTV QP on Sunday, he'd delete that entry unless there is a reason to keep it. I'd forward to Melanie Mercer. Did you forward it to her to help her file your travel expense claims? That'd be one of the reasons, Duffy says. You made no effort to conceal what you were up to, would you agree with that? Yes. Is there infinite space on each day, what is the limit for writing each day? I don't know. It just expands the box when you write more; it's not meant for that sort of thing, Duffy says.
    Is there less recorded for social activities? Yes, but there's a reason why Swiss Chalet is in there. I record salt intake, because of my blood pressure and to track fluid retention. You had a digital scale to track your weight? That's right. You shared your calendar so she can fill out travel expense claim forms? Yes. Is it her primary means of tracking travel. No she has her outlook, gets information from travel agent. Duffy says the biggest expense anyone has is the air travel; but she has all that from the travel agent. This is just a supplement, Duffy says. You were also obliged to provide boarding passes? As a matter of routine, yes, Duffy says. That's required for travel claims.
    Done for the day! Back at 10 am tomorrow!
    #Duffy trial will not wrap this Friday, as scheduled. Will not sit next week, but will spill over into 2016. #hw

    #Duffy trial wraps for the day, back tomorrow. Won't finish this week. Or year. Catch up: cbc.ca/1.3367144 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWYPSViWIAAIXV-.png

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