Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to the airwaves Monday to try and get this pesky Senate story under control.
He settled on appearing on Maritime Morning with Jodi Morgan, a friendly voice on the other end of the line. Morgan ran for the Canadian Alliance back in 2000, and went on to work for Harper.
After getting the fluff questions about jobs, the economy, and trade out of the way – per the agreement with the PMO – Morgan got down to asking Harper what everybody wants to know.
What responsibility should Harper’s office take for this “unholy mess” in the Senate?
“Well, look, I think the responsibility, whenever things go wrong, is for us to take appropriate action,” said Harper.
After talking about how he "dismissed" his Chief of Staff for cutting a cheque to Mike Duffy to repay the senator's dubious expenses (after expressing "regret" back in May in accepting his resignation), Harper played the I'm-taking-strong-action card. (Harper didn’t get into his evolving story about the cheque - from how “nobody” knew about the cheque to “very few” knew.)
“When you have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in inappropriate expenses, and that is clear, that there is appropriate sanction on your job. If you did that in private life, you would not be continuing to be paid by your employer,” Harper said.
Funny. That’s not what Harper said a few months back, when he stood in the House of Commons to defend Pamela Wallin's expense claims:
Photo: primeministergr. Used under a Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 licence.