Mondo Muck North of the Border?

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I have very little feel for Canadian domestic politics. So I’m going to frame this post more as a suggestion to read more and a question for those who know the subject matter better.

But the bare outlines are these. Back in 2005, while the former Liberal government was tottering on the brink of collapse after many years in power, representatives of the opposition Conservatives went to an independent MP whose vote could topple the government and offered him a bribe for his vote.

The nature and context of the alleged bribe are particularly ghastly. The late Chuck Cadman was then in the final stages of terminal cancer. And in exchange for his vote, Conservative Party reps offered to purchase a $1 million life insurance policy for Cadman “and a few other things” in order to provide for his wife.

Cadman refused, voted to keep the government in power rather than cause a new election, and died a short time later.

The charges come from a new book about Cadman’s life, and they are backed up strongly by his widow who is now a candidate for Parliament running as a Conservative (though one wonders for how long).

The kicker, though, is in an interview contained in the book: Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in essence admits that it’s true and that he knew about it at the time.

Here’s the CTV description

Zytaruk interviewed Harper in Surrey, B.C, in September 2005, shortly after the MP’s death. Zytaruk asked if Harper knew anything about allegations that Tory officials had offered Cadman a $1 million insurance policy to help his wife.

“I don’t know the details. I know there were discussions,” Harper replied.

Harper also said the discussions included talk of money.

“The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election,” he told the author.

Harper also said he did not believe that Cadman would be swayed to change his vote.

“I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind,” he said.

Sort of an admission wrapped in a denial if you ask me, as least as this report frames it. And now it seems the interview with Harper was recorded and is still in existence.

So for all you Canadians who’ve been entertained over the years by our scandalous politics, please give us the low-down. What’s the score?

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