This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Speaking to the Conservative caucus at the Parliament Hill on Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated that he is “not happy” with the actions of some Senators and with the conduct of his own office. Addressing the ever-growing controversy over the Senate expense scandal, Harper alleged that “I did not get into politics to defend the Senate.”
Harpers straight-forwardly challenged that anyone intending to use their public office for their own benefit shall leave office or exit the Conservative caucus. He stated that “I know you are scrupulous about paying personal expenses yourself,” but “anyone who wants to use public office for personal benefit should make other plans or, better yet, leave this room.” Journalists were only allowed for a brief coverage of the speech, after which a closed-door meeting will commence, without allowing reporters to ask any questions. Harper was expected to discuss important issues in Tuesday’s meeting, including on how the government might regain public trust in the Tories’ long-standing promise of handling taxpayers’ funds with care, while reassuring the long-standing Senate reforms.
Opposition parties have persistently demanded a full detailed explanation into what happened from Harper. NDP MP Charlie Angus alleged that Harper shall stop “song and dance” and actually address the ethical and potential legal issues swirling around Wright’s payment to Duffy. Speaking to reporters after Harper’s speech, Angus mentioned that “Canadians want answers. He’s not giving them answers,” adding that “the buck stops with the prime minister. He was an epic fail this morning.”