Enough Dump Harper!

#PMO #SenCA Scandal: Timeline

#PMO #SenCA Scandal: Timeline

Join us in a crowdsourced data and information collaboration related to the various ongoing scandals broiling the Harper Government. This is not intended to replace anything currently available, it is a method of sharing between in real time while at the same time, archiving information for the future. There is no doubt that the agenda, mandate, legacy and long term effects to Canada and Canadians of the Harper Regime will not end with any simple election.

This is intended to be a very comprehensive and open source organizational effort including shareable info-graphics, timelines and downloads so please feel free to add comments and suggestions below. Any help and/or assistance in gathering specific data is greatly appreciated…


PMO Senate Scandal: Timeline

June 2012

June 13, 2012 – Auditor General Michael Ferguson releases a study of Senate expense claims; in some cases Senate administration didn't have the right documents to support claims for travel and living expenses.


November 2012

November 21, 2012 – Senate committee asked to examine housing allowance for Conservative Sen. Patrick Brazeau, who lists a home in Maniwaki, Que., as his primary residence despite appearing to live full-time within a 100-kilometre radius of Ottawa.


November 22, 2012 – Senate internal economy committee tasks three senators with reviewing Sen. Patrick Brazeau's housing allowance.


December 2012

December 3, 2012 – Similar questions raised about Conservative Sen. Mike Duffy, who claims a primary residence in P.E.I. despite being a longtime Ottawa resident.


December 4, 2012The Ottawa Citizen reports that Sen. Mike Duffy has claimed $33,413 in living expenses for a secondary home in Ottawa. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "I have done nothing wrong, and am frankly tired of your B.S."


December 4, 2012 – Duffy says he got an email from Nigel Wright, the prime minister's chief of staff, saying it appeared that Duffy's residence expenses complied with the rules.


December 6, 2012 – The Senate widens its audit of housing expenses to include Liberal Sen. Mac Harb, who claims a home near Pembroke, Ont., as his primary residence, and begins examining residence claims of all senators, who are constitutionally bound to live in the provinces they represent.


December 6, 2012 – With allegations of improper expenses piling up against Duffy, as well as fellow senators Patrick Brazeau (pictured) and Mac Harb, the Senate internal economy committee asks the Senate administration to conduct an audit into those members’ expenses.


December 7, 2012 – The Senate decides to audit residency claims after questions are raised about Sen. Mac Harb's allowances. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "Your primary residence is what you say your primary residence is … It's where you file your income taxes from, where you get your mail."


December 12, 2012 – A letter to senators tells them they have to provide their health card, driver's licence, income tax return and signed letter stating where they vote, in order to prove their residency claims. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "Residency is a very complicated issue. The Senate has never tested it."


December 2012 – During a Conservative Senate caucus meeting (the date is not clear), Duffy is asked to repay his housing allowance. One Tory senator in the room suggests Duffy resign his Senate seat.


January 2013

January 1, 2013 – May 9, 2013, 2013 – During the drafting of the committee's report, then-chief of staff Nigel Wright was in contact with committee chair David Tkachuk (pictured). Tkachuk later told the Globe, “[Wright would] want to know things, like ‘When is it going to be done? When is this thing over with?'" He said that Wright's contact with him began early during the audit process. This did not come out until May 23, following Wright's resignation.


January 3, 2013, 2013 – The Senate officially hires auditing firm Deloitte to review Sen. Pamela Wallin's travel expenses for the period of April 2011 until September 2012.

February 2013

February 4, 2013 – The Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor reports that Duffy had tried to expedite his application for a Prince Edward Island provincial health card.


February 5, 2013 – Reports emerge that Duffy applied for a P.E.I. health card in December 2012 and that he does not receive a resident tax credit for his home on the island.


February 6, 2013 – As reporters and opposition members turn up the heat, Duffy tries to dodge reporters after giving a speech on energy at a Halifax hotel. As he slipped through the hotel's kitchen, he said to one reporter, “You should be doing adult work.”


February 7, 2013 – February 21, 2013 – At some point in February, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, agrees to cut Mike Duffy a personal cheque for the $90,000 that Duffy will repay to the receiver-general. This payment remains secret until May 14,when the existence of a deal is leaked to CTV. The Prime Minister's Office confirms the $90,000 cheque the next day.


February 7, 2013 – Brazeau is arrested and charged after a domestic dispute unrelated to the Senate spending affair. He is removed from caucus. Questions emerge about Sen. Pamela Wallin's primary residence in Wadena, Sask. Similar questions plague Duffy. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "I have a home in Prince Edward Island as required by law. I will have no further comment until this review is complete."


February 7 – Duffy says in a phone call with Wright that he is upset he is going to be audited. (p. 14 of RCMP documents)


February 8 – Senate Standing Committee on Internal Economy contract Deloitte to review residency and related expenses of Senators Duffy, Brazeau, and Harb. Conservative Senators Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen and Liberal Senator Furey named to sub-committee to review Duffy expenses.


February 8, 2013 – Brazeau, Harb and Duffy expense claims are sent to auditors for review. Senate's internal economy committee asks for special legal advice on Duffy's residency. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "I have seen no evidence to call in the RCMP, but that doesn't mean anything."


February 8, 2013 – Senate hires external auditing firm to review Brazeau, Duffy and Harb's claims.


February 8, 2013 – The Senate announces it has hired outside auditor Deloitte to examine the residency declarations and related expenses of Duffy and two other senators. It is also seeking legal advice about Duffy's residency status for being a senator from Prince Edward Island.


February 9, 2013 – The Globe and Mail learns that Duffy has been using an Ontario health card, which requires that the cardholder have their primary residence in Ontario. This contradicts Duffy's claims to the Senate that Cavendish is his primary residence.


February 11, 2013 – According to Duffy, he meets Wright in the Langevin Block, which houses the Prime Minister's Office, to set up a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper later in the week. "That's when I first heard about it and immediately voiced my objections to this fake pay-back scheme," Duffy says.


February 11, 2013 – According to information uncovered by CBC News in November 2013, Nigel Wright met with Mike Duffy on February 11 across from Parliament Hill in the Langevin Block, in a room near the prime minister's office, and told him that despite previous assurances that his expenses were legitimate, he would have to pay back the money. Duffy protested, arguing that he had done nothing wrong and asking to have a meeting with Harper. According to multiple sources, Wright said he’d arrange a meeting in 48 hours.


February 11, 2013 – Senate leaders say anyone who wrongfully claimed housing allowance should repay money with interest. Key quote: Marjory LeBreton and James Cowan: "We believe it is vital for the reputation of the Senate and those senators who are in full compliance with our rules and regulations that this determination be made as soon as possible and that the result be made public."


February 11, 2013 – Duffy visits Langevin building, home to the Prime Minister's Office. He arrives at 12:07 p.m. ET, and leaves at 12:54 p.m. ET, visiting room 204.


February 12, 2013 – CTV reports that Wallin's travel spending is being audited. Tkachuk visits room 204 in Langevin, arriving at 1:41 p.m. ET, leaving at 2:05 p.m. ET. He is there to brief Wright on Duffy's spending audit. It is the only time the two men talk face-to-face about Duffy's audit, Tkachuk will later say. About 20 minutes after Tkachuk leaves Langevin, Sen. Irving Gerstein arrives. He also visits room 204. Gerstein arrives at 2:24 p.m. ET and leaves at 4:28 p.m. ET. Patrick Brazeau is suspended with pay from the Senate because of the assault charges against him and the need to "protect the dignity of the Senate".


February 13, 2013 – Duffy talks to Harper after a caucus meeting about his expense claims. Harper tells Duffy any improper expenses must be repaid.


February 13, 2013 – Harper defends Wallin's expense claims under questioning in House of Commons. Key quote: Stephen Harper: "I have looked at the numbers. Her travel costs are comparable to any parliamentarian travelling from that particular area of the country over that period of time."


February 13, 2013 – The date Duffy says he meets Harper and Wright after a Conservative caucus meeting. Harper tells Duffy he must repay questioned housing expenses. "The prime minister agreed I had not broken the rules but insisted I pay the money back, money I didn't owe, because the Senate's rules are, in his words, ‘inexplicable to our base,'" Duffy says.


February 13, 2013 – At a Conservative caucus meeting in the Centre Block of Parliament, half a dozen MPs, including Dean Del Mastro, Pierre Poilievre and Mark Warawa, voiced their support for Duffy, saying he had been smeared by media reports and the party should stand behind him.​ Harper, however, was adamant that anyone with improper expenses should either pay them back or leave.

After the meeting had ended, Harper, Duffy and Wright stayed behind and talked further with only security and logistic personnel present. Duffy again made the argument that his expenses were legitimate. Harper said it wasn't about right or wrong but rather about perception, multiple sources say. The public wasn't buying explanations and Duffy had to pay the money back, Harper told him.

Harper has denied saying this, but has said he ordered Duffy to pay back ineligible expenses. There was no discussion about where the money would come from, one source told CBC News, and the meeting ended with Harper saying Wright would make the arrangements.

The Prime Minister's Office has called the comment about the arrangements “categorically false.”


February 14, 2013 – NDP accuses Wallin of billing the Senate for partisan political activities, pointing out the former broadcast journalist claimed about $26,000 in "other travel" during the quarter in 2011 that included the six-week federal election campaign. Key quote: Marjory LeBreton: "All activities that are not related to the Senate should not be charged to the Senate."


February 17, 2013> – Harper tells the House that Duffy met the residency requirement for the Senate, but does not tell the House the Senate had determined otherwise. (See May 7.)


February 17, 2013 – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Wallin is a "clear" and "regular presence" in Saskatchewan, but says questions about her travel expenses need to be cleared quickly. Brad Wall on CTV Question Period: "I don't know about the details of expenses, that needs to be resolved, but she has a presence here for sure."


February 19, 2013 – Duffy tells reporters in Prince Edward Island that he rents a second home in Charlottetown during the winter, explaining why his Cavendish, P.E.I., residence appears to have no one living there. He has previously said he spent $100,000 on the Cavendish property to make it a year-round home. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "Canadians know I'm an honest man and I wouldn't cheat on my expenses."


February 20, 2013 – Duffy writes in an email that various scenarios had been worked out with the prime minister's chief of staff, Nigel Wright. The email is revealed in May in a CTV report.


February 20, 2013 – Wright tells Duffy he expects Deloitte will conclude his primary residence is not in PEI. (p. 28of RCMP documents)


February 21, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer sets conditions for repaying expenses, including that the audit be stopped. (p. 31of RCMP documents)


February 21, 2013 – Duffy agrees to follow what he later describes as a PMO-drafted plan to cover up the source of the $90,000, including a story that he borrowed the money from RBC. "On February 21, after all of the threats and intimidation, I reluctantly agreed to go along with this dirty scheme," he says.


February 22, 2013 – Claiming confusion with the rules, Duffy pledges to pay back the expenses. "My wife and I discussed it and we decided that in order to turn the page to put all of this behind us, we are going to voluntarily pay back my living expenses related to the house we have in Ottawa."

February 22, 2013 – Duffy tells CBC News that he and his wife “are going to voluntarily pay back [his] living expenses related to the house we have in Ottawa.” He blames the expenses controversy on a confusing residency declaration form and unclear rules.(See May 8.)

February 22, 2013 – With the audit still underway, Duffy announces that he will pay back the expenses he has claimed, though he does not disclose how much money that is. In a statement, he explained that he and his wife did not want the issue to “drag on.”


February 22, 2013 – Duffy publicly says he will repay his living expenses, saying he may have made a mistake in declaring his primary residence in P.E.I. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "The Senate rules on housing allowances aren't clear, and the forms are confusing. I filled out the Senate forms in good faith and believed I was in compliance with the rules. Now it turns out I may have been mistaken."


February 27, 2013 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper says all senators meet the requirement that they live in the area they were appointed to represent.


February 27, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer emails Harper's legal counsel, Benjamin Perrin, asking for confirmation the audit would be stopped. (p. 35 of RCMP documents)


February 28, 2013 – Senate audit fails to turn up any questionable housing allowance claims beyond those of Brazeau, Harb and Duffy.


February 28, 2013 – The Senate starts a review of its spending rules as all but Duffy, Brazeau and Harb are cleared of housing allowance questions. Key quote: Marjory LeBreton: "Very clearly, this exercise has pointed out that we have considerable work to do to further strengthen and clarify the rules."


Late February 2013 – Duffy says he was under increasing pressure to pay his expenses or be tossed from the Senate. "I said: ‘I don't believe I owe anything, and besides which, I don't have $90,000.' ‘Don't worry,' Nigel said, ‘I'll write the cheque.'"

He also says a carefully drafted agreement was to protect him: "An undertaking was made by the PMO, with the agreement of the Senate leadership, that I would not be audited by Deloitte, that I'd be given a pass, and further, that if this phoney scheme ever became public, Sen. LeBreton – the leader of the government of the day – would whip the Conservative caucus to prevent my expulsion from the chamber."


March 2013

March 1 – Wright emails Conservative Senator Stewart Olsen stating while he acknowledges that the audit is going ahead, he needs her help to get Deloitte not to make a conclusion on Duffy's primary residence. (p.37 of RCMP documents)


March 1 – Duffy's lawyer asks Perrin for an update on the audit. Wright tells Perrin he contacted Conservative Senator Gerstein to work through his Deloitte contacts to get the outcome the PMO was “pushing for.” (p. 37 of RCMP documents)


March 7, 2013 – Sen. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu repays the Senate $907 in housing expense claims he used while staying with his office assistant with whom he was romantically linked. It emerges that Duffy owes the Senate $90,000.


March 8, 2013 – Rogers reports to PMO colleagues that Gerstein has called to say his contact at Deloitte “agrees with our understanding of the situation,” would get “the actual auditor on the file to agree” and that Gerstein would call once Deloitte was “locked in.”(p. 38 of RCMP documents)


March 20, 2013 – Wright expresses annoyance that Duffy's lawyer is still talking about the “audit being called off” rather than Deloitte not coming to a conclusion on residency. (p. 39 of RCMP documents)


March 21, 2013 – Rogers reports that Gerstein has found out from his Deloitte contact that the firm will not “reach a conclusion on residency.” Rogers says repayment should be arranged “knowing that Deloitte will not say one way or another on residency.” (p. 39 of RCMP documents)


March 22, 2013 – Duffy obtains a loan for $91,600 from the Royal Bank. He then pays $80,000 on his line of credit.


March 25, 2013 – Wright sent a bank draft for $90,172.24 to the office of Duffy's lawyer.


March 25, 2013 – Duffy writes a $90,172.24 check to the government. (p.9) Wright writes a $90,172.24 bank draft for Duffy's lawyer. (p.13 of RCMP documents)


March 25, 2013 – Duffy makes good on his pledge to pay back the $90,172.24. After issuing conflicting answers on this question, he confirms the payment in a statement on April 19.


March 25, 2013 – Harb tells The Ottawa Citizen he will wait until the results of the audit before deciding whether he will repay any expenses. Key quote: Mac Harb: "There's an independent auditor and we'll wait for the report."


March 25, 2013 – The Senate is reimbursed for $90,172.24 of Duffy's housing expenses. The news is not made public.


March 26, 2013 – Duffy's lawyers send a letter to auditors telling them that the senator's participation in the audit of his expenses is no longer required.


March 26, 2013 – Auditor Deloitte receives a letter from Duffy's legal counsel stating that Duffy repaid more than $90,000 in expenses, and would no longer be participating in the audit. (See May 15.)


March 26, 2013 – $90,172.24 was transferred to Duffy's RBC bank account, and his cheque for $90,172.24 was delivered to Sen. Tkachuk. The cheque cleared Duffy's bank on Mar. 28.


March 26, 2013 – May 9, 2013 – At some point during the internal economy committe's drafting of its report, the language is toned down to be less harsh on Duffy. This was not discovered until after the report was released, and Duffy had resigned from caucus. On May 22, the committee announced that it would re-open its investigation.


April 2013

April 2, 2013 – Wallin steps down as chairwoman of the Senate's defence committee, citing personal reasons to help deal with an ill family member.


April 16, 2013 – Wallin's auditors meet with the internal economy committee. After presenting their findings, the committee expands the audit to include the period between April 2009 and March 2011.


April 19, 2013 – The Senate publicly confirms the repayment of Duffy's expenses. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "I am a man of my word."


April 19, 2013 – Duffy issues a statement saying he has repaid more than $90,000 in housing and living expenses. The Senate Committee on Internal Economy confirms the $90,172.24 repayment, but does not say when payment was made.


April 19, 2013 – Duffy confirms he has repaid more than $90,000 in Senate housing expenses. "I have always said that I am a man of my word. In keeping with the commitment I made to Canadians, I can confirm that I repaid these expenses in March 2013."


May 2013

May 7, 2013 – The expense report arrives at the Senate committee. It states that Mike Duffy broke the Senate's "very clear [and] unambiguous" residency rules. Since his primary residence was in Ottawa Duffy did not meet the requirements for a housing allowance.


May 7-8, 2013 – Deloitte submits its report to the Senate stating they cannot determine Duffy's residency status under Senate rules because the rules are unclear. PMO disagrees with criticisms of Duffy in Senate administration's draft report and wants it to reflect Deloitte's opinion. (p.19 of RCMP documents) PMO intervenes to have the draft report changed. (pp. 43, 44 of RCMP documents)


May 8, 2013 – Tory Senators used their majority to send the report back for a re-edit. On orders from two key Torys on the committee, Chairman David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, key critical paragraphs were cut. Also, the "revised" version removes any condemnation of Duffy and states that the residency rules were "unclear". (Stewart-Olsen is a former press secretary to Stephen Harper and was his political advisor for more than 10 years.)


May 8, 2013 – Harb is invited and attends an internal economy committee meeting where senators review the findings of his audit. According to Harb, his lawyer is not given a chance to speak during the meeting.


May 9, 2013– Senate Steering Committee reviewing Duffy's expenses, publishes report finding no fault on Duffy's part and say Deloitte could not determine Duffy's primary residence.


May 9, 2013 – During question period in the House of Commons, Harper addresses the expense scandal, saying, “Duffy some months ago repaid the money.”The Senate releases a report into housing claims, along with a Deloitte audit. Deloitte says the three senators live in the Ottawa area, but that the rules and guidelines are unclear, making it difficult to say categorically that anyone broke the rules. Harb and Brazeau are ordered to repay $51,000 and $48,000, respectively. Harb says he will fight the decision.


May 9, 2013 – The Senate releases a report into housing claims, along with a Deloitte audit. Deloitte says the three senators live in the Ottawa area, but that the rules and guidelines are unclear, making it difficult to say categorically that anyone broke the rules. Harb and Brazeau are ordered to repay $51,000 and $48,000, respectively. Harb says he will fight the decision.


May 9, 2013
The audit, carried out by Deloitte, finds that the rules pertaining to residency requirements were unclear, but nonetheless raises questions about Duffy, Brazeau and Harb's allowance claims. Based on this report, the internal economy committee asks the senators to repay their expenses.


May 9, 2013 – The Senate's internal economy committee recommends Brazeau and Harb repay about $48,000 and $51,000, respectively, in housing claims. Letters emerge suggesting Tkachuk, the committee chairman, spoke with Duffy about per diems Duffy claimed while in Florida. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "I in no way gave him a heads-up about the audit prior to his repaying of expenses, given that he had already repaid the expenses when our conversation took place."


May 9, 2013 – Mac Harb resigns from the Liberal caucus. In a press release, Harb's office says his lawyers will determine "all legal actions that can be undertaken to quash the decision" of the internal economy committee.


May 10, 2013 – Conservatives in the House of Commons, responding to questions about the Senate audit, praise Duffy for repaying his expenses. Key quote: Peter Van Loan: "He showed the kind of leadership that we would like to see from Liberal Sen. Mac Harb, who instead is taking up arms against the Senate, saying that he should not have to pay back inappropriate funds."


May 10, 2013 – Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan says of Duffy: "He showed the kind of leadership that we would like to see from Liberal Sen. Mac Harb, who instead is taking up arms against the Senate, saying that he should not have to pay back inappropriate funds."


May 12, 2013 – RCMP says it will examine Senate expense claims.


May 12, 2013 – The RCMP confirms that it is looking into the expense payments made to the three senators in question, which the NDP had demanded four days earlier.


May 12, 2013 – The RCMP confirms the Mounties are examining the expense-claim audits to see if a criminal investigation is warranted.


May 14, 2013 – Brazeau says he also broke no rules and is exploring all options to overturn an order to pay the money back.


May 14 2013 – Duffy sends an e-mail that night to CTV stating that he took out a loan and received no money from Nigel Wright, Harper's chief of staff. (See May 28.)


May 15, 2013 – The prime minister's office releases a statement confirming Wright's payment of Duffy's bill in March.


May 15, 2013 – The Prime Minister's Office confirms that Stephen Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, personally footed the bill for Duffy's housing expenses because Duffy couldn't make a timely payment.


May 15, 2013 – Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson announces that she will look into the payment made between Wright and Duffy.


May 15, 2013 – Harper's office confirms chief of staff Nigel Wright wrote Duffy a personal cheque of more than $90,000 to cover the repayment of expenses after a CTV report the night before detailing a backroom deal between the two men. That report also raised questions that the money was part of a "whitewash" of Duffy's final committee report, which went easy on the Conservative senator. Key quote: Andrew MacDougall, Harper spokesman: "Duffy was unable to make a timely repayment. Mr. Wright therefore wrote a cheque from his personal account for the full amount owing so that Mr. Duffy could repay the outstanding amount."


May 16, 2013 – Harper spokesman Andrew MacDougall says Wright has "the confidence of the prime minister" and says Wright "will not resign."


May 16, 2013 – Duffy is expelled from the Tory caucus.


May 16, 2013 – Duffy resigns from caucus over reports he charged the Senate for expenses while campaigning for the Tories in the 2011 election. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "It is clear the public controversy surrounding me and the repayment of my Senate expenses has become a significant distraction to my caucus colleagues and to the government."


May 16, 2013 – Saying that the expense issue was a “distraction,” Duffy resigns from the Conservative caucus. Two days later, Pamela Wallin – also under scrutiny for her travel expenses – follows suit.Duffy says little about the matter.


May 16, 2013 – Duffy quits the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent senator “pending resolution” of the expense questions.

“Throughout this entire situation I have sought only to do the right thing. I look forward to all relevant facts being made clear in due course, at which point I am hopeful I will be able to rejoin the Conservative caucus,” Duffy says in a statement.


May 16, 2013Duffy resigns from the Conservative caucus to sit as an independent.


May 17, 2013 – A PMO spokesman says Wright is "staying on" as chief of staff.


May 17, 2013 – Sen. Pamela Wallin also announces she's leaving the Conservative caucus. Her travel expenses, which totalled more than $321,000 since September 2010, have been the subject of an external audit since December.


May 17, 2013 – A Senate committee is going to take another look at the expense claims of Duffy.

The committee's move is being prompted by reports Duffy campaigned for the Conservatives during the April 2011 election while saying he was on Senate business.


May 17, 2013 – Pamela Wallin, whose expenses are also under the microscope, leaves the Tory caucus.


May 17, 2013 – Wallin announces she is leaving the Tory caucus. She later reveals she was forced to leave caucus and suggest Wright was on his way out as chief of staff at the time. Key quote: Pamela Wallin: "I had anticipated that the audit process would be complete by now, but given that it continues, I have decided to recuse myself from the Conservative caucus, and I will have no further comment until the audit process is complete."


May 19, 2013 – Wright resigns as Harper's chief of staff. Key quote: Nigel Wright: "I did not advise the prime minister of the means by which Sen. Duffy's expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact."


May 19, 2013 – Nigel Wright resigns, claiming he did not tell Harper of the repayment


May 19, 2013 – Nigel Wright resigns as Harper's chief of staff, following revelations he wrote a $90,000 cheque to cover Duffy's expenses. Wright says that his actions were "intended solely to secure the repayment of funds, which I considered to be in the public interest, and I accept sole responsibility."

Wright adds that he "did not advise the prime minister of the means by which Senator Duffy's expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact."

Harper says in a statement that he accepts Wright's resignation “with regret,” but that Wright "believed he was acting in the public interest, but I understand the decision he has taken to resign." (Note: On Oct. 28, the Prime Minister said in a radio interview that, “As you know, I had a chief of staff who made an inappropriate payment to Mr. Duffy. He was dismissed.”)


May 19, 2013 – Wright announces his resignation as Harper's chief of staff, a move Harper says he accepts with "great regret." Wright is replaced in the chief of staff's role by Ray Novak, who has been by Harper's side since 2001. In October, Harper says Wright was "dismissed."


May 19, 2013 – Nigel Wright resigns from his post as chief of staff to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister later concedes thatthis could have happened sooner.


May 21, 2013 – Harper says politicians who seek to benefit personally from office should leave his caucus.

Speaking to his MPs and senators in the wake of the Senate expense scandal, Harper pledges to tighten the rules in the upper chamber.


May 21, 2013 – Senators vote to order Brazeau to repay $48,000 in expenses and send Duffy's final report back to the committee for review amid allegations it was whitewashed, which Conservatives deny. Key quote: Sen. Marjory LeBreton: "I know that there are conspiracy theorists and I know you don't like my answer, but my answer happens to be the truth."


May 21, 2013 – Speaking to the Conservative caucus, the Prime Minister says he is “very upset about some conduct we have witnessed, the conduct of some parliamentarians and the conduct of my own office.” He flies to Peru later that day for trade meetings, though the questions over his office's involvement continue to dog him there.


May 22, 2013 The Senate returns to business as usual despite the spending scandal.

Harper says he did not know about – nor was he asked to sign off on – the arrangement that saw Wright cut a personal cheque for $90,000 to Duffy.

Harper also says he would not have allowed Wright to give the money to Duffy had he known about it.

In a statement, Duffy addresses the issue that the Senate referred his expenses to the Senate Board of Internal Economy.

"I welcome this development," he said. "Canadians deserve to know all of the facts. I am confident that when they do they will conclude, as Deloitte has already concluded, that my actions regarding expenses do not merit criticism."

"I intend to co-operate fully with the Board and with all other authorities and will have no further public comments until those processes are complete."

According to new details obtained by Global News, Conservative Senator Carolyn Stewart-Olsen moves a motion to revise the report on Duffy's expenses.

The source, a senior member of the Senate, says the report ended up dropping "tough language" against Duffy.

Stewart-Olsen, who was once press secretary for Harper, declines to comment on what happened behind closed doors but told Global News the following:

"Any views, interpretations, or misrepresentations of what went on during an in-camera meeting are purely speculative."


May 22, 2013 – Speaking in Peru, Harper tells reporters that he did not know about Wright's payment for Duffy's expenses before the story broke in the media, and says he's “extremely angry about it.”

“I learned about this after stories appeared in the media last week speculating on the source of Mr. Duffy's repayment,” he says. “I think what's more important is not simply that I did not know, but that I was not consulted. I was not asked to sign off on any such thing, and had I obviously been consulted or known, I would not have agreed with it.”

“My belief here was reasonable, and what I think anybody would have expected, that when it was said that Mr. Duffy had repaid his expenses, that indeed he and not someone else had repaid his expenses.

“In terms of my own office, it was Mr. Wright's money, it was his personal money, that he was repaying to the taxpayer on behalf of Mr. Duffy,” he says. “It was his personal decision and he did this in his capacity of chief of staff, so he is solely responsible and that is why he has resigned.”

“I know Mr. Wright assisted him or did this for him because he wanted to see the taxpayers reimbursed. That's the right motive, but nevertheless it was obviously not correct for that decision to be made without my knowledge or without public transparency.”

“That is why I accepted the resignation of my chief of staff,” the prime minister says. “My point is on this that there is accountability when these things happen.”


May 22, 2013 – LeBreton tells the Senate that senators should one day disclose expenses in detail, similar to cabinet ministers. Wallin is in the chamber during LeBreton's speech. Key quote: Sen. Marjory LeBreton: "We simply must provide greater transparency, especially regarding travel expenses."


May 22, 2013 – Harper denies any knowledge of Wright's cheque: "I was not consulted, I was not asked to sign off on any such thing. Had I obviously been consulted, more importantly I would not have agreed, and it is obviously for those reasons that I accepted Mr. Wright's resignation."


May 23, 2013 – Duffy suggests there be public hearings into his expense claims. Key quote: Mike Duffy: "I think Canadians have a right to know all the facts and I'm quite prepared, in the right place and time, to give them the whole story."


May 23, 2013 – Duffy tells reporters he wants a "full and open inquiry" about the Senate scandal.

“I think Canadians have a right to know all the facts and I’m quite prepared in the appropriate place and time to give them the whole story,” Duffy tells reporters as he leaves the Senate and walks to his car. “There are bits and pieces out there, it should all be put together in one place and there will be some place to do that.”


May 26, 2013 – In the wake of the Senate expense spending scandal, Harper and the Conservatives are forced to look into one of their campaign promises.


May 27, 2013 – Government Leader in the Senate Marjory LeBreton announces that the Red Chamber will soon seek to tighten and clarify its residency requirements.


May 28, 2013 – Harper takes questions about the Duffy affair for the first time in the House of Commons. When asked by Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair what instructions he gave to Wright or other people in his office to solve the problem of Duffy's expenses, Harper says, "I did not give any such instructions. It was my opinion that Mr. Duffy was to pay his own expenses, and that is what I believed until May 15."

"Mr. Wright accepted full responsibility for his error in this matter. He offered his resignation, and I accepted that resignation."

Harper also says that on Wednesday, May 15, “Mr. Wright told me that he had given a personal cheque to Mr. Duffy so that he could reimburse the taxpayers. Until that moment, I thought that Mr. Duffy had paid his own expenses."


May 28, 2013 – During Question Period in the House, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair reads an e-mail from Duffy, stating that after being paid $90,000, "he stayed silent on orders of the prime minister's office."


May 28, 2013 – Harper faces some tough questions from opposition leaders during Question Period. This is Harper's first appearance in the House of Commons since Wright resigned.


May 28, 2013Senate officials confirm they have found a troubling pattern of Duffy claiming Ottawa living expenses while travelling elsewhere, including several days in 2011 when he was campaigning across the country for the Conservatives.


May 28, 2013 – Tkachuk tells the Senate there was "no whitewash" of Duffy's final audit report from his committee. Critical language appearing in Harb and Brazeau's reports was removed from Duffy's because his expenses had been repaid. Key quote: Sen. David Tkachuk: "If I had received a cheque from Sen. Brazeau and Sen. Harb, their reports might have been a lot different as well."


May 28, 2013 – A letter is sent from the internal economy committee to Brazeau informing him he has 30 days to repay the approximately $49,000 the Senate says he owes in improper housing claims.


May 29, 2013 – The Senate decides to refer Duffy's expenses to the RCMP for review. Key quote: Liberal Senate leader James Cowan: "Parliamentarians are not trained to do the kind of investigative work the police can do."


May 29, 2013 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper, under questioning in the House of Commons, says Wallin will not be allowed back into caucus unless she is cleared of any wrongdoing. Key quote: Stephen Harper: "If she has in any way acted improperly, she will be subject to the appropriate authorities and the consequences for those actions."


May 29, 2013 – Harper is in the hot seat for the second consecutive day, facing an opposition inquisition about his office's involvement in the scandal swirling around Duffy's inappropriate expense claims.

Harper continues to avoid answering some of the most crucial questions, including why the Conservative government initially went to such lengths to protect Duffy, given an emerging portrait of repeated expense irregularities.

Harper responds to 42 direct questions on the Senate expense scandal over two days in the House this week, but some questions remain.


May 31, 2013 – Then-parliamentary secretary for the Minister of Transport, Pierre Poilievre, tells the House that Harper told Duffy in February that any expenses that were inappropriate should be repaid, the first confirmation that the prime minister personally spoke to the senator about the issue.

Later that day, Harper's then-spokesman, Andrew MacDougall, confirms this, telling the Toronto Star, "Mr. Duffy approached the prime minister in the caucus room regarding the situation with his expenses. The PM was adamant that he should repay any inappropriate expenses. This was the only time Duffy raised expenses with the PM."


June 2013

June 3, 2013 – Sen. Marjory LeBreton, the Conservative leader in the Senate, says she intends to ask the auditor general to look into all the expenses of the upper chamber. LeBreton says she will introduce a motion calling for a comprehensive audit of expenses.


June 3, 2013 – Tory Sen. Marjory LeBreton says she will ask the auditor-general to look into all Senate expenses.


June 3, 2013LeBreton says she will ask the auditor general to look into all of the expenses of the upper chamber – a move that would put the entire Senate under scrutiny.

June 3, 2013 – A letter is sent to Harb from the internal economy committee informing him he has 30 days to repay the approximately $51,500 the Senate says he owes in improper housing claims. The letter also suggests Harb voluntarily repay a total of about $231,000 in expenses dating back seven years. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "We're asking for their (Harb and Brazeau) money back and I'm sure we will get it back."


June 4, 2013 – Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard suspends her investigation of Wright's payment to Duffy.


June 4, 2013 – Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard suspends the Senate's investigation into Nigel Wright's $90,000 payment to Duffy because Wright is under RCMP investigation.


June 4, 2013 – Senate ethics officer Lyse Ricard suspends her investigation into Wright's $90,000 payment to Duffy because the upper chamber has referred the matter to the RCMP.


June 4, 2013 – the New Democrats table a motion in the Commons that would essentially starve the Senate to death, calling for Senate funding to be cut off starting July 1.


June 4, 2013 – During question period, Harper is asked who was present when he asked Duffy to reimburse his expenses. Harper makes no mention of whether Wright was in attendance, saying that "my views were known to the entire caucus.” Harper says Duffy approached him to “seek some clarification” and that he was adamant that any inappropriate expenses should be repaid.


June 5, 2013 – Mulcair repeatedly asks Harper if Wright was present at the meeting with the prime minister and Duffy. Harper only says that he made his view, that inappropriate expenses should be repaid, known "to the entire caucus and all my employees."

Harper repeats that Wright took action “on his own initiative” and that “these actions are his sole responsibility. But the prime minister also adds that Wright's decisions “were not communicated to me or to members of my office.”


June 5, 2013 – Members of the Upper Chamber are set to debate a Conservative motion calling on the auditor-general to go over the Senate's expenses.


June 6, 2013 – Conservative and Liberal senators agree to invite the auditor general to scrutinize the way they spend taxpayers' money. The same day, Harper tells the Commons that Wright paid the $90,000 with his own money: "Mr. Wright wrote a cheque on his own personal account and gave it to Mr. Duffy so he could repay his expenses. He told me about it on May 15. He obviously regrets that action. He has said it was an error in judgment and he will face the consequences as a consequence."


June 6, 2013 – The Senate agrees to have the federal auditor general conduct a "comprehensive audit" of Senate spending, including the expenses of individual senators.


June 7, 2013 – The Senate's internal economy committee tells auditors reviewing Wallin's expenses to expand their audit again to include the period of January and March 2009, effectively going back to the date of Wallin's Senate appointment.


June 10, 2013 – Wallin's auditor send a letter to the internal economy committee. In it, they say a final report on Wallin's spending won't be available until late July. The letter says they are reviewing housing claims Wallin made between 2009 and 2011, as well as possible double-billing.


June 11, 2013 – Auditor general Michael Ferguson says his office can handle an audit of Senate expenses and suggests he may have to look at the expenses of every senator to ensure no possible misspending is missed.


June 11, 2013 – Sen. David Tkachuk announces he is stepping down as chairman of the internal economy committee so he can focus on treatments for bladder cancer. Key quote: David Tkachuk: "It's really important I have no stress and I give it all the opportunity to succeed, because if it doesn't succeed, the consequences aren't that good."


June 12, 2013 – Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says if Harb is "cleared" after any legal challenge, Harb would be invited back into the Liberal caucus. Key quote: Justin Trudeau: "But if he is guilty, he will not. That's it."


June 12, 2013 – Outgoing committee chair Senator David Tkachuk reveals that former Senator Harb owes more than $230,000 to the Senate in living expenses going back seven years.


June 13, 2013 – The RCMP confirms it has launched a formal investigation into the involvement of Nigel Wright in the Senate expense scandal. Brazeau and Harb are given 30 days to reimburse taxpayers for their disallowed living expenses – bills that together total more than $280,000.


June 13, 2013 – Wallin's auditors meet with the internal economy committee and explain the delay in reporting, citing the expanding timeframe for the audit and that they are waiting on information from third parties. Key quote: Deloitte auditor Gary Timm: "We're looking at … the nature of the expenses and whether they were Senate business expenses."


June 13, 2013 – The RCMP confirm the force has launched a criminal investigation into Wright's payment to Duffy. The news breaks after ethics commissioner Mary Dawson announces she has suspended her own probe so that another investigation could proceed. Key quote: Andrew MacDougall: "The Prime Minister's Office has not been approached by the RCMP. We would provide any possible assistance if asked."


June 13, 2013 – Wallin breaks her silence in a broadcast interview with the CBC. She says she talked to Wright about her expenses as the audit progressed, but didn't receive any offers of financial help. She takes responsibility for what she calls mistakes by billing the Senate for travel that she should have billed to "third parties," such as boards she sat on. She also says she was forced out of caucus by Senate leadership and Harper's current chief of staff, Ray Novak, as the ones who gave her "an hour to resign" or "be fired."


June 13, 2013 – Brazeau and Harb are asked to repay tens of thousands of dollars in living expenses within 30 days.

It's revealed that an external audit into Wallin's questioned travel expenses will not be completed until the end of July.

Also on this day, ethics commissioner Mary Dawson suspends her investigation into former chief of staff Wright.

According to her office, Dawson is dropping the investigation under the Conflict of Interest Act into Wright's "involvement in the repayment of a Senator's expenses." It was recently revealed Wright cut Duffy a personal $90,000 cheque to help pay off his ineligible living expenses.

RCMP say they are formally investigating Wright.


June 14, 2013 – A new poll suggests Canadians overwhelmingly believe MPs and senators are cheating on their taxpayer-funded expense claims.


June 17, 2013 – Harb launches a legal challenge to the Senate's decision that he should repay his housing allowance, filing papers in Ontario Superior Court.


June 18, 2013 – Senate hires two speakers to help denizens of the maligned upper chamber "feel better about themselves."


June 19, 2013 – RCMP interviews Liberal Sen. George Furey.


June 20, 2013 – Liberal Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette asks the Senate ethics officer to investigate Boisvenu for reportedly trying to obtain extra vacation time for a woman working for the Senate's administration to whom he is romantically linked. Key quote: Sen. Celine Hervieux-Payette: "We're not a small business where you hire your brother or your sister or your uncle. This is Parliament. We have rules and I don't think these rules were followed."


June 21, 2013 – RCMP interviews Conservative Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen.


June 28, 2013 – A deadline for Brazeau to repay his living expenses passes without repayment. Brazeau's office says he doesn't intend to pay as that would be an admission of guilt and he feels he has done nothing wrong.


July 2013

July 2, 2013 – The Senate sends a letter to Brazeau informing him that the Senate will withhold 20 per cent of his annual $135,200 salary until it recoups the money he owes. The clawback of his salary will last about 21 months.


July 3, 2013 – A deadline for Harb to repay his living expenses passes without repayment. The Senate prepares to withhold 20 per cent of his salary until it recoups the money, a set-off that will last about 22 months.


July 3, 2013 – RCMP interviews LeBreton.


July 4, 2013 – Media reports say RCMP investigators allege that the Conservative party had planned to repay Duffy's improperly claimed living expenses, but balked when the bill turned out nearly three times higher than expected.


July 4, 2013 – On her 73rd birthday, LeBreton announces she is stepping down as government leader in the Senate. The Harper government says it doesn't intend to give another cabinet post to a senator.


July 5, 2013 – Harper is accused of misleading Canadians after repeatedly insisting Wright acted on his own when he gave Duffy $90,000 to reimburse his invalid expense claims. The RCMP says in a court document that Wright told three other senior people in the PMO about the transaction.


July 5, 2013 – Court documents released appear to contradict the prime minister's comments in the House that Wright's decision to repay Duffy's expenses were not known by the PMO. According to the documents, Wright informed the RCMP on June 21 that he told four people, including three members of the PMO, about the cheque he was going to write. Those people were Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein; Wright's assistant, David van Hemmen; Chris Woodcock, the then-director of issues management in the PMO; and Harper's then-legal adviser, Benjamin Perrin.

The documents also reveal that the RCMP met with Wright's two lawyers on June 19. Wright's lawyers tell the RCMP that there was no written contract between Wright and Duffy, but that Wright asked for two conditions to be met in return for the $90,000: that Duffy stop talking to the media and that he reimburse the government immediately.


July 7, 2013 – Harper stands by his past comments about the Duffy senate expense scandal, but adds that when he answered questions about the issue in the House of Commons, he answered them “to the best of my knowledge.”


July 10, 2013 – Gerald Comeau, the new chair of the senate internal economy committee, announces the Wallin audit will be ready on August 13.


July 15, 2013 – Harper shuffles his cabinet and does not replace Marjory LeBreton, meaning there are no senators at the cabinet table.


July 17, 2013 – Harper's office says it has not been asked by the RCMP for an email at the heart of its criminal investigation into the Senate expenses scandal. The PMO denies withholding the email, which apparently summarizes the deal struck between Duffy and Wright to pay off invalid expense claims.


July 17, 2013 – The Prime Minister's Office denies it is withholding an email from the RCMP concerning Wright's $90,000 cheque to Duffy.


July 18, 2013 – The RCMP interviews Nigel Wright.


July 26, 2013 – RCMP interviews Tkachuk and separately interviews David van Hemmen, Wright's former executive assistant.


July 26, 2013 – The Liberal leader in the Senate says he never heard from Mac Harb about problems concerning Harb's housing allowance. Documents filed in court by the RCMP indicate Harb took out a $55,000 loan just days after the Senate asked him to repay $51,000 in housing allowance claims. In the documents, Harb claims he checked with Senate officials about moving his primary residence to Cobden, Ont., just outside the 100-kilometre limit to qualify for the housing allowance.


July 31, 2013 – The new minister for democratic reform, Pierre Poilievre, releases the federal government's position for the Supreme Court reference on reforming the Senate. Key points are that the federal government can make changes to the Senate without consulting the provinces; and the support of only seven provinces representing 50 per cent of the population is all that is needed to abolish the upper chamber.


August 2013

Aug. 1, 2013 – Documents filed in court by the RCMP indicate Sen. Patrick Brazeau never lived in the house in Maniwaki, Que. that he claimed as is primary residence and allege fraud.


Aug. 6, 2013 – Manitoba Liberal senator Rod Zimmer, 70, resigns, citing ill health. He made media headlines last summer when his much younger wife was charged with causing a disturbance on an airline flight. The two were arguing.


August 7, 2013 – An Ottawa businessman's $55,000 loan to Harb raises fresh questions in the Senate ethics scandal.


Aug. 8, 2013 – New RCMP documents filed in court allege a pattern of fraudulent claims with Sen. Mike Duffy's per diem claims and other expenses during the last federal election.


August 8, 2013 – Harb insists he did nothing wrong when he borrowed money from an Ottawa businessman who deals with the federal government.


August 12, 2013 – The Senate's secretive board of internal economy goes behind closed doors to review a report on expense claims made by Wallin.


August 13, 2013A Senate committee orders Wallin to pay back money she received for questionable expense claims plus interest.

The chamber's board of internal economy has also restricted Wallin's ability to travel at taxpayer expense, and has referred an audit report on her expenses to the RCMP.


August 13, 2013 – The full extent of Wallin's questionable expenses are laid bare as the Senate releases a damning audit of her travel claims, calls in the Mounties and orders her to pay back tens of thousands of dollars.


August 21, 2013 – Wallin is informed she would have to reimburse the Senate a grand total of $138,970 for ineligible travel expense claims. Wallin was already on the hook for $121,348 after an independent audit of her travel expenses.


Aug. 13, 2013 – The Deloitte audit of Pamela Wallin's travel claims is released. The Senate immediately refers it to the RCMP for further investigation and recommends that Wallin be ordered to repay an additional $90,000 for inappropriate claims. They also place restrictions on her travel. Wallin defends herself, calling the audit process "fundamentally flawed and unfair."


August 26, 2013 – Mac Harb, a veteran Liberal politician embroiled for months in a battle over his Senate expenses, resigns from the upper chamber. Harb, who earlier left the Liberal party to sit as an independent, drops a lawsuit and pledges to repay his questioned living and expense claims.


August 26, 2013 – Mac Harb gives up. After repaying $230,000 in living and travel expenses Harb resigns 16 years early and drops his lawsuit against the Senate.


August 27, 2013 – Two Conservative senators deny allegations that they conspired to cover up the repayment of Duffy's expenses. David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart Olsen, who both sit on a committee reviewing improper expense claims by senators, were responding to a CTV report that said they pressed Duffy to accept a secret $90,000 cheque from Wright.


August 30: Alberta and Saskatchewan side with the federal government on the method by which the Senate can be abolished. The positions are outlined in written arguments filed to the Supreme Court of Canada. British Columbia sides with its western neighbour Alberta one week later on the constitutional amending formula required for Senate abolition.


August 30: Harper promotes Sen. Claude Carignan to leader of the government in the Senate from deputy leader. The 48-year-old Quebec senator replaces Marjory LeBreton.


September 2013

September 4, 2013 – Sen. Bob Runciman announces he will post online details of his expense claims. The Conservative senator from Ontario says his spending disclosures will look similar to ones posted by Sen. Doug Black, at the time, the only member of the red chamber to post details of his spending and attendance online. Key quote: Bob Runciman: "We should be setting the gold standard for transparency since we are an unelected body."


September 6, 2013 – Wallin is told she had until Sept. 16 to repay tens of thousands of dollars in ineligible travel expenses.


September 11, 2013 – RCMP interviews Christopher Montgomery, who was LeBreton's director of parliamentary affairs. The Mounties also interviewed Mary McQuaid, Duffy's policy adviser.


September 13, 2013 – Wallin pays back her dubious travel claims while accusing some fellow senators of succumbing to a "lynch mob" mentality. The Saskatchewan senator says she has paid back $100,600, plus interest, on top of $38,000 already repaid.


September 14, 2013 – Wallin repays the Senate almost $114,000 for her improper travel expenses. The payment includes more than $13,000 in interest, repayment of which had yet to come to the Senate for a final vote. Wallin continues to deny any wrongdoing. Key quote: Pamela Wallin: "Unfortunately, the Senate Committee succumbed to a ‘lynch mob' mentality. There was no regard to procedural or substantive fairness. I am disappointed and angry about the way in which this matter was handled, and any implication that I behaved dishonestly."


September 16, 2013 – RCMP interviews Conservative Sen. Irving Gerstein, chair of the Conservative Fund.


September 18, 2013 – RCMP interviews Senate Clerk Gary O'Brien, as well as Jill Anne Joseph, the Senate administrator who prepared the Senate report on Duffy.


October 2013

October 1, 2013 – Harper Senate appointees Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Leo Housakos and Claude Carignan all come under scrutiny for expenses.


October 2, 2013 – Police are called to Patrick Brazeau's Gatineau home twice during the night of Oct. 1. Conflicting media reports suggest he was taken to hospital and might be depressed, but he is not arrested and no one is charged. His office asks for privacy.


October 8, 2013 – Court documents reveal the RCMP are investigating Duffy for alleged breach of trust and fraud relating to $65,000 worth of contracts to a friend from his CTV television days, widening the original investigation.


October 8, 2013 – RCMP alleges Duffy awarded $65,000 in Senate contracts to Gerald Donahue, a friend and former TV technician, who did little actual work for the money.


October 9, 2013 – Undisclosed health concerns cause a delay in Patrick Brazeau's next court appearance on charges related to domestic assault in February 2013. His next court appearance is scheduled for Valentine's Day, 2014.


October 9, 2013 – It's revealed that Harper's former chief of staff had a binder full of details on Duffy's official and personal activities, but appears not to have provided it to auditors reviewing Duffy's expenses nor to police when they first opened an investigation.

The existence of the binder of calendars, chronicling Duffy's life over four years, is revealed in RCMP documents filed in court and raises questions about how much the PMO knew about Duffy's movements.


October 9, 2013 – two senators speaking only on background tell Global News several members of the upper chamber were worried about Brazeau's behaviour, urging him to seek help for "substance issues." One offered to book him into a private treatment facility, sources say.


October 17, 2013 – Claude Carignan, the government's new leader in the Senate, introduces motions to suspend Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau from the Senate. The motions call for the three to be stripped of their pay, benefits and Senate resources.


October 17, 2013 – The new government leader in the Senate, Claude Carignan, announces he will table a motion to suspend Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin without pay and restrict their access to Senate resources because of "gross negligence." Hours before this announcement, Duffy issues a news release saying his doctor wants him to take medical leave for heart problems.


October 18, 2013 – Through her lawyer, Wallin indicates she may sue the Senate if they suspend her without due process.


October 18, 2013 – Wallin's lawyer, Terrence O'Sullivan, says his client is preparing to fight her suspension. O'Sullivan calls the gambit an "affront to Canadian democracy" designed to help the Conservatives change the channel.


October 21, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, alleges Harper's staff and key Conservative senators behind a scheme to have Duffy take the fall for wrongdoing that they agreed he had not committed.


October 21, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, says Duffy's expenses were cleared by the office of Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton, who was then Senate government leader. Bayne says Duffy was threatened and pressured by the PMO to repay the expenses or face removal from his seat.

Bayne also says Duffy was told the issue was becoming a “political embarrassment to their Tory base.” Bayne says that the PMO came up with a “scenario” and communication lines for Duffy when explaining to the media why he was paying back the expense money.


October 21, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer says the Prime Minister's Office arranged to pay off his client's disallowed housing expense claims as part of an effort to hide a political embarrassment.


October 21, 2013 – Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, holds a news conference to read excerpts from emails that suggest the PMO approved of Duffy's expense claims and that it planned the repayment of the housing expenses and was in the loop about everything. Bayne suggests Duffy will fight back against the Conservative Party if he is suspended from the Senate. Key quote: "He had the good sense to ask and clear this with the Senate leader. He has not been for years surreptitiously trying to make inappropriate living allowance claims, he was cleared from day one."


October 22, 2013 – All three embattled senators, Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin, show up to challenge the motions to suspend them without pay. Duffy gives an explosive speech accusing the prime minister, PMO and then Senate government leader Marjory LeBreton of bullying him into repaying living expenses that he says were legitimately claimed. Brazeau makes a short statement that he will fight. "I did not do anything wrong."


October 22, 2013 – Duffy claims Harper ordered him to repay inappropriately claimed housing allowances during a three-way meeting in February with Harper and Wright.

It was just one part of the tale of "monstrous conspiracy" he says was orchestrated by the Prime Minister's Office.


October 22, 2013 – Duffy tells the Senate that both Harper and Wright met with Duffy after a February 13 caucus to discuss the expense controversy, the first time someone puts Harper and Wright in the same room together discussing the issue. Duffy says that Harper told him to repay his claimed expense money because it was the perception of the “base” that was important, not what Duffy said about his own innocence.

"The prime minister wasn't interested in explanations or the truth. 'It's not about what you did, it's about the perception of what you did that's been created in the media. The rules are inexplicable to our base,'" Duffy says Harper told him.

Duffy says he said didn't have the money to repay the expenses, to which Duffy says Wright replied, “‘Don't worry, I’ll write the cheque.'” However, Duffy doesn't make it clear whether Harper was party to or knew of that conversation.

Following Duffy's comments, Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the PMO writes:

“It's on the public record. Following a caucus meeting Mr. Duffy approached the Prime Minister and raised his expenses. The Prime Minister made it clear that any inappropriate expenses should be repaid. That's it. That is the only time the Prime Minister discussed Mr. Duffy's expenses with him.


October 22, 2013 – In an explosive speech in the Senate chamber, Duffy accuses Harper's office of orchestrating a "monstrous fraud" aimed at snuffing out controversy over his expenses. Duffy accuses the prime minister of being more interested in appeasing his Conservative base than the truth.


October 23, 2013 – Wallin follows Duffy's lead with her own speech in the Senate, describing the suspension motion against her as "baseless and premature" and designed "to remove a perceived liability, namely me."


October 23, 2013 – During question period, Harper denies that he ever threatened Duffy with expulsion. Harper adds that he “absolutely” did not say that the issue with Duffy was about perception and not about what he did.


October 23, 2013 – Wallin attacks the Conservative government and her colleagues in the Senate while defending herself against the threat of suspension, accusing Olsen and LeBreton of being driven to attack her by their resentment.

Olsen, a longtime Harper confidante, steps down from the Senate subcommittee that sat in judgment on colleagues embroiled in the expense scandal. She tells some senators she needs a break from her hectic schedule.


October 23, 2013 – the RCMP requests Harb's banking information, alleging Harb committed breach of trust and fraud by filing "inappropriate expense claims."


October 23, 2013 – Pamela Wallin makes her statement, accusing Senators Marjory LeBreton and Carolyn Stewart Olsen of a personal vendatta against her. She argues it is unfair to take away her pay and health insurance before she has been found guilty of any crimes.


October 24, 2013 – The Quebec Court of Appeal rules a federal government bill on Senate reform is unconstitutional. In the Senate, meanwhile, Marjory LeBreton defends herself, suggesting Duffy's speech contains inaccuracies. Another Conservative senator and former party president, Don Plett, announces he will vote against the motion to suspend the three.


October 24, 2013 – Harper, who told the House on June 5 that Wright's decision regarding the $90,000 cheque “were not communicated to me or to members of my office,” now says that “very few people” knew about the deal. Harper did say in July that that when he had answered questions about the issue in the House of Commons, he answered them “to the best of my knowledge.”


October 25, 2013 – Brazeau drops a bombshell of his own, saying Carignan earlier that same day took him aside and offered him "a backroom deal": apologize publicly for his actions in exchange for a lighter punishment. Carignan acknowledges the conversation but described the offer as one made out of "friendship."


October 25, 2013 – The Senate holds a rare Friday session to continue debate on the motion to suspend. Patrick Brazeau accuses government Senate leader Claude Carignan of offering him a backroom deal. Carignan says Brazeau misunderstood. Wallin tables more documents that she claims will prove a Conservative party conspiracy to discredit her and a few more Tory senators express their doubts.


October 25, 2013 – Brazeau tells his colleagues that Senate leader Claude Carignan offered him a "backroom deal," though Carignan says he was merely trying to help him in confidence.

"The backroom deal was, if I stood in this chamber, apologized to Canadians and took responsibility for my actions, my punishment would be less severe than the motion," says Brazeau.


October 28, 2013 – Duffy delivers again, this time saying the Conservative party made arrangements to cover his $13,560 legal bill. "The PMO – listen to this – had the Conservative party's lawyer, Arthur Hamilton, pay my legal fees," Duffy says. He also casts doubt on whether Wright actually paid the $90,000: "I have never seen a cheque from Nigel Wright."


October 28, 2013 – In a radio interview, Harper suggests his former chief of staff Nigel Wright did not voluntarily resign but instead was "dismissed" over the personal cheque to Duffy. In the Senate, Duffy tables documents supporting his claim the PMO had knowledge of the repayment scheme and paid the fees his lawyer's charged to negotiate the deal. Meanwhile in a media interview, Patrick Brazeau says the RCMP have yet to be in contact with him and accuses Sen. Marjory LeBreton of not liking Aboriginal people.


October 28, 2013 – Appearing before the Senate, Duffy alleges the prime minister's former chief of staff arranged for not one cheque to him, but two. Duffy tells the Senate he has a cheque, negotiated by Nigel Wright, in the amount of $13,500 to pay for his legal fees, on top of the $90,000 from Wright to be used to repay his expenses. Duffy said he has the emails and the cheque stub to prove it, adding the $13,500 was paid by the Conservative Party's top lawyer, Arthur Hamilton. Later the same day, the communications director for the Conservative Party confirmed it had paid Duffy's legal fees.

Subsequently, a spokesman for the prime minister issued a statement reacting to Duffy's revelation about how his legal bills were paid by Hamilton. Jason MacDonald said, “Nigel Wright is on the record naming those he informed of his arrangement with Mr. Duffy, and he's assumed sole responsibility for his actions. The prime minister was not aware of the arrangement and had it been presented to him he would not have approved of such a scheme.”

Duffy also tells the Senate that the PMO, anticipating that the media would ask where he got the $90,000 to pay his expenses back, concocted an explanation. He said when the PMO heard he had been using a line of credit to renovate his home in Cavendish, P.E.I., they suggested he go to the Royal Bank of Canada and borrow the cash to pay off that line of credit. He alleged the PMO said that he could then tell the media that he took out a loan at the Royal Bank to pay the $90,000.

“Well, that's technically correct, we took out a loan, but that loan wasn't to repay money, the $90,000 that the PMO agreed I didn't owe,” Duffy told the Senate. “That line was written by the PMO to deceive Canadians as to the real source of the $90,000.”

Duffy claims that he had “reluctantly agreed” to go along with the scheme, that the script was written and emailed to him by the PMO and that the lines he would use with the media were “rehearsed with me right up until minutes before I went on television.”

Meanwhile, in a radio interview the same day, the Prime Minister said, “As you know, I had a chief of staff who made an inappropriate payment to Mr. Duffy. He was dismissed.” This contradicted Harper's May 19 statement that Nigel Wright had resigned.


October 28, 2013 – Harper says his chief of staff was "dismissed" earlier this year after writing a $90,000 cheque to pay back Duffy's inappropriate expenses, a comment that contradicts his May statement that Wright resigned over the payment.


October 28, 2013 – Duffy says in addition to receiving $90,000, Wright also arranged for the Tory party lawyer to pay $13,500 of his legal fees.


October 29, 2013 – Harper tells the Commons, “Once again, Mr. Speaker, on our side, there is one person responsible for this deception, and that person is Mr. Wright. Mr Wright by his own admission. For that reason, Mr. Wright no longer works for us.”

Harper also says, “”The reality is that Mr. Duffy still has not paid a cent back to the taxpayers of Canada. He should be paying that money back…. The fact that he hasn't, the fact that he shows absolutely no regret for his actions, and the fact that he has told untruths about his actions means that he should be removed from the public payroll.”


October 30, 2013 – Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella rules that an attempt to cut off debate on motions to suspend Duffy Wallin and Brazeau from the Senate without pay is out of order. This delays again the effort to suspend the trio.


November 2013

November 1, 2013 – Documents filed in court by the RCMP explicitly allege Wallin "did commit breach of trust in connection with the duties of office" and "by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means defrauded the Senate of Canada of money by filing inappropriate expense claims," contrary to the Criminal Code. The documents include a request for several versions of Wallin's electronic Senate calendar, citing them as further evidence that could back up the allegations.


November 1, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright RCMP release court documents alleging Wallin committed fraud and breach of trust by filing fraudulent expense claims, and request several versions of Wallin's electronic Senate calendar.


November 2, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright The Prime Minister's Office says the Conservative party paid Duffy's legal fees on the assurance they were related to the audit of his expenses.

"At the request of Nigel Wright, the fund did agree to pay legal fees limited to a maximum of $12,000 plus HST, because at the time Senator Duffy was a member of the Conservative caucus and as you know the funds sometimes assist caucus members with their legal expenses as do other parties," says Senator Irving Gerstein.


November 2, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright the party wouldn't pay for Mike Duffy's disputed Senate expenses. Gerstein chairs the Conservative Fund of Canada, the party's fundraising arm. RCMP court filings have alleged Gerstein was discussing the possibility of paying back up to $30,000 of Duffy's expenses, but this is the first time anyone from the party has mentioned the discussion.


November 4, 2013 – A November 1 letter obtained by CBC News indicates the RCMP are looking for a chain of emails and documents that support Mike Duffy's allegations that the Senate expenses scandal reaches right into the Prime Minister's Office. “The existence of such documentation may potentially be evidence of criminal wrongdoing by others,” wrote Supt. Biage Carrese from the RCMP National Division.

The letter indicates the Mounties are particularly interested in Duffy's claim that his initial story about repaying his disputed expenses by taking out an RBC loan was concocted by senior advisers to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. “Emails from the PMO specifically relating to a script for Senator Duffy to follow in advance of obtaining funds from a RBC loan to repay the Receiver General” may be material to the RCMP's investigation, Carrese wrote.


November 4, 2013 – Brazeau addresses the Senate chamber for what he acknowledges could be the last time, making an emotional appeal for senators to reconsider his case. At one point, he addresses his children: "It is very important that you understand that I am not guilty of what some of these people are accusing me of…. I am not a thief, a scammer, a drunken Indian, a drug addict, a failed experiment or a human tragedy."


November 5, 2013 – A November 1 letter from the RCMP superintendent in charge of the investigation reveals that investigators want copies of emails and documents mentioned by Duffy, including emails from the PMO related to a "script" for Duffy to follow in publicly explaining how he financed repaying the expenses. The documents "may potentially be evidence of criminal wrongdoing by others," the letter reads.


November 5, 2013 – Senators finally vote to suspend Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin without pay – but with health, dental and life insurance benefits intact – for the remainder of the parliamentary session, a duration that could last two years.


November 5, 2013 – The Senate votes to suspend Brazeau, Duffy and Wallin without pay for the remainder of the Senate session, but allows them to keep their medical benefits.


November 5, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright Wallin, Duffy and Brazeau are all suspended from the Senate, when an overwhelming majority of their colleagues vote to leave them jobless and without pay.


November 11, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright Brazeau will not have to reimburse the Senate $48,745 during his two-year suspension from the institution. A Senate spokeswoman says in an email that the payments will resume once Brazeau's suspension is over.


November 20, 2013 – Court documents, which were filed so a judge would sign a production order requiring the Senate to hand over emails from Duffy and three senators among the Conservative leadership in the Red Chamber, indicate that Wright is being investigated for bribery, fraud and breach of trust along with Duffy, in an RCMP probe that has expanded to include the Prime Minister's Office.

The RCMP allege that senior staffers in Harper's office were working closely with Conservative senators to make Duffy's expense problems go away. The documents also suggest Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein tried to manipulate an indepedent audit of Duffy's expenses by calling Michael Runia, a partner at Deloitte, which was conducting the audit. At Gerstein's behest, Runia in turn called a more junior Deloitte employee to glean information about the audit, the documents allege.


November 20, 2013 – Documents filed in court by the RCMP allege Wright committed three offences under the Criminal Code between February 6 and Mar. 28 by cutting Duffy a cheque for $90,000. Wright, through his lawyer, sends the following statement: "My intention was always to secure repayment of funds owed to taxpayers. I acted within the scope of my duties and remain confident that my actions were lawful. I have no further comment at this time."


November 20, 2013 – Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein says he told Nigel Wright A newly-released court document alleges the PMO influenced Conservative senators David Tkachuk, Stewart Olsen and LeBreton into changing a report critical of Duffy's living expenses.

The document also says there was an "agreement" between Duffy's lawyer Janice Payne and the PMO as set out by demands and conditions Duffy made through his lawyer before agreeing to pay back more than $90,000 in expenses.


November 20, 2013 – Nigel Wright issues a statement insisting he was only acting in the best interests of taxpayers and that he did nothing wrong in cutting a $90,000 cheque to Duffy.


November 22, 2013 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper says neither he nor anyone in his office gave Senator Irving Gerstein the green light to contact the auditing firm of Deloitte about Senator Mike Duffy's expenses audit. But emails obtained by the RCMP in court documents released earlier in the week revealed that Harper's former chief of staff Nigel Wright did ask Senator Irving Gerstein to contact Deloitte and sort the matter out.


November 28, 2013 – Conservative Senators vote against hearing from Deloitte managing partner Michael Runia on the role he played in the Duffy audit.


November 28, 2013 – The Senate's internal economy committee, which dealt with Duffy's ineligible expense claims, meets to question three Deloitte auditors about potential interference in their audit. However, neither Gerstein nor Runia was invited to the meeting.


November 28, 2013 – Conservative senators block a bid to have a key figure from the audit firm Deloitte testify about alleged interference into the review of Duffy‘s expenses.


December 2013

December 1, 2013 – Emails from Benjamin Perrin, a former lawyer to the Prime Minister's Office who allegedly knew about a deal between Nigel Wright and Senator Mike Duffy, are turned over to the RCMP.

The Privy Council Office, which is the arm of the civil service that works with the PMO, had previously told the RCMP and the PMO that Perrin's emails had been deleted when he left his position in March. In fact, Perrin's account had been frozen "due to unrelated litigation."


December 1, 2013 – The federal government says it is handing over to police a recently discovered cache of emails belonging to Benjamin Perrin, former counsel for the PMO, whose name appears repeatedly in RCMP documents containing explosive allegations about a scheme to repay Duffy's disallowed housing expenses and whitewash a Senate report into the controversy.


February 2014

February 03, 2014CBC reports that the RCMP seized a series of documents in December including Wallin’s travel claims, electronic and handwritten calendars, committee attendance reports, emails, correspondence relating to primary and secondary residence claims and credit card and billing statements from the accounting firm Deloitte. According to a statement signed by Deloitte auditor Gary Timm, Deloitte consented to give the RCMP’s sensitive and international investigations unit the documents.

February 04, 2014 – In a move that underscores the seriousness of its ongoing probe, sources say the RCMP is expected to lay charges today of breach of trust and fraud against former Liberal senator Mac Harb, who retired in August under a cloud, and former Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau, who remains a senator but has been suspended, in relation to thousands of dollars in travel or housing claims which the Senate paid out.


References/Sources


#HarperGate Index


Please note that investigations into the lack of oversight and subversive manipulation within the PMO and Ministries, several very important issues into Veteran neglect, past electoral manipulation, misrepresented omnibus legislation(s), immigration, detention and Big Oil are currently in progress. Please help us organize and enhance these critical issues by developing and crafting outlines, categorized topics, info-graphics, summaries, bookmarks, etc., that we may publish and make readily available, accessible and shareable.

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