Cyberwanderer’s Blog

February 28, 2008

Harper’s tape contradict his denial of bribe

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 11:00 pm
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There is apparently an audio tape of Harper’s commenting about offering financial incentive for Cadman to vote down Martin’s government. Here is the excerpt:

…this is not for publication?….They (the people who made the offer) were legitimately representing the party….I said, ‘Don’t press him, I mean, you have this theory that it’s, you know, financial insecurity, and you know, just, you know, if that’s what you’re saying make that case but don’t press it……I don’t know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind….The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election.

(edited March 1: the order of statement. Transcript and audio tape now available in the internet. see link below)
Read the transcript here >> Toronto Star’s: Transcript of authors tape or hear it here >> CityNews: Stephen Harper audio tape. (added March 1)

So he was aware that some sort of financial incentive was being offered to Cadman and even said these people making the offer represent his Conservative party. Offering financial incentive to influence an MP’s vote would constitute a bribe in violation of the Parliament of Canada Act and the Criminal Code. Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc in an interview (video on femmeverte blog) indicate that the only way they could have offered a man with cancer a million dollar life insurance is if they paid a million dollar premium. If that is the case, it might not look like a direct payment of cash but would still constitute a bribe. Harper claim boldly in the house today that no offer was made. But this contradicts existing evidence and his own admission in an audio tape.

Related blog

Steve V in his “Far n Wide” blog commented and make the connection between the insurance bribe and what Cadman told Mike Duffy at that time.

I’m going to throw this in here, because it could prove to be a key point. Duffy was trying to tone down the story, offering up a conversation he had with Cadman, wherein he said he didn’t want to vote against the budget, for fear he would lose his seat in an election and the insurance he had as an MP because of it. Duffy said Cadman was concerned that he would die and his wife would suffer.

What nobody has picked up, Duffy actually connects some dots here. If Cadman was concerned about his insurance as an MP, then it what better way to allay his fears in voting with the Cons, than to offer him assurance on that score. Insurance was on Cadman’s mind, according to Duffy, which puts the offer into complete context.

Related Article and sources:

Globe and Mail – The Tale of the Tape

Globe and Mail audio interview with the author of the book that alleged bribe was offered.

Update: February 29, 2008

Chuck Cadman’s daughter Jodi Cadman has now come out and told CBC that his father had told her that Conservative offered him $1 million life insurance policy. She says her father discussed the offer with her and her mother because he couldn’t talk about it publicly.

“He just said, ‘I have something to tell you,’ and he told me that he was offered a life insurance policy, that my mom and myself would be taken care of,” Jodi Cadman said.

“When he told me, actually I have to admit, I burst into tears because the position he was put in,” she said.

“To turn down the thought that my mom and me would maybe be taken care of financially at a time when there was no gain for himself broke my heart that he was put in that position.”

Harper’s party talking point right now is to quote part of a Global interview where Cadman says “No! absolutely nothing, there was never any deal offered. Nothing ask for.”
But that interview by Global was in answer to the question: “You have a meeting with the Prime minister (Paul Martin) prior to the vote, did he ever offered you a deal or any?” which Cadman quickly answered “No!….”. Q: “and Harper?”, Cadman: “No”. So it was about his meeting with Paul Martin and Stephen Harper. It has nothing to do with the two Conservative representative offering him $1 million insurance. h/t to AM in BC comment in Turner’s blog for mentioning CBC National’s pointing out the real context of that quote. (edited March 1, details of the interview). To deflect question by the opposition, Conservative keep using the phrase that opposition is disrespecting Cadman for not believing him. The truth is they are the one disrespecting him by taking a dead man’s word out of context.

Some blog have been critical of CTV for its Conservative leaning and what appears to be CTV downplaying the incident. It’s Ottawa bureau Robert Fife has a tendency to defend Harper. He was also the reporter who claim there was a senior Liberal who wants Dion kick out. A while ago, I have also expressed concern about CTV’s biasness in my blog “Is CTV going the Fox News way?“. Today, Steve V from Far n wide blog mentioned a press release issued by Conservative through CTV, questioning some technical details of the tape. If the tape is fake why didn’t Harper just come out and said so. Why did he not say “That tape was spliced together” or “I did not say what was on that tape. It is fake or doctored”? They need to analyze it first and have his men raise it with CTV? All the while he did not deny what was said on that tape. This raises more question.

[Updated: March 1, 2008. added Garth Turner’s blog about CTV interview with Jodi]
Just read Garth Turner blog:

BTW, the lowest and sleaziest moment thus far in a sad tale: Mike Duffy asking Cadman’s daughter, live on TV, if her dying dad was “fuzzy on drugs” when he told her about the Conservative offer. To her credit, she did not tell him to get stuffed.

It makes me uncomfortable that it seems like Duffy is trying to discredit Cadman. Duffy could claim he is just being an inquisitive journalist. But their past record of coming to Harper’s defence makes me fear this has less than decent motive. I hope I am wrong or it will confirm my fear that CTV is becoming Fox news of Canada.

Another audio tape released by Globe and Mail today. This is an interview with Chuck Cadman on June 12, 2005. The interviewer asked him about “something media did not pick up very much on”. That Conservative offered him cash for his campaign to try to get his support, whether that’s not vote buying. Chuck Cadman laugh and said people have to interpret it the way they want to. He went on to say:

There were certainly some offers made, something along those lines of not opposing me and helping me out with finances of campaign and that sort of things……. it’s all part of the deal. it’s what happens especially in a minority situation.


I emphasize “offers” and “that sort of things”. This indicate there were more than one offer. Conservative is now saying there was only one offer and that is to help him out on his campaign. But they don’t seem to think there is anything wrong with that. If they offered him cash so that he would change his vote, that would still be in violation of section 119 (1)(b) that whether

directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), i.e. member of Parliament or judicial office (my added reference about paragraph a), …. any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by that person in their official capacity.

(h/t to Impolitical blog for the excerpt of the criminal code and for link for Globe and Mail audio interview of Cadman.) This section of criminal code considers such violation an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. The sad thing about the whole episode is Harper and his party seems oblivious to the fact that they were committing serious crime. He openly talks to Tom Zytaruk, Chuck Cadman’s authorized biographer, about giving financial offer to entice Cadman to vote against Paul Martin’s government.

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