May 15, 2013

By AM740 Staff

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The Opposition says news that the prime minister’s chief of staff footed the bill for Senator Mike Duffy to repay improper expenses shows it’s time for an independent investigation into the scandal.

A spokesman for Stephen Harper confirms his chief of staff Nigel Wright gave Duffy 90-thousand dollars to repay improper housing expense claims.

Andrew MacDougall says Wright stepped in because the senator was unable to come up with the money following an external audit.

The Prime Minister’s Office is emphasizing Harper knew nothing of the arrangement and that no taxpayer money was involved.

A government source says Wright and Duffy are friends and that Wright offered the money as a gift rather than a loan.

N-D-P ethics critic Charlie Angus says the “dark cloud of ethical failures” hanging over the Prime Minister’s Office is growing larger.
He says first there was the abuse of taxpayers’ dollars and now allegations of a “cash-for-repayment” scheme quarterbacked right out of the P-M-O.

Liberal Senator Mac Harb and former Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau have also been asked to pay back tens of thousands of dollars in housing expenses but they are fighting the repayments.

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