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What about the $90,000?

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Why did Nigel Wright give a gift of $90,000 to a sitting senator instead of buy this pretty little house listed on in Maxville, ON for $89,999?. (Listing online on June 8th, 2013)


Regarding the Mike Duffy, Nigel Wright imbroglio, while the media are off chasing after various players and bystanders in this rotting, festering midden of fat cats and gentlemanly winks and nods, I can’t seem to let go of the motivation behind that $90,000.00 cheque.

Who in their right mind (or is that Wright mind) would give $90,000 to a sitting senator without expectations of a pay-off down the road? Who the heck can afford to give 11% shy of 100K to anybody else without expectations somewhere down the road?

Is the Prime Minister’s now-former Chief of Staff so utterly filthy rich and therefore out of touch with ordinary Canadians, that from his savings as well as his personal income as Chief of Staff in the PMO he can afford to give $90,000 away?

So I’m trying to keep all this straight. A businessman. A lawyer. Someone with great economic and financial acumen. If he wanted to maximize his nest-egg, or his retirement, or advance his ‘buy-a-house-in-the-Cayman-Islands’ fund, might he not want to invest his $90,000 in something that would give him a return?

How about some real estate?

While you might not be able to buy a house in Vancouver or Toronto for $90,000, you certainly can buy a house in Maxville, Ontario for that much.

Take this modest but lovely 1,350 square foot 2-bedroom house that sits on over a 1/4 acre of land in Maxville Ontario. It’s only 77 kilometres, or a 52-minute drive from Parliament Hill. Here’s the Google link to show just how easy and accessible it is.

Yes, there are places much larger and closer just across the Ottawa River in Québec but let’s just keep the real estate in Ontario where Nigel Wright is from, presumably where he already knows and understands all the real estate rules and laws.

Remember- this was not a loan. Nobody has said this is a loan. It was a gift. A present. No strings attached, supposedly.

Imagine yourself going to the Christmas tree and finding a box under it with a cheque inside, in your name, for $90,000. No strings attached. Just a gift. A present. How cool would that be?

Now unless your dad was Warren Buffet, the first thing you’d ask is who the hell is rich enough to give me $90,000? The second question would be, “Why me?” followed eventually by, “What does this person want from me?”

And then, of course, you’d cash it quick before it might bounce. ‘Cause who knows- you might be in the midst of an audit of your expense accounts and you need just that exact amount of money to cover a few ‘errors’ they found along the way…

…Unless you were honourable enough to say, “No, this isn’t right. I screwed up in my accounts and it’s up to me to clean up this mess- alone.” Where upon you’d rip the cheque up into a million pieces and throw them into the yule log fire.

But I digress…

Seriously, I don’t care how rich you are, $90,000 isn’t exactly chump change for anyone. Even Bill Gates would be looking for a tax receipt if he were to give a “gift” to a charitable organization for that much. He ain’t no fool.

So what’s up with Nigel Wright? What makes him so incredibly generous to want to underwrite a sitting senator already suckling at the trough of patronage par excellence, courtesy of your tax dollars and mine.

While Nigel Wright has resigned his post as Chief of Staff in the PMO, he is not off the hook. What was in it for him? Surely he didn’t cut a personal cheque out of the kindness of his heart.

I’m not in Ottawa. I’m not in Toronto. I have no access to the gated communities where Nigel Wright may well be sequestered. I’d sure like to see some reports from journalists much closer to the source of this $90,000.

Go pound on some doors. Rob Ford is a distraction for crying out loud. Go camp out on Wright’s doorstep. At least there you’ll be able to change the course of history. Canadians have a right to know.

‘Deep Throat’ apparently told Bob Woodward to “Just follow the money.” as dramatized in the 1976 movie All the President’s Men. The underlying stories are too similar to overlook the rest of the quote which I have paraphrased here: Because despite the myths surrounding the PMO, the people there aren’t too bright after all, now that things have gotten out of hand.

Please, someone do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknessess, Opportunities, Costs) analysis of this gift. There is much, much more to this than meets the eye.

What was/is Nigel Wright expecting in exchange for his supposedly benevolent, altruistic act of good will? The man gave a gift of $90,000 to a sitting senator!

Would you give even $900.00 to a sitting senator making more than twice your annual wages? How about to your neighbour who might be in the middle of a Revenue Canada audit? Somehow, I think your answer would be, “Sorry, neighbour, but your issues are your issues. Your financial mess doesn’t trump my own desire to get through to the end of the month.”

So why would Nigel Wright cut a personal cheque for $90,000 to Mike Duffy when he could have invested that money in a pretty little house in Maxville, in Eastern Ontario?

It just doesn’t make any sense.

Follow the money. It’s the path to the end of this horrendous, despicable government.

* * * * *

Here’s an image of the full listing for the house Nigel Wright could have bought as an investment instead of giving Senator Mike Duffy $90,000.

A sad prediction

Friday, January 18th, 2013

As I mentioned in my speech at the Enbridge Northern Gateway hearings, I doubt that any of our efforts will have any effect.

I am utterly convinced that even if the Joint Review Panel decides that the project should not be allowed at all, the Stephen Harper Government will bully its way ahead anyway.

The Conservatives have stacked the deck of cards. In their patently undemocratic omnibus bills, they have changed many laws that would have once protected us from such fantastical and sinister projects, rendering them toothless. This project is going to go ahead no matter how bad this looks. After all, who really cares, right?

The thing is, Harper really has this wrong.

I foresee a War in the Woods the likes of which Canada has never seen. Survey pegs will disappear in the middle of the night. Trees by the thousands will be spiked. Equipment will be vandalized. Lives will be threatened and some, I fear, will even be lost.

The police will become involved, not as peacekeepers but rather as enforcers of Harper’s heinous laws and when they fail to achieve the goal that Enbridge wants, the military will be brought in as re-inforcements.

There will be ambushes on both sides. Harper will wish he had kept the long-arm registry.

Armed helicopters will patrol the surveyed right-of-way during the surveying, construction and subsequent operation of the line. It won’t be martial law but it will get pretty damned close in parts of this province that is supposed to be “True North Strong and Free”.

Hundreds will go to jail. Thousands will be vilified by Harper’s allies. Millions will be involved, one way or another.

British Columbians, fresh from an unprecedented fight over the HST are not shy to another fight to remind our governments that they work for us. The entire Enbridge fiasco, combined with any one of the myriad of sleights that British Columbians have had to deal with from the Conservative government has the potential of bringing us together in ways never seen before.

The solidarity against this project is only going to grow stronger and British Columbian’s resolve to stop this folly is only going to become more entrenched.

Do not be surprised if there is even a move made to have British Columbia secede from the Canadian confederation over this issue.

It’s extreme and it’s not pretty.

But unless we see a change in approach, I’m sorry to say it’s my sad prediction.