Tkachuk: 'I was never aware ... that Nigel Wright paid $90,000 to Mike Duffy'

The former chair of the Senate internal economy committee responds to the RCMP filing

A statement from Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, former chair of the Senate’s internal economy committee.

I want to make a short comment on the news reports today. As I have said before, I was never aware, until the media reported it, that Nigel Wright paid $90,000 to Mike Duffy and that Senator Duffy then used that money to pay the Senate for illegitimately claimed expenses. My job as Chair of Internal Economy was to get the taxpayers money back. That is all I was asked to do by the Leaders of the Government and Opposition in the Senate, and that is what I did. I found out about the Duffy-Wright arrangement at the same time that the rest of Canadians did and no sooner.

Our Committee’s report concerning Mike Duffy was issued prior to our learning about the Duffy-Wright arrangement. That report was different than the reports concerning Senators Brazeau and Harb because we were, at that point, under the impression that Senator Duffy had paid the money back of his own volition and from his own funds, while the other two had yet to pay. Our report on Senator Duffy reflected that.

The consequences for all three Senators were the same, despite what words were used in the individual reports to arrive at those consequences. They all received the same penalty. The RCMP will determine whether there are further consequences.

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