Pamela Wallin has at least one friend

A letter writer in Peterborough defends the senator's character

Patrick Doyle/CP

Pamela Wallin has at least one friend. Tom Philp, who lives in Peterborough, Ont., valiantly came to the defence of the image-challenged senator in a letter to the National Post this morning.

“I understand why the Senate witch hunt was started. Whenever there is a whiff of scandal, the Ottaw-crats release a few expendables for the media to massacre, knowing that the general public will lap up all the blood spilled in the sacrifice,” Philp wrote to the National Post. “The goal is to put as much distance between even the perception of “stink” and those who organize the hunt. Then they build pyres and burn the bodies, as they are doing in Pamela Wallin’s case.”

Philp, a former federal employee who’s apparently well-acquainted with the various levels of red tape and approvals inherent to the federal public service, says he doesn’t believe Wallin would deliberately act improperly. “It simply doesn’t fit the Wallin who Canadians came to respect as a journalist, public speaker, fundraiser and excellent representative of Canada,” he wrote.

To be certain, Philp correctly points out that media will massacre their former colleague. This morning, every national columnist with a pen in their hand castigated Wallin’s conduct over the past four years, as she’s amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses—over $120,000 of which were deemed improper by a Deloitte audit. Where many readers might part ways with Philp is his continued defence of her stalwart character. On that point, Wallin’s closest friends and family will likely never leave her side.

As for the rest of the Canadian public, well, at least there’s Tom Philp.

(Worth noting: Philp is a prolific writer of letters to the editor. So often is he published that another Peterborough man, Tom Phillips, once wrote to the Peterborough Examiner to inform readers that he wasn’t, in fact, Tom Philp, and that people should stop confusing his identity. In a comical twist, the paper published another letter from Philp on the same day.)

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the challenge the Senate expenses scandal poses to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The National Post fronts Senator Pamela Wallin’s high-flying expense claims. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Senate’s referral of Wallin’s expenses to the RCMP. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Wallin’s serial expense claims for partisan events. iPolitics fronts the danger of dumbed-down political debate. CBC.ca leads with gunfire in Egypt as police clear out two camps of pro-Mohammed Morsi supporters in Cairo. CTV News leads with unrest in Cairo. National Newswatch showcases Postmedia‘s look at how the Senate expense scandal damages Harper’s credibility.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Athletics. Saskatchewan-born Brianne Theisen-Eaton won a silver medal in heptathlon at the world athletics championships in Moscow, a first for a Canadian woman. 2. Justice. Omar Khadr’s lawyers say that because he was convicted of a crime he committed while he was a child, he should be transferred to a provincial correctional facility.
3. Fraud. Four Canadians participated in a scheme to bilk millions of dollars out of American investors who bought penny stocks that the group of fraudsters artificially made more valuable. 4. Mulcair. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair told a union meeting in Chicago that deregulation at the hands of conservative governments on both sides of the border has “sacrificed long-term prosperity.”
5. Middle East. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system destroyed a rocket aimed at the southern city of Eilat, a popular tourist spot. Militants on the Sinai Peninsula claimed responsibility. 6. Mali. The Saharan nation, which just concluded democratic elections, now faces the challenge of integrating mercenaries who’ve fought for various rebel groups in the region.

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