“Harper’s war with the law” (The National Observer)

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper makes a campaign stop in Ottawa on Sunday, August 9, 2015. Canadian's will head to the polls on October 19, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Sandy Garossino (The National Observer):

One single email among several hundred entered into evidence at the Duffy trial throws glaring Klieg lights onto the dynamics inside the PMO. It reveals Stephen Harper’s inbred contempt for the rule of law, his own legal advisors, and even the Canadian constitution itself. And it sheds more light on the PM’s disgraceful head-butting last summer of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.

For six days in February 2013, as the Duffy expense scandal careened out of control, PMO lawyer Ben Perrin and senior PMO and Senate staff wrestled to head off the possibility of a full-blown constitutional challenge to Duffy’s seat.

According to the Constitution Act, 1867, which is Canada’s actual constitution, all appointed senators must a) own at least $4,000 in property in their home province, and b) live there. This, in February 2013, presented an obvious problem for Mike Duffy, a senator appointed for P.E.I. who in reality had lived in Ottawa for decades.

If Duffy didn’t declare the fiction that P.E.I. was his primary home and claim his Ottawa home as a secondary residence, his Senate eligibility was in jeopardy. But now that he’d made the claim, the PMO was ensnared in scandal. One that had to go away

Full column here