EX-PMO LAWYER THOUGHT HARPER APPROVED DUFFY PAYBACK PLAN
Aug 21, 2015
By Bob Komsic
A former legal adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office thought Stephen Harper had directly okayed the plan by his staff to pay back Mike Duffy’s questionable expenses.
During his second day on the stand Friday, Benjamin Perrin referred to an email in which the prime minister’s then chief of staff, Nigel Wright, wrote ”we are good to go from the PM.”
PMO staff, including Wright, had come up with a five-point plan in February 2013 that would have seen Duffy agree to a deal in which he’d admit he’d made an unintentional mistake and would promise to repay the expenses, at the time, believed to be $32,000.
Perrin told the trial, ”My understanding from that email is that the prime minister himself had approved of the five points that had been set out by Mr. Wright.”
“When Mr. Wright wrote ‘good to go’ from the prime minister I took that to mean the prime minister himself had directly approved them.”
But Wright had previously testified ‘good to go’ meant Harper had approved of what he thought was a plan in which Duffy would repay the money himself and admit to mistakes in claiming the expenses.