Testimony wraps up in Mike Duffy's criminal trial

Testimony has ended in the criminal trial for Sen. Mike Duffy. Proceedings are expected to resume Friday, to a set date for closing arguments to begin.

See Full Article

On Thursday, prosecutors focused on Duffy’s Ontario health card and personal income taxes before wrapping up their cross-examination.

Duffy has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

Redacted diary entries

Duffy said he wasn’t trying to hide anything by blacking out portions of diary entries that were eventually handed over to the Prime Minister’s Office to address matters related to his residency.

Duffy explained that he was only trying to protect caucus confidences when marking out some diary entries.

However, Duffy admitted that efforts to black out portions of the passages were rushed and he didn’t have enough time to hide them all. In court on Thursday, Holmes read out some of the entries over Duffy’s protests.

Ontario health card, income taxes

Focusing on allegations related to Duffy’s Ottawa residency, the Crown also asked the senator about his Ontario health card (OHIP).

Duffy said he was advised by his doctor -- and has a letter -- saying he needed an OHIP card to get treatment for his heart. He added that his wife wouldn’t let him join Senate, if he had to give up access to health care in Ontario.

He was advised to “keep” the OHIP card because P.E.I. did not have a heart surgeon, let alone a cardiac centre.

Duffy agreed that he also continued to file personal income taxes in Ontario until 2013. Like all parliamentarians, Duffy pointed out, he worked 60 per cent of any given year in Ontario. Duffy explained that his accountant told him, on several occasions, that if he was earning income in Ontario, he must pay income tax there.

Duffy also testified that he “probably” identified his suburban Ottawa home as his home address when applying for his renewed passport.

“Not about money”

At one point, Duffy accused the Crown of trying to create an impression that his life was about money. If that were true, Duffy added, he would have kept working in broadcasting. The senator said he devoted his life to making a difference, and doing things for others.

“My life is about trying to do the right thing, be helpful to people and make a contribution,” Duffy said.

The Saanich Fair

In a puzzling courtroom exchange, Duffy accused the Crown of body-shaming during a line of questioning about a trip the senator took to B.C. in 2009.

Duffy has been accused of billing taxpayers for going to his daughter’s play, but Duffy contends he travelled to the West Coast on business – specifically, to make an appearance at the Saanich Fair with Gary Lunn, to help the then-Conservative MP with his re-election bid.

Duffy’s appearance at the fair, the senator said, was cancelled at the last-minute.

On Thursday, the crown asked Duffy if he knew a lot about the Saanich Fair, and listed some of the fair’s features, including a pumpkin contest.

To which Duffy snapped, “You’re into body-shaming now.”

Following the exchange, the judge told Duffy to focus.

Florida vacation

As the Crown continued its line of questioning, the court also heard that the senator gave his staff signed, blank expense forms for them to fill out. Duffy has said it is a common practice in the Senate, aimed at speeding the filing of paperwork.

One claim from Duffy’s office, however, was filed for days during which Duffy was on vacation in Florida.

Duffy testified that it was erroneously filled out by his assistant.

“Had I seen it I would never have claimed for my time away,” Duffy said.

With files from CTV's Katie Simpson and The Canadian Press

Follow along with CTV reporter Katie Simpson's tweets from the the courtroom here:


Reading in an app? Tap here for the full experience.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Hundreds of thousands march in London to demand new Brexit referendum

    World News CBC News
    Hundreds of thousands of people opposed to Britain's withdrawal from the European Union marched through central London on Saturday to demand a new referendum as the deepening Brexit crisis risked sinking Prime Minister Theresa May's premiership. Source
  • Trump, Israeli leader have mutually beneficial relationship

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was glowing as he stepped up to a podium in the backyard of his Jerusalem home to welcome U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to a holiday dinner. Source
  • French yellow vests protest in Paris amid tighter security

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- Thousands of French yellow vest demonstrators were marching through Paris on Saturday as authorities enforced bans on protests in certain areas and displayed enhanced security measures to avoid a repeat of last week's riots in the capital. Source
  • Somalia government minister among 5 victims in extremist attack

    World News CBC News
    Gunmen stormed a government building in Somalia's capital after a suicide car bombing on Saturday, killing at least five people including the country's deputy labour minister, police said, in the latest attack by Islamic extremist fighters in the Horn of Africa nation. Source
  • Majority of Americans favour stricter gun laws: poll

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A new poll shows a majority of Americans favour stricter gun laws, and most believe schools and places of worship have become less safe over the last two decades. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey included interviews conducted before and after this month's mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. Source
  • Twin bombing at Afghan ceremony kills 4, including official

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- A twin bombing at a public ceremony in southern Afghanistan on Saturday killed at least four people, including a provincial official, and wounded more than 30, officials said. Omar Zwak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, said the bombings targeted a celebration of Farmer's Day in a sports stadium in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. Source
  • Economy named most important issue to Alberta voters, Vote Compass survey says

    Canada News CBC News
    The economy has ousted accountability as the top issue for Albertans this election, according to a survey of more than 30,000 people across the province. In the online questionnaire known as Vote Compass, Albertans were asked to answer the question "What issue is most important to you in this election?" During the last provincial election, Vote Compass respondents had selected from a predetermined list of topics. Source
  • U.K.'s embattled prime minister faces huge anti-Brexit march

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- British Prime Minister Theresa May is easing away from plans to hold a third vote on her troubled Brexit withdrawal plan as protesters gathered in central London on Saturday to demand a second referendum. Source
  • Suspect charged in girl's death in the Kasabonika Lake First Nation

    Canada News CTV News
    KASABONIKA LAKE , Ont. - Police have charged a suspect in the death of a six-year-old girl from the Kasabonika Lake First Nation. Officers with the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service were called to a residence on Wednesday to investigate a report that a girl had been assaulted. Source
  • Park rangers in Mozambique stage a grassroots rescue effort following Cyclone Idai

    World News CBC News
    As rain continues to fall on Mozambique, where hundreds of thousands have been displaced by Cyclone Idai, park rangers are stepping up to help those in danger. Hundreds of rangers from Gorongosa National Park, located in the centre of the country in southeast Africa, are delivering aid to those in need and rescuing people stranded by the flood waters — sometimes from the top of six-metre-high termite mounds. Source