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

  • Rivers keep swelling in France, disrupting public transportation

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Rivers across France are still swelling despite some improvement in the weather, disrupting train services and metro lines in Paris. Meteo France, the national weather agency, placed 23 departments on orange alert, the second highest level of vigilance. Source
  • 'People just ran': Kentucky students fled for lives in fatal shooting

    World News CTV News
    BENTON, Ky. - They ran silently, too stunned to shout. Some of the children ran into classrooms to hide from the boy with the gun. Some ran out of the building, into the fields, across the streets, through the doors of nearby businesses. Source
  • Tempers flare as B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Tempers flared at the B.C. Liberal leadership debate in Vancouver as veterans butted heads over the future of the party with newer faces calling for change. Former cabinet ministers Mike de Jong, Andrew Wilkinson and Todd Stone faced off against backbenchers Sam Sullivan and Michael Lee, as well as former Surrey mayor and Conservative member of Parliament Dianne Watts. Source
  • Insurgents attack children's group in eastern Afghanistan

    World News CTV News
    KABUL - A group of gunmen stormed a non-governmental children's organization in eastern Nangarhar province, killing one person, said provincial officials. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said the Wednesday attack was against Save the Children's provincial office in Jalalabad. Source
  • California prosecutors seek to bar parents from contacting 13 kids kept captive

    World News CTV News
    Louise Anna Turpin, far left, with attorney Jeff Moore, second from left, and her husband David Allen Turpin, listen to attorney, David Macher, as they appear in court for their arraignment in Riverside, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Source
  • Puerto Rico awaits foreclosure wave as mortgage moratoriums expire

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Aylsa Torres sighed in relief when she received a letter from her bank two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit. She was among the hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans awarded a three-month moratorium on their mortgage payments as the U.S. Source
  • Philippine volcano spreads lava three kilometres from crater

    World News CTV News
    LEGAZPI, Philippines - Lava fountaining regularly from the Philippines' most active volcano has flowed up to 3 kilometres from the crater in a dazzling but increasingly dangerous eruption. Mount Mayon has spewed lava up to 600 metres high at times Tuesday and early Wednesday and its ash plumes stretched up to 5 kilometres above the crater. Source
  • Activists rip Kim Jong Un's photo in Olympic protest

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - Anti-Pyongyang activists on Wednesday ripped photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the latest protests in Seoul against South Korea's outreach to North Korea over next month's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Source
  • D.C. sniper requests hearing to ask for lower sentence

    World News CTV News
    RICHMOND, Va. - A sniper who randomly killed 10 people and terrorized the Washington, D.C., region more than 15 years ago is entitled to a new hearing to ask for a lighter sentence, his lawyer argued Tuesday to a federal appeals court. Source
  • Calgary skydiver killed in California after crash onto roof of home

    World News CBC News
    Authorities have identified a skydiver who died Monday afternoon when he fell onto the roof of a home in Southern California. The Riverside County coroner's bureau says the victim was Aime-Jean St. Hilaire-Adam, a 27-year-old from Calgary. Source