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

  • 'It's a disaster': Trust in long-term care at an all-time low

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and brought to light issues with Canada's long-term care facilities, wreaking havoc on residents and exposing poor conditions and care, leaving some seniors actively looking at living at home longer. Source
  • FBI arrests 2, including Stone bodyguard, in Capitol riot

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former President Donald Trump's longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday. Source
  • German lawmaker from Merkel's conservatives quits over face mask scandal

    World News CTV News
    Tracking every case of COVID-19 in Canada Coronavirus vaccine tracker: How many people in Canada have received shots? Source
  • Biden to mark one year of COVID-19 shutdown in primetime address Thursday

    World News CTV News
    U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver his first primetime address this Thursday, commemorating the milestone of one year since the global pandemic coronavirus shut down much of the nation. "The President will deliver his first primetime address to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown on Thursday. Source
  • Alberta Appeal Court orders 3rd trial for parents in toddler's death

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta's top court has ordered a third trial for a couple originally convicted then found not guilty in the death of their ill son. The Alberta Court of Appeal has granted a request by the Crown to overturn the 2019 acquittal of David and Collet Stephan. Source
  • U.S., EU, N.Z. leaders warn pandemic risks women's rights

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS, BELGIUM -- The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic and political turmoil have sharpened the challenges facing women as they demand equal rights, three of the world's most influential female leaders warned Monday. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen addressed the European Parliament on International Women's Day. Source
  • Ontario NDP wants paid time off for workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario’s official opposition is calling on the government to allow workers to take three consecutive paid hours off work in order to get a COVID-19 vaccine. “I would ask the premier and the government to make it easy for folks, to take the burden off, to make sure people don’t have to worry about losing pay when they book their appointment to get vaccinated,” NDP leader Andrea Horwath said at Question Period on Monday. Source
  • New Brunswick reports 5 new cases of COVID-19 Monday; active cases increase to 36

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- New Brunswick Public Health is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. Four previously reported cases are now considered recovered, as the number of active cases in the province increases to 36. Source
  • Price of gas reaches 151.9 cents per litre at some stations in Vancouver

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- Temporary relief drivers saw earlier in the pandemic may be a thing of the past as gas prices continue to climb in Metro Vancouver. On Monday morning, some stations were charging 151.9 cents per litre at pumps in the city. Source
  • Ethics committee summons Kielburger brothers to testify after they duck invitation

    Canada News CBC News
    The House of Commons ethics committee unanimously passed a motion today to compel the men behind WE Charity to appear before MPs to explain their role in the botched summer student grants program and answer questions about allegations of donor fraud. Source