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

  • Sri Lanka death toll after flooding, mudslides reaches 146

    World News CBC News
    Sri Lankan rescuers pulled out more bodies under enormous mudslides on Sunday as the death toll climbed to 146 with 112 others missing. Although the weather has cleared, more rains are forecast for Sunday and Monday, threatening to bring more misery to over 100,000 displaced in the country's western and southern regions that were lashed by two days of torrential rains. Source
  • No winner in $5M Lotto 649 jackpot draw

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - There was no winning ticket for the $5 million jackpot in Saturday night's Lotto 649 draw. However, the guaranteed $1 million prize was claimed by a ticket purchased in Atlantic Canada. The jackpot for the next Lotto 649 draw on May 31 will be approximately $7 million. Source
  • Pope says Coptic Christians killed by ISIS in Egypt were 'martyrs'

    World News CBC News
    For the second day in a row, Pope Francis has expressed his solidarity with Egypt's Coptic Christians following an attack on a bus carrying Coptic pilgrims to a remote desert monastery. Francis led thousands of people in prayer Sunday for the victims, who Francis said were killed in "another act of ferocious violence" after having refused to renounce their Christian faith. Source
  • Manchester bomber's network potentially still at large

    World News CBC News
    Members of Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi's network are still potentially at large, British interior minister Amber Rudd said on Sunday, after the terrorism threat level was lowered due to significant progress in the investigation. Police have said they have arrested a large part of the network behind the bombing, which killed 22 people at a concert Source
  • British Airways aims to restore normal flight service after IT failure

    World News CBC News
    British Airways said Sunday it was still working to restore its computer systems and has resumed some flights from London airports, a day after a global IT failure crippled its services. The airline said that it hopes to operate a "near normal schedule" at Gatwick and the "majority of services" from Heathrow on Sunday. Source
  • Artist urging Supreme Court to preserve residential school testimony

    Canada News CBC News
    An artist who's the son of a residential school survivor is urging the Supreme Court of Canada to rule to preserve the stories of more than 35,000 people like his father so future generations can learn from the tragic chapter in the country's history. Source
  • Civilians in 'grave danger' in final push against ISIS in Mosul

    World News CBC News
    The United National humanitarian co-ordinator in Iraq says civilians are being hit hardest as the military assault against ISIS militants in Mosul enters its final phase. Lise Grande has condemned ISIS for using civilians to shield themselves from attack. Source
  • How Andrew Scheer rose through the ranks to become Conservative leader

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Scheer is no stranger to making Canadian political history. When he first sought federal political office in 2004, he beat out the NDP candidate who at the time was the longest-serving MP in the House of Commons. Source
  • CBC News takes home 44 awards at 2017 RTDNA

    Canada News CBC News
    ?CBC News journalists scooped up 44 awards on Saturday at the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) awards, honouring national and regional work in TV, web and radio. "All these awards recognize our excellence on all platforms," said CBC News editor in chief Jennifer McGuire, noting the CBC took home the lion's share of the 75 awards. Source
  • Family, friends hail the 2 men who died trying to stop attack

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Helpful co-workers. Reliable friends. Well-liked by many who encountered them. Those were the descriptions family, friends and colleagues gave of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 53, the two men who were stabbed to death Friday when they tried to intervene when a man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train. Source