The RCMP has been probing Nigel Wright for several months, so one imagines that Mr. Wright feels relieved to hear that the police force will probe him no more. The police had been investigating Wright for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust following his ~$90 000 bribe/donation/loan/”oops I left a cheque in your pocket…never mind you can keep it” involving Mike Duffy. Anyway, Mr. Wright, who had previously served as Chief of Staff for the Prime Minister’s Office, is now off the hook.
Who saw that coming? The Prime Minister certainly did. He knew Wright was a good man from the moment he cut the cheque. He repeated early and often that Wright acted in the public interest by giving Mike Duffy a fat sack of money. Harper’s Director of Communications even called Nigel Wright an “honourable man.” Then, of course, things changed. The Prime Minister came forward with another story, and told of the “anger, betrayal, and disappointment” he felt when he learned of Wright’s actions. Whenever that was….if it ever happened. What’s clear is that this was a long, drawn-out affair involving more truth telling than the average citizen could process.
For its part, upon learning that Wright had been cleared, the Prime Minister’s Office offered to assist in the investigation. And why not? The investigation was already over, so now is the easiest time to assist. With months of sidestepping and confusing answers to simple questions behind it, the PMO had little else in its arsenal to offer, if not help.
Summing things up, Rob Walsh, a former law clerk in the House of Commons supported the RCMP’s decision, and the corresponding verdict of innocence: “This is not fraud, nor is it breach of trust…I don’t see any of this supporting criminal charges. It’s just self-serving politics.” This conclusion is clean, clear, straight to the point. Mr. Wright isn’t a criminal- he’s just a bit indecent, and may be slightly bereft of moral fibre. So move along, nothing to see here!
Perhaps that’s the problem. There isn’t anything to see here. Months after this investigation began, Canadians still have no idea what happened between Wright and Duffy. We have no idea what happened between Wright and Harper. Worse yet, if we take his comments at face value, we have no idea how Stephen Harper really feels about Nigel Wright. Does he love him or hate him? We want to know! Canadians expect that our Prime Minister will give confusing, off-topic, possibly deceptive answers to questions about government business. That is nothing new. It is truly unsettling, though, when we can’t get a straight, consistent description of how he feels about his [former?] friend Nigel. If it’s really such a trivial subject, he shouldn’t have any trouble telling us everything we need to know. So go ahead, Steve, be honest for a change.