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Nigel Wright’s Testimony is Offensive and Insulting to Canadians

August 13th, 2015

I had an obligation to fulfill my end of the arrangement with him (Duffy). I couldn’t think of another way of doing it.”

Is anyone else profoundly insulted and deeply offended by this self-effacing statement from Nigel Wright as to why he forked over $90,000 of his own money, in secret,  to pay Mike Duffy’s debts? (Oh wait a minute, today in court (Thursday,) Wright quoted the Bible as justification for his charity. What’s next? A request for a papal indulgence?)

And for this piousness, we are supposed to somehow shrug off his amazing leading role in this tawdry political scandal, because after all, Nigel did the right thing, as he saw it? Gee, what a nice guy!

I have had it with the endless portrayals of this Bastion of Bay Street as an honest, noble, loyal, faithful, honorable, dedicated  ….. any more hagiographic adjectives you can add, please fill ’em in … servant of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Wright may well be all that … but that doesn’t give him a free pass when he messes up, big time.

The salient point of interest here is that Wright was the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Canada. Read this official description of his job description. The focus is on governance by the Prime Minister for the development, strategizing and administration of those policies which the Prime Minister feels are in the interests of the country.  Nigel Wright’s obligations are to the Prime Minister and through him, to the people of Canada. He was part of a structure of responsibility in our parliamentary system.

We should all be offended that someone in that position decides that, because he happens to belong to the 0.1%, he can reach into his pocket to personally solve problems – in this case, to cover up financial shenanigans (crime, not crime, yadda, yadda) – because it is simply the easiest way to clear his off his crowded desk.

Nigel Wright didn’t have a personal obligation to pay Duffy’s debts, as he self-excusingly proclaimed.

His personal responsibility was to serve Canada and to maintain the integrity of its political institutions.

We should be repelled by any notion that we should admire – and excuse – an incredibly rich individual who goes into public service and then uses his personal resources to make political problems disappear.

He’s responsible, all right. For setting a very bad precedent in public service.

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