10:00 am - BREAKING: CTV - Harper files notice of libel over Cadman allegations.
Mike Duffy is talking to Jeff Allan right now! 10:30 Update - This segment is over now, but Duffy says things could get interesting in Question Period this afternoon. He predicts that the Liberals will abandon this line of questioning today. MDL should be a good watch this evening!
PM taking legal action against Dion, Liberals - Star.
Platty has the actual letter here - Care to repeat that outside?
CBL - Reid: Harper has served Liberals with notice of a lawsuit.
Original Post: Opposition parties jockeying for face time...
The Globe's Brian Laghi reports today that the NDP is balking at the Cadman controversy being referred to either the Ethics committee or the RCMP. Pat Martin would prefer to have the matter referred instead to the newly-created Special Federal Prosecutor.
...NDP MP Pat Martin said he no longer wants the matter to be sent to a special ethics committee because the testimony given there is protected from being used in future prosecutions. Sending it to the RCMP is also problematic because of increasing unease with the national force, he said.Meanwhile, some inconsistencies and questions continue to plague the story, such as whether there were two meetings or just one, and whether or not Cadman's assistant Dan Wallace was privy to the details - which Mr. Wallace flatly denies:
"After the dust settles, the ethics committee might want to look at the results and make recommendations to see if our ethical guidelines and standards are robust enough," Mr. Martin told CTV's Question Period yesterday.
The federal government has established the position of a federal prosecutor to look into such matters. The NDP and other parties are concerned because it is the role of the Justice Minister to decide which individuals undergo prosecutorial reviews.
But Mr. Martin said the Tories' reputation for transparency and accountability will be harmed if they don't forward the issue to the prosecutor's office. The Tories promised the creation of the office in the 2006 election campaign.
Some Liberals were surprised by the move and suggested that the New Democrats may be afraid that the Liberals would receive too much publicity if the committee were to look into the matter...
...Dan Wallace, Mr. Cadman's legislative assistant, was situated just outside the MP's private office during the meeting. Mr. Cadman met with senior Tories Doug Finley and Tom Flanagan just hours before the crucial vote. But Mr. Wallace has also said he doesn't know the details of any offers...
In any case, there is no doubt that the opposition parties are falling all over themselves in an effort to use this controversy as political ammo to discredit the current government.
The interesting thing will be to see how far they go trying to outmaneuver each other in order claim the glory for attempting to appear to be the more ethical alternative.
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Afternoon update: Afghan vote set for March 13: CTV.