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Harper Authorized Cadman Offer

From September 7, 2008

On May 19, 2005, the House of Commons voted on an NDP amendment to the Liberal budget. As a confidence motion, the outcome would decide the survival of the Martin government. The Conservatives were intent that the motion fail, bringing about an election they believed they could win.

Unfortunately for the Conservatives, the Parliament was split down the middle and a tie would not be enough to bring down the government. The only hope for opposition leader Harper was to call on Independent MP Chuck Cadman. And this was done.

Nevertheless Chuck Cadman voted for the budget amendment. The motion passed 153-152 and the government lived on.

Less than two months later Cadman died from terminal skin cancer.

The story was thought ended until it was revealed by Cadman's wife in February 2008, that just before the vote two Conservative officials had offered her husband a million dollar life insurance policy if he voted with them.

An audiotape of an interview between author Tom Zytaruk and Stephen Harper was released shortly thereafter. In the tape, Zytaruk asks Harper if he knew anything about "an insurance policy for a million dollars." Stephen Harper acknowledges that he knew "financial considerations" were offered to Cadman by officials that were "legitimately representing the party". Harper told the officials "don't press him," but if Cadman's concern is "financial insecurity", they should "make that case."

And according to Stephen Harper's testimony under cross-examination at his court appearance on September 3rd, 2008, Harper instructed his party's representatives to make Chuck Cadman an offer. Of particular interest, Harper gave two different versions of how and when he first was told of Cadman's financial difficulties.

It is worth noting that under the Criminal Code of Canada, section 119, "Bribery of judicial officers, etc", it is illegal to bribe a member of Parliament. Anyone found guilty of offering a bribe to an MP may receive a prison term of up to 14 years.

Apparently the officers of the Conservative party believe they are above the law. The courts need to step in and say otherwise.