Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dona Cadman Interview

A CTV reporter conducted a phone interview with Dona Cadman today. Here is the transcript of that interview:
Reporter: "Okay, can I ask you, because it's going to be in this book that is coming up. Can I ask you what you husband told you before that critical vote?"

Cadman: "Just that two gentlemen have visited him, offered him a 1 million dollar life insurance policy and a few other things.

Reporter: "A few other things?"

Cadman: "Well, one was being welcomed back into the Conservative Party"

Reporter: "Were you surprised by that story?"

Cadman: "No, not really. It was something that any party would have done.

Reporter: "And, what did he say to them, when they made him this offer?"

Cadman: "Oh, he was angry"

Reporter: "And, he told you about it that night?"

Cadman: "Um hmm, when he can home"

Reporter: "Did he every show you any documents when he came home?"

Cadman: "No. There were papers shown to him but they were taken with them."

Reporter: "I guess I'm's such an interesting story in that your husband had cancer and he was offered a million dollar life insurance policy. How could that even work?"

Cadman: "Ya, I don't know"

Reporter: "Can I also ask you, you're running for the Tories now, does this put you in an awkward situation in terms of the party and the allegation?"

Cadman: "A little yes"

Reporter: "Have you spoken with the Prime Minister?"

Cadman: "I spoke with his office today"

Reporter: "And, what was said, if you don't mind me asking?"

Cadman: "Umm... just that they were going to release a press release."

Reporter: "Do you denouce what was offered to your husband, you said earlier you understood?"

Cadman: "Ya, I do"

Reporter: "How angry does it make you, or does it?"

Cadman: "Not as much as it did before"

Reporter: "Why is that?"

Cadman: "Time has passed"

Reporter: "Would you consider it a bribe then?"

Long pause

Cadman: "Umm...yes in a way umm huh"

Reporter: "How much regret to have telling this story, now that you are running for the Tories?"

Cadman: "None"

Reporter: "And, would it be okay to discuss this with you on camera?"

Cadman: "No"

Reporter: "And, why is that?"

Cadman: "I just don't feel comfortable with it. I don't mind talking over the phone, but not on camera".

You could tell she was choosing her words quite carefully, particularly when asked about speaking with the Prime Minister. Cadman reaffirms the idea that this was a bribe and she stands by her story in the book.

Duffy interviewed the author of the book today, and Duffy presented his clip, discussing with Cadman what was offered. When asked to explain the discrepancy between what Duffy was told, and what Zytaruk wrote, Zytaruk stated the obvious- sometimes people tell their wives things they wouldn't share with reporters. Oh the horror Duff...


Kris said...

"sometimes people tell their wives things they wouldn't share with reporters"

It's this idea that makes me think the tories aren't going to be able to stick with the "Chuck said so on CTV" defense for too long, or at least that it won't pass with the public.

My concern, that this will never get anywhere beyond the information known now as there are no witnesses besides Tom Flanagan and Doug Finley. Will it fizzle after a few days of Conservative stonewalling?

Steve V said...

"Will it fizzle after a few days of Conservative stonewalling?"

Not if it goes to Committee or the RCMP investigates. It might hit some deadends, for obvious reasons, but I don't think it will disappear.

bigcitylib said...

She doesn't really sound like she wants it to fizzle, and if the Tories move on her then she might give them a fistful. Politically, it can't play out in any good way for the Tories.

I've heard that the two Conservative Ops that met Cadman have stepped forward. Has anyone else heard that?

Steve V said...


Are you talking about Flanagan and Finley? That was a meeting on the 19th, this account is from the 17th, which is confusing.

Steve V said...

I'm going to throw this in here, because it could prove to be a key point. Duffy was trying to tone down the story, offering up a conversation he had with Cadman, wherein he said he didn't want to vote against the budget, for fear he would lose his seat in an election and the insurance he had as an MP because of it. Duffy said Cadman was concerned that he would die and his wife would suffer.

What nobody has picked up, Duffy actually connects some dots here. If Cadman was concerned about his insurance as an MP, then it what better way to allay his fears in voting with the Cons, than to offer him assurance on that score. Insurance was on Cadman's mind, according to Duffy, which puts the offer into complete context.

Karen said...

Good connection Steve. I doubt Duffy realises what he said. He's got a lot of history, but not much depth in my pinion.

Practically everyone wrote about this today, as did I. I listened really carefully to the Cadman interview with Duffy. He does not say what Harper and CTV proports him to have said. The CTV coverage of this was ridiculously, obviously biased.

Steve V said...

Amazing day for CTV. First Fife this morning, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then, just by coincidence the only Con talking point, which they clung too like socks in a dryer, was a CTV angle. Then later, the Duffster tries to offer up some inside knowledge, thinking it would lessen the impact.

Knb, I really think there is a lot here with Duffy's revelation. It fits very nicely.

Karen said...

bigcitylib, yes Flanagan and Finley have denied everything.

Flanagan wrote about it in his book, sans detail of course.

I suspect this book is the bane of the Con's existence at this point.

An aside, Finley's wife sat behind the PM in every shot during QP smirking with every reply offered by him.

Karen said...

I agree Steve. I don't know the details of what MP's receive in terms of insurance and what company is involved, but it's a brilliant stroke on your part and obviously gives credibility to what Cadman said and details he avoided, what he told his wife and what the Con's may have offered and the ability for Flanagan and Finley to deny.

Really well done!

Steve V said...

Here is what Duffy said, at about 9 minutes 20 seconds (can't bear to listen to all of him)

Someone else check this out, and tell me if it's relevant.

Karen said...

Hmm, I can't bear to listen to him either so I completely missed that.

In order to corroborate what you've picked up on, I go to my last point. What are they guaranteed as MP's and were the Con's hoping to top that up somehow. Who insures them? That will tell some of the story because the polcy can be revealed.

Karen said...

Oops, I forgot to tick the follow up box.

femmeverte said...

Very interesting reading.

Just FYI, there's video of most of today's QP exchanges on the subject here:

(Harper was so upset he forgot to button up his jacket.)

The link above also has the scrum with Dion and Dominic LeBlanc.

Anonymous said...

I am going to throw out a wild idea - only the conspiracy lovers will like this one.

What gets me is why would Dona want to join the Tories if she was displeased with what they did?

In bizarro world, this will actually lead to an immediate election, which is what the Tories want anyway, so they are actually using Dona and the author to get the Liberals to pull the plug on this gov't. As far as a scandal goes, there is not enough proof for this to lead to anything official, so they insulate themselves that way, and they get their election.

Do I think this actually happened? Nope, but it would at least make sense of the facts that are known.

Gayle said...

Steve - do you think Duffy is trying to suggest that Cadman would have accepted the money if it was really offered because he was concerned about his financial situation and that of his wife? I am not sure why he thinks the fact Cadman told him he would not vote against the liberals because of his uncertainty vis a vis his insurance is relevant. Am I missing something?

bigcitylib said...

Other thing I heard today (CBC radio) was that Wallace now claims he was NOT in the room during the meeting in question. Zytaruk said that Wallace had plenty of time to tell him this previously (during the writing of the book).

Gayle said...

By the way, Craig Oliver has a slightly different take on this than that of Duffy and Fife.

Karen said...

BCL, I heard that too. A bit odd, because he obviously supports the story. I wonder why he didn't clarify to the author that he wasn't there prior to now?

The author of the book in my read is not the most articulate guy in the world, but in fairness to him, few of us, inundated with national media suddenly would fare much better.

Tomm said...


Its impossible right now to know what the truth truly is. Dona clearly doesn't know the context, Chuck is dead, the author is pumping a book, and Wallace is claiming no knowledge.

The CPC is claiming knowledge but their dates are different and they strongly deny the authors spin.

However, the one thing that would fit the whole thing together so that it at least makes sense is your speculative thought of 7:55.

If Cadman voted with the Conservatives, he may have dropped the government. He loses his seat and maybe thinks he loses his MPs $1 Million Life Insurance Policy. If he expresses this as a reason to the CPC visitors, they perhaps say that they will find him a $1 Million policy to replace it.

I don't know if that's the truth, but that is an explanation that glues all of this together.

Very curious stuff.


ottlib said...


Offering an MP some kind of financial inducement for their vote is illegal.

So if the scenario you describe is true then the individuals who made such an offer would be guilty of a felony and a serious case could be made that the organization that they worked for could be implicated as well.

Tomm said...


I'm not commenting on the legality of the situation only on the only context I can think of that makes sense.

However if you wish to bring up legal issues, please explain to me Belinda Stronach, David Emerson, or Garth.

Belinda crosses for a vote and a cabinet seat. Emerson crosses to get a cabinet seat. Garth crosses so that he is no longer an independent (same as Cabman was apparently offered by Flanagan).

All of the characters in the first three operas are all with us and could clearly testify to an ethics committee or the RCMP about inducements.


Gayle said...

Do MP's actually have million dollar insurance? Does anyone here have life insurance of a million dollars through their employer?

If so, I might have to do some job shopping...

ottlib said...


Ms. Stonach and Mr. Emerson were convinced to switch parties by promises of position, no question. However, that is not illegal. Unethical and dishonest certainly but there is no law against it.

Mr. Turner was turfed out of the Conservative caucus by Mr. Harper. Mr. Harper does not deny that by the way. Mr. Turner then spent some time as an independent before joining the Liberals. He has explained his motives for doing so many times and you can believe him or not. Either way, him joining the Liberals is not illegal.

Offering any kind of inducement to an MP to vote a certain way is illegal. If that inducement includes offers of fungible assets then it is highly illegal.

That Tomm is the difference between this situation and the others you quote. There is credible information that Mr. Cadman was offered a financial reward that was conditioned on him voting a certain way during the budget vote.

As soon as financial inducements enter the picture you are talking about very illegal acts.

Steve V said...

The National just had Cadman's daughter on, who said her father told her the same as reported by her mother. CBC also had audio of Harper's comments to Zytaruk, wherein he acknowledges that Cadman had "financial insecurities", but "don't push too hard". Harper's tone, very meek, is far more telling than the written word.

Tomm said...


The separations you are making are meaningless.

If Belinda crosses the floor, obviously votes for the budget and gets a cabinet post, she has received direct financial renumeration for her actions. According to your comment:

"Offering an MP some kind of financial inducement for their vote is illegal."

According to your logic, what Belinda did was clearly illegal. Garth Turner is sitting as an independent, just like Cadman. He joins the Liberals. If, as a member of a party he gets help with his next campaign than he has received a direct financial benefit. Same with Garth, according to you...illegal.

I'm not as certain as you are about the legality of this stuff because nobody ever tried to get an RCMP probe going on Garth, David, or Belinda.

You said: "...Offering any kind of inducement to an MP to vote a certain way is illegal. If that inducement includes offers of fungible assets then it is highly illegal..."

If that is true, why wasn't Paul Martin charged in the Belinda case?


Tomm said...


People were joking about the "Liberanos". I wonder what the new one is going to be about Harper's "muscle" of Findlay and Flanagan?

...Da boys'll come by for a little chat...


Gayle said...

Tomm you are spinning too hard.

If Cadman was indeed offered a bribe to vote against the liberals, that is a criminal code offence.

Crossing the floor for a cabinet post is not.

You may want to see them as moral equivalents, but legally they are very different.

There did not need to be a criminal investigation into Emerson and Stronach as both floor crossings were very public. Believe me, if they were criminal acts you would have heard about that.

Anonymous said...


As Mound of Sound noted in a recent post, Flanagan and Finley as muscle man, give us a break? There was only one who Harpo trust to do the dirty work when he was Leader of the Opposition. Now sitting in the West Coast etc.

Gayle said...

It is s. 119 of the criminal code, by the way, and it makes it illegal to offer or accept "money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment for himself or another person in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or ommitted by him in his official capacity..."

"Official capacity" would include a vote. It would not include the decision to cross the floor and join a different political party.

wilson said...

Who said that the Cons offered Cadman anything to vote no?
Everything I have read is they wanted Cadman to rejoin the party.

Tomm said...


Perhaps you are right. However I don't see it like that.

I do recognize that my views are tainting what I "want" to see.

That being said, I see a lot of that on the Liberal side right now too.


ottlib said...

You obviously have not been paying attention Wilson.

Every news organization in the country has been reporting allegations against the Conservatives that they offered financial rewards to Mr. Cadman for his vote.

As I stated over at knb's place those allegations will be damaging.

Of course, this will all go away after the weekend unless someone can dig up some more information. That is the nature of scandals. They need fresh information to keep going.

However, the Conservatives cannot expect it to stay away. It will pop up again.

Gayle, your response to Tomm is exactly what I would have said so you saved me the need to respond to him. Thanks.

Steve V said...


Ethics Committee will take up this issue on Tuesday. It ain't going anywhere...poor wilson.

Steve V said...

Radwanski piece in the G and M:

"For once, we may have stumbled onto a Canadian political scandal with enough of a human interest angle to really engage non-political people."

The in and out election scandal, that was inside baseball stuff, this has all the intangibles.

ottlib said...


As I stated at knb's place the words "Conservative", "bribe" and "dying man" were all mentioned in the same sentence today.

That is something anybody can understand.

So yes, I agree, this has the potential to reach much further than any other of the Conservative ethical lapses.

As well, good point about the Ethics Committee. I had forgotten about that. I still believe that this issue will fade as a major story within the week but the Committee hearings should cause it to bubble along in the background for some time.

Steve V said...

Cadman's daughter, Jodi, also backed the story.

"He just said 'I have something to tell you,' and he told me that he was offered a life insurance policy, that my mom and myself would be taken care of," she said Thursday in Vancouver.

Steve V said...

From CP:

"And there's a tape circulating that suggests then-opposition leader Stephen Harper was not only aware of a financial offer to Chuck Cadman but gave it his blessing."

Nothing to see here.

Karen said...

Cadman's wife AND daughter back the story? The Ethics committee and the RCMP looking in to it?

I'd say this is here for a while and it doesn't smell like roses.

The key here is the RCMP. Having appeared in the past to have given the Con's a pass, well let's just say I hope they break that pattern.

Oxford County Liberals said...

I see the conservative talking brigade is over at my site. When that happens, you kneow they're worried.

Peter Dodson said...

Every single person defending Harper et al needs to ask themselves this question:

What if it was Chretien or Martin who had engaged in this kind of activity? Would you be defending them?

Justin Socie said...

Good point Peter. You would think that an issue like this would be beyond partisanship.

KEvron said...

"I'm not commenting on the legality of the situation"

despite the undeniable relevance.

"However if you wish to bring up legal issues"

lol! no, let's not discuss the legal implications of the topic at hand; rather, let's distract ourselves with some choice red herring.

yer a piece of werk, tomm....