A Conservative collection of Harper government scandals - 2015-08-14
SENATE APPOINTMENTS: The Senate has been the source of Harper's most damaging scandal, one that goes to the heart of his office. Unsuccessful in efforts to reform the upper chamber, Harper began to stack it with Tory loyalists. Several appointments now haunt him. Mike Duffy, Patrick Brazeau and Pamela Wallin were suspended from the Senate for allegations of improper expense claims; Duffy and Brazeau face criminal charges related to their spending. Harper's own office has been embroiled after it was revealed that Nigel Wright, his chief of staff at the time, cut a $90,000 cheque to cover Duffy's questionable expenses. Don Meredith, a Toronto senator, quit the Conservative caucus earlier this year after the Star revealed allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teenager.
ELECTION SCANDALS: The Conservatives have found themselves at the centre of multiple investigations over their election activities. In the 2006 "in-and-out" scandal, the Conservative party pled guilty to exceeding national election advertising limits. In the 2011 election, robocalls misdirected voters away from the polls. A Conservative staffer was convicted in that scandal. Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro, once Harper's parliamentary secretary, was convicted of breaking spending rules in the 2008 vote. And in 2013, then-Labrador MP Peter Penashue was forced to quit Harper's cabinet over illegal campaign donations.