Mike Duffy and the $90,000 Cheque – Part 2 (5mins)

In Case Comments, Case Comments, Criminal Law, Physical Elements by Peter Sankoff1 Comment

My examination of the charges against Mike Duffy relating to the infamous $90000 cheque provided by Nigel Wright continues. In today’s video blog, which is Part 2 of an ongoing examination, I focus upon the charge of Breach of Trust, and the challenges the Crown is likely to have in proving that count of the indictment.


  1. Thanks again!
    w.r.t. your upcoming bribery segment, it seems to me that it would be easier for the crown to charge others for giving the bribe than it is to charge Duffy for accepting it, for the following reasons:
    Duffy may not have benefited from the money because he passed it on to the government. One might argue that using it to repay expenses that might be questionable could make problems for him go away. But if he always maintained that he’d done nothing wrong (as can be read in the published email chain) then his argument could be that he did this only as a favor to the party, and at their request, and at no benefit to himself.
    Instead, it seems easier to show that in giving the money, others were seeking a benefit, i.e. making a political problem go away, which would be an embarrassment to the party, and to Harper, if they believed that the expenses were improper, or even just wouldn’t look good. The defense of the person writing the cheque would rely on the court accepting his claim that his only motivation in giving the cheque was to reimburse the poor taxpayer, an excuse which seems to me not credible at all, given the circumstances (including efforts to make it secret, contemplation of repayment by the conservative party, etc.) and who the cheque writer worked for.
    I cannot comprehend why the crown would elect to charge only the receiver, and not the giver, except that it makes me suspect that there were political aspects to this decision making process. To put it bluntly, writing a cheque to make a party problem go away is very clear cut to me, whereas Duffy has a credible and documented defense.

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