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Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Aug 22 2015, Page 3

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - August 22, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE A3 Gimli Fish 1083 St. Mary’s Rd. 204- 256- 3474 801 Regent Ave. 204- 222- 4672 596 Dufferin Ave. 204- 589- 3474 625 Pembina Hwy. 204- 477- 6831 Large Shrimp Deveined 75 pc $ 15 NEW $ .. , .. .. .. GET UP TO CASH PURCHASE SAVINGS! THE SUPER MODEL CLEAROUT Get super deals on our super models BIRCHWOOD HONDA WEST .. .. - .. .. .. .. Portage Avenue .. .. .. - .. .. .. - .. .. .. .. birchwoodhondawest. ca BIRCHWOOD HONDA ON REGENT .. .. .. .. Regent Avenue West WEST .. .. .. - .. .. .. - .. .. .. .. hondaonregent. ca DEALER # .. .. .. .. DEALER # .. .. .. .. ONLY at your Birchwood Honda Dealers REGENT AND POINTE WEST AUTO PARK. £ .. . .. .. % On Approved Credit. † .. .. , .. .. .. Cash purchase savings available on new 2015 Civic models leased through HCFI. Available for any HFS contract, lease or finance. 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COM SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2015 A 3 You Medical Centres WALK IN CLINIC 359 Johnson Ave. W. | www. youmedicalcentres. com Mon- Fri 8: 30am - 3pm Sat. 9am - 1pm MINIMAL WAIT TIMES OPEN SATURDAYS 204- 504- 5121 T ORONTO — The Mike Duffy inferno grew ever closer to breaching Stephen Harper’s firewall Friday, but with the trial nearly over and the 11- week election campaign just ramping up, the prime minister appeared convinced it would burn out on its own. Harper nearly had the campaign trail all to himself — Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe was the only other one of the five main party leaders holding public events — but the Duffy questions just kept coming. Harper’s former legal adviser testified Friday he believed Harper had approved a five- point plan by former chief of staff Nigel Wright to compel Duffy to repay $ 90,000 in dubious expenses — a plan that eventually resulted in Wright footing the bill on the senator’s behalf. Benjamin Perrin testified earlier in the week Harper’s current chief of staff, Ray Novak, was present on two occasions when Wright’s payment was discussed — contradicting assertions from Harper and the Conservative campaign about what Novak knew about the repayment scheme. Perrin said he took the now infamous “ we’re good to go from the PM” line from a Wright email to mean Harper had reviewed a 2013 plan to get Duffy to repay his expenses and had given the go- ahead. The trial is set to wrap up next week. When asked Friday why he still has confidence in Novak — his current chief of staff — Harper turned to a wellworn message: “ There are two people who are responsible for the actions here,” he said, meaning Duffy and Wright. Harper has maintained he was unaware until months later anyone other than Duffy paid the $ 90,000, and when he learned of the deal he took action. Melanee Thomas, a political science professor at the University of Calgary, said the Duffy trial would be “ explosively” damaging to the Conservative campaign if it were closer to the Oct. 19 election. As it is, it has consistently pushed Harper off message, she said. “ They’re making a policy announcement or some kind of statement first thing in the morning, and they want that to frame the day,” Thomas said. “ With the stuff that’s coming out of the Duffy trial, it’s difficult for them to frame each day on the kind of thing that they want the day to be about.” Any potential fallout might be mitigated by the likelihood many voters won’t start paying attention to the campaign until after Labour Day, she said. But if Harper’s strategy is to ride out any heat from the Duffy trial, the NDP and Liberals seem equally determined to keep fanning the flames. Liberal candidate Dominic LeBlanc sent a letter to the RCMP and the information commissioner Friday, asking them to look into text messages and BlackBerry PIN messages sent and received by Ray Novak because they may be relevant to Duffy’s fraud trial. “ Email records produced thus far may not tell the complete story. Specifically, new testimony may indicate that Mr. Wright and Mr. Novak communicated via BlackBerry PINs and BlackBerry messages in the past, and as recently as two weeks ago,” LeBlanc wrote. “ Given that certain PINs, text messages, or BlackBerry messages could be relevant to the criminal trial, I am requesting that any necessary steps be taken to ensure that these potentially relevant communications are preserved and not deleted or destroyed.” The RCMP did not return a request for comment. — The Canadian Press Duffy, not election, the buzz on Twitter THE most talked- about election issue on Twitter is no longer the economy. Over week two and three of the 11- week campaign, folks are tweeting instead about the trial of Sen. Mike Duffy, mentioning the former newsman’s name most often in the more than one million tweets analyzed by Twitter officials. The data suggest the Duffy trial is pushing aside the Conservative message about economic management and cutting taxes. Twitter Canada’s Cameron Gordon calls it a “ perfect storm” of a highprofile political trial and a narrow election campaign. Gordon said that storm has also blurred the lines on social media between Duffy and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper as partisans tweet multiple times a day about both the trial and the Senate spending scandal. While the majority of those tweets are coming from journalists, candidates, partisans and some very active Twitter users, more than 50,000 are public participants not typically associated with political discussions on Twitter, as well as some undecided voters. Of the more than one million tweets that used more than five Canadian politics and election hashtags, Harper’s name came up most often in relation to Duffy — a helpful sign to opposition parties trying to push the scandal closer the prime minister. — The Canadian Press Trial drowns out Tory message Would damage campaign if closer to vote: expert By Allison Jones . MORE ELECTION COVERAGE / A4- 7 . EDITORIAL / A14 . DAN LETT / A15 JUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS Benjamin Perrin continued his testimony Friday at Mike Duffy’s fraud trial. Mike Duffy: the tweetest thing. A_ 03_ Aug- 22- 15_ FP_ 01. indd A3 8/ 21/ 15 8: 00: 40 PM

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