Michael Harris writes that Stephen Harper should answer an important question:
How did a lawyer twice convicted of fraud, who went to jail for 18 months for stealing from his own clients, who was charged with influence peddling in 2012, and is now facing three new counts of illegal lobbying and another of influence peddling – how did such a talented guy get to sit at the right hand of power in the Prime Minister’s Office?
After all, it's passing strange that the prime minister -- who vowed that he would be tough on crime -- hired Carson. Harris suggests that there are several possible explanations:
- Did officials in the PCO who did the vetting simply blow it when it came to Carson’s multiple convictions – 1982 and 1990, plus his bankruptcy?
- Did the RCMP just drop the ball on his security check?
- Did Carson lie about his past crimes?
- Or did Carson’s manager in the PMO override the security check, as is possible? And who was that manager, the chief of staff of the day, or the Stephen Harper himself?
Carson is only one of Harper's questionable hires. The prime minister has simply multiplied the corruption he said he would stamp out:
- Nigel Wright — fired by the PM for doing a deal the PM says he would never have approved, the $90,000 cheque to Senator Mike Duffy;
- Arthur Porter — his choice to be watch dog for CSIS, in jail in Pan-ama fighting extradition to Canada where he faces multiple fraud charges;
- Dean del Mastro — his former parliamentary secretary, up on charges of election cheating, and pleading not guilty;
- Saulie Zajdel — Harper’s “shadow MP” in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal seat, facing five counts of breach of trust, fraud and corruption;
- Suspended Senator Mike Duffy — under investigation by the RCMP;
- Suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau — facing multiple charges and currently in rehab;
- Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin — under RCMP investigation;
An explanation would merely muddy the waters. Don't expect one.