Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday August 29, 2017
Not ‘a slam dunk’: Mike Duffy faces uphill battle for $8M in damages, experts say
Sen. Mike Duffy is hoping to extract a lofty sum from the Senate and the RCMP, arguing they unfairly subjected him to a witch hunt that resulted in gross Charter violations and salary loss that now demand some form of compensation.
But legal experts well-versed on civil lawsuits of this sort say it could be a tough slog for the P.E.I. Senator.
At the heart of Duffy’s $8-million lawsuit is a claim that the Red Chamber and the Mounties ran roughshod over his rights in their dogged pursuit of a scapegoat for public outrage over questionable expenses.
Duffy claims he was “threatened, cajoled, arm-twisted and rebuked” by former prime minister Stephen Harper’s office to publicly admit wrongdoing even though he maintained all expenses were above board.
The Conservative-controlled Senate was then the “government’s servant” and booted him from the upper house to serve a political agenda when things went awry. The RCMP, in turn, hastily assembled a criminal case that unfairly subjected Duffy to humiliation among other ills.
In his statement of claim, filed Thursday, Duffy said his Charter rights under section 7 (the right to life, liberty and the security of person), section 11(d) (the right to be presumed innocence) and section 12 (freedom from cruel and unusual punishment) were ignored throughout this scandal by both the Senate and the police.
“The system makes it really hard to allege a violation of the Charter based simply on a suspension from a position, loss of pay and the mere fact you were charged for a crime; it’s hard to argue that leads to a Charter violation when you’re ultimately acquitted and your job is reinstated,” Carissima Mathen, an associate professor of constitutional law at the University of Ottawa, said in an interview.
“The government enjoys a significant level of immunity.” (Continued: CBC News)
Mike Duffy Comedy Gallery