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Crooked Liberal Senator found guilty of fraud

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Gee, imagine that: a crooked Liberal from Quebec... :roll:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/201103 ... ud-110311/

A Liberal senator accused of misusing public funds and instructing a Senate staffer to cut down trees at his cottage has been found guilty of fraud and breach of trust.

The charges come more than three years after Raymond Lavigne was officially barred from the Upper House.

Lavigne, a Quebec senator appointed in 2002, was initially suspended from the Red Chamber after being charged with obstruction of justice, fraud and breach of trust.

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The Liberals kicked him out of caucus a long time ago when he was first charged. How come Tory Senators recently charged with criminal electoral behaviour are still in the Tory caucus? Were your holier-than-thou friends not going to set new standards of ethical political behaviour when they took office? What happened to it? :lol::lol::lol:

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Gee, imagine that: a crooked Liberal from Quebec... :roll:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/201103 ... ud-110311/

A Liberal senator accused of misusing public funds and instructing a Senate staffer to cut down trees at his cottage has been found guilty of fraud and breach of trust.

The charges come more than three years after Raymond Lavigne was officially barred from the Upper House.

Lavigne, a Quebec senator appointed in 2002, was initially suspended from the Red Chamber after being charged with obstruction of justice, fraud and breach of trust.

Imagine that a racist Albertan :roll:

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The Liberals kicked him out of caucus a long time ago when he was first charged. How come Tory Senators recently charged with criminal electoral behaviour are still in the Tory caucus? Were your holier-than-thou friends not going to set new standards of ethical political behaviour when they took office? What happened to it? :lol::lol::lol:

Transalation: the HypoGrits are so experienced with crooked senators they have the routine of kicking them out of their ranks down to a science.

Good to know. ^

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The Liberals kicked him out of caucus a long time ago when he was first charged. How come Tory Senators recently charged with criminal electoral behaviour are still in the Tory caucus? Were your holier-than-thou friends not going to set new standards of ethical political behaviour when they took office? What happened to it? :lol::lol::lol:

Transalation: the HypoGrits are so experienced with crooked senators they have the routine of kicking them out of their ranks down to a science.

Good to know. ^

at least they do it;the reformatorts and their Alberta cousins reward the thieves with promotions or soft landings. The Libs have never had a sitting PM or cabinet minister take cash in the PMO office from a crook. The crooked history of the air bus fiasco is still not closed.

I also note that several cabinet ministers are now leaving the new Titantic called Harpercrite before the iceberg collison that is about to happen.

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Oh, what a wonderful state when we compare how much more promptly one party treats the omnipresent crooks than the other.

You miss the point. The CRAP came to office promising to raise ethical standards and accountability in Canadian politics to new highs. What happened?

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Oh, what a wonderful state when we compare how much more promptly one party treats the omnipresent crooks than the other.

You miss the point. The CRAP came to office promising to raise ethical standards and accountability in Canadian politics to new highs. What happened?

SE, Of course they miss the point. Not to miss it means they would have to admit they voted for, and got taken by a bunch of liars ,cheats and crooks.

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many years ago, when i was an idiot, I too voted for a crook who promised to "axe the tax". then he sold a useless piece of property to someone for a big amount.

Too bad you're a socialist and thus obviously don't know your ass from your elbow.

Paul Martin was the reason the tax wasn't axed because when he looked at Mulroney's lies that masqueraded as a budget he needed a different plan. Supporting a party that has never been in power would not give you those insights.

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Paul Martin was the reason the tax wasn't axed because when he looked at Mulroney's lies that masqueraded as a budget he needed a different plan.

Martin was shocked, I mean completely shocked to discover that the Federal government was running a signifcant budget deficit when his party made the promise to axe the GST. Imagine his horror when the enormous deficit was found to be even higher than the shockingly large amount predicted in the budget. :wink::roll:

Although Martin gets credit for slaying the deficit, he never could have done it without the "gift" of the GST from the previous Tory regime.

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Paul Martin was the reason the tax wasn't axed because when he looked at Mulroney's lies that masqueraded as a budget he needed a different plan.

Martin was shocked, I mean completely shocked to discover that the Federal government was running a signifcant budget deficit when his party made the promise to axe the GST. Imagine his horror when the enormous deficit was found to be even higher than the shockingly large amount predicted in the budget. :wink::roll:

Although Martin gets credit for slaying the deficit, he never could have done it without the "gift" of the GST from the previous Tory regime.

And Martin's huge surplus "gift" allowed The Harpercrites to blow our fiscal brains out because Mr. Angry had that money to start with thanks to the Martin Libs. Think of our defict now if Martin had not been a good steward of the economy. Martin is the one who convinced Chretien to keep the tax once he saw the disaster left behind by the crooked Mulroney and his gang of thieves. We are once again seeing a Tory government destroy our fiscal competence like their provincial cousins have done in Ontario under Harris and in Alberta on an ongoing basis.

I was always in favor of a VAT and it was one of the few things I supported Mulroney on. And, BTW the GST file was one inherited from a study done by the Trudeau Liberals as was free trade. Trudeau was too anti US to bother with that issue and had his focus on opening up Pacific trading opportunities.

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We are once again seeing a Tory government destroy our fiscal competence like their provincial cousins have done in Ontario under Harris...

Now that is rich - the huge deficit problems in Ontario lie squarely with two Liberal premiers - David Peterson who ran large deficits even as Ontario was booming and Dalton McGuinty currently. It was Harris who brought a semblance of fiscal sanity to the province.

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We are once again seeing a Tory government destroy our fiscal competence like their provincial cousins have done in Ontario under Harris...

Now that is rich - the huge deficit problems in Ontario lie squarely with two Liberal premiers - David Peterson who ran large deficits even as Ontario was booming and Dalton McGuinty currently. It was Harris who brought a semblance of fiscal sanity to the province.

How did he do that? By starving and almost bankrupting nearly everything the province funded. You well know that. Was it not Harris who sold off the 407 so cheaply that it now has an enterprise value worth about 15 times what he sold it for. Slash and burn is not efficient government.

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How did he do that? By starving and almost bankrupting nearly everything the province funded.

So it was OK for Martin to slash transfers to the provinces to balance his books, but not OK for Harris to follow the lead of the Feds? :?

Was it not Harris who sold off the 407 so cheaply that it now has an enterprise value worth about 15 times what he sold it for.

Agree - selling off the 407 was a stupid short-sighted move by Harris as a way to shore up the province's short term finances. GTA drivers will pay for that folly for many decades. Having said that, part of the reason the enterprise value has gone up is that the 407 consortium has invested considerable sums in building out the road.

Slash and burn is not efficient government.

Not if you believe in big government. Because of Dalton's epic fiscal mismanagement, slash and burn will have to return to Ontario soon or we risk the wrath of the bond markets, which is not pretty - just look at the PIIGs and GB.

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1. martin had restored all those cuts by year 5 of his term after the mulroney fiasco left him no choice. Haris never wanted tom retore anything and effectively wanted to end medicare.

2.Dalton's so called epic fiscal mismanagement also followed another tory disaterous foray into helping thwir corporate friends at the expense of the general public. Dalton's tax revenues will pick up dramatically once the recession is over and things really start moving up in industry.

The 407 fisaco will haunt us for 99 years less the years since they bought. They have financed their capex by raising the KM charges several times. it Probably has/will cost the Ontario taxpayer over $100BB of lost revenue in its useful lifetime.

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An update on this crooked Liberal swindler senator:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadi ... Id=6808510

OTTAWA — A Crown prosecutor is seeking a sentence of 12 to 15 months for former Liberal senator and convicted fraudster Raymond Lavigne.

Lavigne was convicted in March of fraud and breach of trust for misuse of Senate funds and pocketing expenses that were actually run up by his staff. He was acquitted on a third charge of obstruction of justice.

Lavigne, who faces a maximum 14 years in prison, is to be sentenced June 16.

Judge Robert Smith heard more than an hour of arguments on Tuesday regarding Lavigne's fate, with prosecutor Jonathan Brunet citing the former Liberal MP and senator's lack of remorse, his repeated transgressions and the motivation of financial gain as aggravating factors.

"He abused his authority as a senator," Brunet told the court.

Lavigne, 65, resigned his Senate seat 10 days after he was convicted, trading in his $132,000 annual salary for a parliamentary pension that could hit $79,000 a year.

His lawyer spoke of the public humiliation Lavigne has suffered as a result of an RCMP investigation and media coverage.

Dominic St-Laurent recounted Lavigne's upbringing in "extreme poverty" as one of 14 children of a Montreal bread-delivery man. After leaving school after Grade 11 to work, Lavigne became a pillar of the community, said St-Laurent.

He also cited Lavigne's adopted daughter, now 22, who was born to a mother with substance abuse problems. The reference prompted tears from the senator, who was seated in the front row of the court with his wife.

St-Laurent pointed out that Lavigne repaid more than $23,000 to the Senate and that former Tory senator Michael Cogger eventually won an absolute discharge on appeal after being convicted of influence peddling in the 1990s. Cogger was initially fined $3,000 and ordered to do community service.

The lawyer said Lavigne is not looking to be absolved of wrongdoing, but argued a suspended sentence or time served in the community would be appropriate.

Lavigne's convictions relate to improper travel claims totalling at least $10,000 and using his Senate staff for hundreds of hours of private labour on his property.

He faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison for fraud over $5,000, and up to five years for breach of trust.

The former Montreal-area MP was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and sat as a Liberal until Jean Chretien appointed him to the Senate in March 2002.

In convicting Lavigne on March 11, Smith said he "used and intended to use his public office for a purpose other than the public good."

The judge found that the senator ripped off the government by claiming mileage expenses for trips he never took, or trips that his staff took without him.

The judge also found that Lavigne told his research assistant to cut down trees on his property because it was cheaper than hiring a contractor. The assistant did the work while on the Senate payroll.

The judge said Lavigne helped draft letters signed by his staff that said, falsely, they weren't being paid by the Senate while doing the yard work. But Smith acquitted the senator of obstructing justice because there was no official inquiry going on at the time.

Lavigne was barred from attending Senate proceedings after he was charged in 2007, but continued to collect his salary. He also claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel, hospitality, office and living expenses since then.

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A crooked Liberal Senator that stole from Canadian taxpayers finally gets his due:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/pol ... le2063362/

An Ontario judge warned legislators that they face stiff justice if they steal from taxpayers, as he sent an ex-Liberal senator to jail on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Mr. Justice Robert Smith of the Ontario Superior Court shocked former senator Raymond Lavigne on Thursday by imposing a sentence of six months in jail, six months of subsequent house arrest and a $10,000 donation to a charitable cause.

As he laid out the need for jail time in this precedent-setting case, Judge Smith said Mr. Lavigne’s fraud of $10,120.50 was “not extremely large, but the breach of his position of trust was great.”

“A clear message must be delivered that such conduct in high public office is unacceptable. No one is above the law,” he said.

Mr. Lavigne’s lawyer immediately moved to appeal the verdict and the sentence, adding he will seek his client’s release as the legal proceedings continue. During sentencing arguments, lawyer Dominique St-Laurent said Mr. Lavigne did not deserve to “set one toe in prison” for a series of fake travel claims and using Senate staff to cut trees on a private property.

But in explaining why he rejected a conditional sentence, Judge Smith said he could not ignore the fact that Mr. Lavigne “abused” his seat in Parliament and never expressed remorse.

“The position of senator in Canada is one of privilege,” Judge Smith said. “A person in such a position is expected to behave with the utmost integrity and honesty. When that trust is breached … deterrence and denunciation must be the court’s primary focus.”

With little jurisprudence in similar crimes, Mr. Lavigne’s sentence is expected to serve as a benchmark for future criminal cases involving legislators.

“When people are in a position of authority, it’s more serious if they commit fraud or a crime than someone with a job in the private sector,” said Charles-Maxime Panaccio, vice-dean at the University of Ottawa law school. “The standards for these people are higher.”

At the judge’s invitation, Mr. Lavigne spoke out for the first time in the courtroom before receiving his sentence. He stated that in his view, he was not guilty of the charges held out against him. “I do not feel that I received a fair and balanced trial,” said Mr. Lavigne, who arrived at the courthouse carrying a bag of personal belongings.

After hearing Judge Smith’s sentence, Mr. Lavigne muttered: “There is no justice.”

He went on to remove his tie, dress shirt and jacket, before being escorted by Ottawa police to a detention centre. Mr. Lavigne’s wife cried as she watched him leave the courtroom, saying: “This can’t be true.”

Earlier this year, Judge Smith invoked “basic common sense” as he ruled that Mr. Lavigne had to be aware that he falsely claimed $10,120.50 in mileage for car trips made by two of his staffers. Mr. Lavigne obtained the reimbursements, and gave a fraction of the amount to his employees under the table.

Regarding Mr. Lavigne’s sending of a Senate staffer to cut trees on his private land, Judge Smith said Mr. Lavigne used parliamentary resources “for a purpose other than the public good.”

The Crown had called for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months, arguing that crimes by public officeholders should be punished more severely than other similar cases of fraud.

“The difference here is the accused’s position of authority. It goes beyond the amounts involved,” prosecutor Jonathan Brunet said.

In his sentencing arguments, Mr. Lavigne’s lawyer said his client had already repaid $23,000 to taxpayers for the misappropriation of parliamentary resources.

Mr. St-Laurent also pointed out that Mr. Lavigne was one of 14 children living in a “state of misery” after the Second World War in a poor part of Montreal, where he survived by using his wits and being enterprising. Mr. Lavigne became a businessman and then a Liberal MP in 1993 with only a Grade 11 education, moving on to the Senate in 2002.

But Judge Smith was not moved by that argument. “Fortunately, many individuals from humble beginnings are able to succeed in Canada without committing criminal offences,” he said.

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