Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.

Mike Duffy's Lawyer Asks for Quick, Early Trial

Court 'will not allow this trial to turn into a political circus,' says Donald Bayne.

Jeremy Nuttall 16 Sep

Jeremy J. Nuttall is The Tyee's Parliament Hill reporter in Ottawa. Find his previous stories here.

This coverage of Canadian national issues is made possible because of generous financial support from our Tyee Builders.

image atom
Suspended senator Mike Duffy is charged with 31 counts, including fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

One of the biggest scandals in recent Canadian history made its first appearance in court Tuesday, but the man at the heart of the case did not.

The lawyer of embattled suspended senator Mike Duffy, Donald Bayne, appeared on his behalf in the Ontario Court of Justice and asked if the defence could return Sept. 23 to set a date for trial, skipping a preliminary trial.

Outside of court Bayne told reporters he expects the six-to-eight-week court case to prove Duffy has done nothing wrong and didn't rule out requesting Prime Minister Stephen Harper testify in the case.

The push for a quick trial means the case could be conducted during an election year, but Bayne insisted the trial was not political or even personal.

"The very strong judiciary in the Ontario Court of Justice will not allow this case to turn into a political circus," Bayne said. "We certainly don't intend to conduct the matter that way."

Duffy is charged with 31 counts that include fraud, breach of trust and bribery related to his expense claims as well as an alleged $90,000 cheque given to him by Prime Minister Harper's former chief of staff.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Duffy suffering health, money problems: lawyer

Bayne told reporters Duffy has health and financial problems, which need to be taken into consideration and could be the reason for the expedited trial.

One reporter asked Bayne how Duffy could afford a "high priced lawyer" if he has financial problems and asked who was paying for the former journalist's defence.

"What makes you think I'm a high-priced lawyer?" Bayne responded before going inside the courthouse.

Duffy was appointed to Senate as a Conservative on the advice of Harper in 2008.

In 2009, Duffy was found to be in breach of industry standards by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for airing and discussing three "false start" interviews of Stéphane Dion when he was a journalist with CTV in 2008.

Duffy found controversy again in 2010 when he slammed journalism schools for teaching students critical thinking.  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed


The Barometer

Will the BC Conservatives’ Surge Last?

Take this week's poll