First it should be clear all evidence suggesting two Conservatives attempted to offer Chuck Cadman, a late Independent MP who was dying of Cancer a million dollar insurance policy in 2005 to persuade him to vote down the Liberal government, is based on the word of one person, Chuck Cadman's widow, Dona Cadman.
Dona Cadman recalled as reported by the Globe and Mail discussing the content of a soon to be released book by Vancouver journalist Tom Zytaruk that:
". . . her husband was furious when he returned to their apartment. “Chuck was really insulted,” she said in a telephone interview with The Globe yesterday. “He was quite mad about it, thinking they could bribe him"
Now I don't believe this accusation is groundless, that's my belief and it's based on the fact that Dona Cadman is running as a Conservative in the next election in the riding of Surrey North, and thus would have no motivation to lie.
Tom Zytaruk interviewed the only other person identified in the story, a Dan Wallace, Chuck Cadman's legislative assistant, and in response to questions of Ms. Cadman's credibility, Mr. Wallace said, "I believe Dona Cadman as the day is long. She has no interest in fabricating anything." And indeed with a Conservative nominee going against her party and possibly endangering her bid, I would fully agree that she would have no interest whatsoever in "fabricating" such a thing.
Now this story is not completely reliant on Dona Cadman, as Dan Wallace, Chuck Cadman's legislative assistant was with him at the time, however no news source has been able to get a hold of him.
I'm not saying it can be proved that such an offer was made, but I have contacted various insurance companies, and here is one such response from LSM Insurance pertaining to the possibility of offering such a policy to a person with Cancer:
Life insurance would not be available by any of the major carriers in Canada for someone who is dying of cancer.So no medical policy would have been offerred by a major carrier, yet there are some insurance companies that would payout the premium plus interest, and in this scenerio, it could be conceivable that one million dollars could be paid to an insurance company by Conservatives and then in turn paid out to the Cadman family upon his death. The liklihood that Conservatives would pay 1 million dollars to bring down the government does admittedly seem extremely poor, but not imopossible.
Some insurance companies offer non medical life insurance policies where the death benefit is limited to a return of premium plus interest in the first two policy years. However, most of these policies have a question related to cancer.
I am not saying this is the scenerio that took place, I am saying Dona Cadman has the least possible reason to lie and it is possible, though unlikely, for a man dying of Cancer to get a million dollar insurance policy when certain conditions are met. Not to mention when asked about Dona Cadman's truthfullness the only person able to confirm the story, Dan Wallace, agreed saying she has no reason to lie.
I should add that Stephen Harper says there was a meeting between Conservatives and Chuck Cadman and certain offers were posed, but Harper has said no such insurance policy was included in the offer. Now the Globe in reference to Tom Zytaruk's book, "Of the offer to Chuck,” he quotes Mr. Harper as saying, “it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election . . ." Now admitting other parties have most likely done this, I would still argue that even this type of offer is wrong for all parties to do.
So what can be said, is Dona Cadman telling the truth? Did the Conservatives offer such a policy? I would suggest Dona Cadman recalls adequatly what Chuck Cadman told her. I would argue that the two Conservatives in question could not fulfill their offer of such a policy, and merely posed it out of desperation. However such an offer would still be illegal and wrong.
h/t to Far And Wide for bringing this story to my attention