It was just reported by CBC that Dona Cadman has issued a release in which she writes that she talked with Stephen Harper about the alleged million dollar insurance and he had told her that he had no idea such an offer was made. The release states:
"I recall specifically asking him if he was aware of a million-dollar insurance policy offer that upset Chuck [Cadman] so much."This wasn't a surprise. There was never any concrete evidence saying Stephen Harper knew of the million dollar insurance offer. There is this audio tape of an interview between Tom Zytaruk, a Vancouver journalist and Stephen Harper in 2005, in which Harper says he knew there were discussions over financial offers, but in it he carefully specifies he didn't know the details.
"He looked me straight in the eyes and told me he had no knowledge of an insurance policy offer. I knew he was telling me the truth; I could see it in his eyes. He said, yes, he'd had some discussions with two individuals about asking Chuck to rejoin the party, but he'd told them they were wasting their time trying to convince Chuck."
In the interview audio clip it's clear in Stephen Harper asking, "This is for publication?" he chose his words wisely in that interview. So considering in the tape tephen Harper also makes clear he knew of possible financial offers to Chuck Cadman and such offers would be illegal if they occurred, the fact that it can not be proved Stephen Harper knew of the Insurance policy offer is irrelevant. He specified he knew of financial discussions between Conservatives and Chuck Cadman, that's on the tape, and it is on that point that I believe that the libel accusations against the Liberals will be struck down, as the Liberal accusations are at least partially substantiated.
As for Dona Cadman putting out this release, again this is no surprise. As I've written, she is a Conservative. She believes in the Conservative philosophy just as Chuck Cadman did. She was never against the Conservative Party in giving the interview to Tom Zytaruk, and thus breaking the story of the bribe allegation, all she was attempting to do was to tell Chuck's story and who Chuck was. The principled stance that Cadman took in rejecting the bribe was what Dona wanted to tell, not the negative implication against the Party she is running as a candidate for.
***Update*** As an observer on CBC television just noted, it's important to emphasize Dona Cadman never says the million dollar insurance policy offer never happened. She only says that Stephen Harper said he had no idea of it.