Zytaruk: "I mean, there was an insurance policy for a million dollars. Do you know anything about that?"
Harper: "I don't know the details. I know that there were discussions, uh, this is not for publication?"
Zytaruk: "This (inaudible) for the book. Not for the newspaper. This is for the book."
Harper: "Um, I don't know the details. I can tell you that I had told the individuals, I mean, they wanted to do it. But I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind, he was going to vote with the Liberals and I knew why and I respected the decision. But they were just, they were convinced there was, there were financial issues. There may or may not have been, but I said that's not, you know, I mean, I, that's not going to change."
Zytaruk: "You said (inaudible) beforehand and stuff? It wasn't even a party guy, or maybe some friends, if it was people actually in the party?"
Harper: "No, no, they were legitimately representing the party. I said don't press him. I mean, you have this theory that it's, you know, financial insecurity and, you know, just, you know, if that's what you're saying, make that case but don't press it. I don't think, my view was, my view had been for two or three weeks preceding it, was that Chuck was not going to force an election. I just, we had all kinds of our guys were calling him, and trying to persuade him, I mean, but I just had concluded that's where he stood and respected that."
Zytaruk: "Thank you for that. And when (inaudible)."
Harper: "But the, uh, the offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election."
Zytaruk: "Oh, OK."
Harper under oath: "What I do know is that this answer is not the answer to this question, I think there’s been some editing in this question, so I don’t think it goes from this question to this answer." After the quote, The Star article continues: "Harper insisted in his testimony that at that point in the interview he told Zytaruk he did not know about the offer of an insurance policy. He claimed Zytaruk edited that response out of the recording."
It appears from the tape that Harper did not tell the truth under oath. His initial response confirmed the question. Several statements later he appears to repent that and makes a weasel-statement about "replac[ing] financial considerations he might lose due to an election" but he never denied the million dollar question, and in fact initially appeared to accept it as fact.
As to what exactly the Conservative operatives offered Chuck Cadman, The Globe published this: "Jodi Cadman says her late father, Independent MP Chuck Cadman, told her on his deathbed about an alleged offer from the federal Conservatives to gain his pivotal budget vote and topple the government. ...[Cadman's] wife Dona says he told her two Conservative representatives offered him a $1-million life-insurance policy and other inducements in exchange for his tie-breaking vote against the minority Liberal government's May, 2005 budget."
Some other things to note:
* By suing the Liberals, Harper muzzled them. For example, the Scandalpedia page on the issue now says, "This story has been delayed due to Stephen Harper's lawsuit."
* Journalist/author Tom Zytaruk is a victim of Harper's hardball tactics. Zytaruk said recently, "I was really looking forward to testifying because it's not pleasant to be accused on a national scale of doing something dishonest such as doctoring a tape."
* Bribery of the Cadman family may have extended to his wife. By offering her a Conservative candidacy in this election, they effectively muzzled her as well - at least until the election is over.
See also Cyberwanderer's blog: February 28, 2008 and October 10, 2008.
Listen to the tape here.