Mike Duffy's cousin testifies he sent P.E.I. info to senator
Suspended senator Mike Duffy scratches his head while waiting for his car at the courthouse in Ottawa, April 14, 2015. (JOEL WATSON/Postmedia Network)
OTTAWA - Mike Duffy's cousin David McCabe served as the suspended senator's eyes and ears in Prince Edward Island while Duffy was a TV journalist and when he became a senator in 2008.
"I thought he'd be interested in what's happening on the island," McCabe said Monday as he testified at Duffy's fraud, breach of trust and bribery trial.
"I wanted Mike to be a bigger voice for the island."
In May 2010, a little more than a year after Duffy became a senator representing P.E.I., McCabe received a $500 cheque from Maple Ridge Media, a company run by Duffy's friend Gerald Donohue.
McCabe said it was a one-time payment and he had never heard of Maple Ridge Media before that.
When McCabe contacted his cousin, Duffy told him the payment was for the scanning of P.E.I. news articles and pictures and for e-mailing them to the senator.
McCabe said he had not asked for payment, nor expected it, but when the cheque arrived he cashed it.
McCabe is one of seven witnesses the Crown called who had done work for Duffy and was paid by one of two companies Donohue ran.
Shortly after becoming a senator, Duffy arranged for Donohue's company to get four research contracts worth $65,000 between 2009 and 2012.
McCabe said he had been sending Duffy some news from home by e-mail since 2008.
McCabe agreed with Duffy's lawyer when he said McCabe served as a "pretty valuable resource" for staying in touch with what was going on in P.E.I.
McCabe was in Charlottetown, P.E.I., where he testified by video link to the Ottawa courthouse.
Duffy's on trial for 31 criminal charges.
The trial entered its third week Monday morning.