April 9, 2015 8:45 am
Updated: April 9, 2015 8:51 am

10 things we learned about Mike Duffy from his diaries

Suspended senator Mike Duffy leaves the courthouse after the second day of his trial in Ottawa on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


It’s a window into the mind of a man who was once a key Conservative insider.

The Crown released almost 250 pages of Mike Duffy’s personal calendars between 2009 and 2012 as evidence in his fraud and breach of trust trial, in order to prove Duffy allegedly billed the Senate for personal and partisan travel.

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READ MORE: Senate has no rules for primary residence, Duffy trial hears

But there’s a whole lot in there besides his Senate duties.

Here’s what we learned about the man at the centre of Canada’s biggest political trial.

1. He kept track of what happened in Conservative caucus.

While MPs and senators regularly parrot the line, “What happens in caucus, stays in caucus,” Duffy wrote it down. How else would we know that Peter MacKay reportedly claimed to have been set up by a senior Conservative, Dimitri Soudas, on his infamous chopper trip, or that now-immigration minister Chris Alexander got the biggest applause when he was introduced as a rookie MP on Jan. 1, 2011, or that Prime Minister Stephen Harper supposedly doesn’t like Conrad Black?

2. He was sometimes in touch with Nigel Wright.

Duffy wrote to Wright a handful of times after Wright was appointed Harper’s chief of staff in September 2011, the diaries show, on everything from the Conservatives’ new advertising campaign to a CRTC decision, to the “women problem” … whatever that was.

3. He enjoyed Eastside Mario’s.

Duffy meticulously documented his meals, and some favourites include Baton Rouge, the Parliamentary restaurant, Quiznos sandwiches and McDonald’s. Lunch at Al’s Deli in New York, however, served “so so” (sic) smoked meat.

4. He had a drink with Graydon Carter.

On April 1, 2010, Duffy documents having a drink with the Canadian-born editor of Vanity Fair.

5. He pizza-partied at 24 Sussex.

Duffy attended several private events at the prime minister’s official residence, the documents say. “H&M Pizza @ 24 Sussex – Laureen for Ezra Levant,” he wrote on Feb. 8, 2010.

6. He referred to himself as “MD”

Throughout the diaries, Duffy talked about himself and his wife, Heather, in the third person. “MD with PMSH in Cambridge, PMO pays for hotel room,” he wrote on Jan. 11, 2009. Or, on Sept. 13 2009, “MD dinner@ Quiznos.”

7. He made a note about being charged twice to see a movie.

Duffy wrote down the movies he watched, including The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, and while on a cruise, It’s a Wonderful Life. But when he went to see Horrible Bosses on Aug. 3, 2011, he made of note of the fact that he appeared to have been double charged. “H&M Movie – Horrible Bosses (purchase tickets via b-berry; Empire charges twice),” he wrote.

8. He cheered for the Ottawa Senators. The other ones.

Duffy documented the progress of Ottawa’s hockey team, who happen to be named after his profession. They also play in Kanata, Ont., where Duffy owns a home that is at the heart of the Senate expense scandal. “Senators lose to Pittsburg (sic) in Ottawa. Sens elimenated (sic) from playoffs,” he wrote on April 24, 2010.

9. He cared about the weather.

Like most Canadians, Duffy seemed preoccupied with the weather. If it was sunny and 25C, Duffy wrote it down. If there was a blizzard, Duffy wrote it down. “Sunny with high wind gusts & wild surf remains of Tropical Storm Irene,” he wrote on Aug. 29, 2011

10. He had, um, stomach issues.

“MD explosive (Garlic cabbage rolls?),” he wrote on April 27, 2012. Enough said.

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