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CBC readers react to ex-Harper aide's influence peddling charge

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Bruce Carson, seen here in 2008, has been charged with influence peddling. The former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Sept. 10 in Ottawa. (Jake Wright/The Canadian Press)

The RCMP have charged Bruce Carson, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former senior advisor, with one count of influencing peddling - the result of an investigation that began in March last year.

Carson, who has a history of financial problems and fraud convictions, is alleged to have "accepted a commission for a third party in connection with a business matter relating to the government," the RCMP stated Friday.

Harper maintains that he didn't know the extent of Carson's criminal record or that Carson had received court-ordered psychiatric treatment before working for him.

Several CBC readers expressed concern over how a person with Carson's history was able to make it into Harper's trusted inner circles.

  • "Kind of hard to believe that with a criminal record it would be almost impossible to get a government job but under Harper somehow you can wind up working in the PMO." - Scribblezzzzz
  • "Carson has a long history, going back to the 80s, for this type of behaviour and has faced charges in the past which also included losing his law designation . . . When this initially surfaced Harper denied knowing anything about these past events. I'm sorry but my intelligence can't be insulted that easily. Your basic security check would have shown this and I would hope, at the level Carson was working, that there is more than a basic security check." - Twiens
  • "Very poor judgement by Harper. He either didn't check this guys background or he didn't care." - Al Bertan

Others pointed out that the investigation was sparked by a referral from within the Prime Minister's Office and that other conservative officials have expressed concern.

  • "Give it a rest, they found they had hired someone crooked and called the RCMP. There is no scandal here. They may have erred in hiring him, big deal, are you going to tell me no other government has ever made hiring mistakes?" - BillyBlues
  • "Outraged by what? That someone [allegedly] broke the law and got charged for it? I'm quite happy about that (getting charged, that is)." - Marc P

Many said Canadians of all stripes should be concerned about the allegations, and to remember that the legal process has yet to run its course.

  • "Not trying to diminish the seriousness of this, but this type of crap isn't limited to just Conservatives. The desire to lie and cheat and steal seems to be a genetic trait amount politicians." - Al Bertan
  • "It's sad that there are those that continue to demand that everything be 'left or right', when the real concern is having an influence peddling charge be placed against someone in the PM's own inner circle. This is about corruption within the PM's own office. A man hand-picked and directly appointed by the PM. This is way more important than simply 'left or right'. All Canadians should be outraged despite any political leanings." - stopnthink eh

Thank you, as always for following our coverage. Please feel free to comment or challenge any of these points and continue the conversation below.

Tags: Politics

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