of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is a small-town paper. Its faults would lie in the direction of being too kind to locals, not hard-hitting enough. Perhaps that's how Guardian
journalist Shane Ross was able to get published
a very funny article about his efforts to question embattled Prince Edward Island Senator Mike Duffy
about, well, his claim to be
a Prince Edward Islander. None of Duffy's neighbours
in his claimed primary residence of Cavendish have seen him. Apparently he rents a second home in Charlottetown
in winter. (Apparently.)
“In the winter, I live in town because the road in Cavendish is blocked,” Duffy said yesterday — Islander Day — at the airport, moments after landing on the 5:34 flight from Ottawa.
I had gone to the airport to meet Senator Duffy, hoping to solve this mystery once and for all. He has taken a pounding by the national and local media and in letters to the editor over whether it is appropriate that he claim more than $33,000 in out-of-town living expenses when his primary residence, it would appear, is in Kanata, down the road from where the NHL’s Ottawa Senators also play.
But Mike — he told me to call him Mike — has not liked to talk about it. At an event in Halifax on Feb. 5, he cleverly dodged reporters by slipping through a hotel kitchen.
Luckily for me, his flight Monday night was delayed a half-hour, and that gave me time to scout out the airport for possible escape routes. Given Mike’s MO, the first place I checked out was Budley’s, the airport restaurant, where the daily special was a pulled pork sandwich and fries for $9.49. There appeared no easy route through the kitchen. He would have to hop the counter. That was out.
Next, I checked the conveyor belt. I always wondered where it led to. Your luggage goes through the black curtains and back around the other side. Was this a possible escape? I think I’ve even seen Shaggy and Scooby pull it off, but a senator surely wouldn’t go unnoticed.
Then I asked a cab driver if — just sayin’ — a really important person wanted to get off the plane and avoid walking through the departure area with the rest of the passengers, could it be done? The cab driver assured me no, unless there was a car waiting for him on the tarmac.
But there was no car. Mike arrived with the rest of them.