Harper saves Deloitte auditor from testifying

Conservative Sen. Irving Gerstein delivers his speech and financial update to party members at the...

Conservative Sen. Irving Gerstein delivers his speech and financial update to party members at the Conservative Convention in Calgary on November 2, 2013. (Stuart Dryden/QMI Agency)

Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 5:31 PM ET

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper sided with his Senate foot soldiers Thursday to shield a bean counter with ties to the Conservative party from a parliamentary grilling.

Attempts to have Deloitte managing partner Michael Runia explain a phone call he received from Sen. Irving Gerstein, the party's chief fundraiser, to influence an audit into Sen. Mike Duffy, have failed because of the Tory majority in the Senate.

And the likelihood of Runia ever appearing dimmed further after Harper said the accountants who investigated Duffy have already testified.

"All of them except one - the one his friend Irving Gerstein phoned to try to influence the audit of Mike Duffy," NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said in the House of Commons.

"Why are they blocking Runia if they've got nothing to hide."


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