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    Friday, April 08, 2005

    Publication Ban Lifted on Sponsorship...

    Well now, it seems the ban has been lifted (probably due to bloggers getting the message out anyhow)... so there is more juice coming from the Captain's Quarters :)

    Publication Ban Lifted

    Justice John Gomery has lifted the publication ban on Jean Brault's testimony, allowing the Canadian media to finally report the testimony to the Canadian public. As CTV demonstrates in its data-dump format, the facts as presented by CQ's source stand up very well against the revelations possible now that the media has been unleashed:

    Brault claims in his testimony that he systematically kicked back huge amounts of taxpayer money to the federal Liberal party, a deception he claims involved senior Liberal organizers and people close to former prime minister Jean Chretien.

    His testimony detailed secret meetings, phoney paper trails, envelopes stuffed with cash and bogus billings.

    * He said there were phoney employees on the payroll at the ad firm Groupaction.
    * Brault said there was $1 million in kickbacks to the Liberal Party of Canada.
    * His reward, he claims, was $172 million in government business for his firm.

    It was always the same story, he told the commission. The Liberal Party needs money. If you want the business, you have to pay.

    Brault says most of the kickbacks were cash; that's the way his Liberal handlers wanted it. Simply, he said, so it couldn't be traced.

    On one occasion, Brault says he handed $25,000 in cash to Joseph Morselli, a top organizer for former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano.

    Brault wanted the bidding for some ad contracts with the justice department delayed. He says Morselli told him the delay would cost $100,000.

    The first payment was $25,000, dropped off at a fundraiser for Gagliano, at a restaurant in Montreal's east end.

    Brault claims he also put at least five Liberal party workers on Groupaction's payroll. They were paid with sponsorship money to do work for the party.

    Other Liberals allegedly got cheques too, disguised as consulting fees, for doing nothing. One of them was Jean Chretien's brother, Gaby.

    Brault claims Chretien handed $4,000 to a Liberal candidate.

    Brault says Liberal fundraiser Alain Renaud got $63,000, also for doing nothing.

    It was clearly, Brault says, a donation to the Liberal Party.

    And then, there's Jacques Corriveau, a confidant of former prime minister Jean Chretien.

    Brault paid Corriveau's firm nearly $500,000, for no work at all.

    He says Corriveau wanted the money for the Liberal party.

    Under cross examination, a lawyer for the Liberals suggested Brault didn't really know if some of his payments ended up in Liberal coffers. Brault agreed with that, saying 'You're right."

    Well, perhaps the attorney representing the Liberals on the cross-examination felt he scored a point. However, when political appointees demand cash from a government contractor, either the money is for themselves or their party -- and either way, it's corruption.

    Justice Gomery only partially lifted the ban, leaving some question whether the ban would continue for Chuck Guité and Paul Coffin. If it does and my source can still produce information on the ongoing testimony, I will continue to publish it here. My hope will be that Justice Gomery realizes that publication bans do nothing but damage public confidence in the government's ability to police itself and hold itself accountable to the electorate. We'll see soon enough if that lesson has sunk in with Justice Gomery.

    It's funny you know. I voted for these guys and I would likely vote for them again. It really goes to show the integrity of not the Liberals (who are under fire for this) but politics in Canada as a whole. I would rather have a bunch of lying cheaters in power than, well, a bunch of lying cheaters :D Maybe I am too cynical.

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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