Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Liberals set the mark for corruption (Canada's Drift Toward Banana Republic Status)
EDMONTON JOURNAL (Canada) ^ | Sunday, March 20, 2005 | Lorne Gunter

Posted on 03/20/2005 8:17:48 AM PST by GMMAC

Liberals set the mark for corruption
Gomery Inquiry shows this government even worse than Divine's in Saskatchewan

Lorne Gunter
The Edmonton Journal
Sunday, March 20, 2005

I used to think the Saskatchewan government of Grant Devine was the most corrupt in modern Canadian history. Now I'm not so sure.

Since moving to Montreal last month, the judicial inquiry into the Liberals' sponsorship program, headed by Justice John Gomery, has uncovered a networkof corruption so vast it tainted nearly every aspect of Ottawa's operations in Quebec in the 1990s.

I'll admit it's hard to beat the Devine government. In their scandals (which mostly involved faking government travel claims and diverting the proceeds to party coffers and private accounts), 21 Tory MLAs or staff members were charged and 16 convicted. Four people served jail time, including the former deputy premier. And the Saskatchewan Conservative party was forced to disband in disgrace.

But consider what Gomery has learned about the Liberals so far. Between 1994 and 2000, Ottawa, among other things, used the Business Development Bank of Canada -- a supposedly arms-length Crown corporation -- to funnel payments to a government-friendly television production company. Ottawa would pay the BDC hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the bank would pass the money on to the producers so it was harder to trace the money back to the government.

This is the same federal bank pressured by then-prime minister Jean Chretien to lend more than half a million dollars to an associate of his in an unrelated Quebec scandal -- the Grand-Mere affair. The Chretien associate did not qualify for the loan, but Chretien wanted the bank to give it to him so he could keep open a hotel he owned next to a golf course Chretien owned. Under direct pressure from a prime minister, the bank relented.

The Gomery commission has also heard of double-billing, over-billing, fake billing, expensive gifts, lavish trips, and even a "cigar club." It's bad enough the Adscam conspirators were bilking Canadian taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars (the sums in Devine's scandals pale by comparison), and diverting that money into Liberal campaigns, Liberals' friends' pockets and near-useless flag-waving events, they were also living large on the taxpayers' dime while plotting their schemes.

Monthly, sponsorship players from within the Liberal government, the senior bureaucracy and Crown corporations would meet at fancy restaurants and private clubs in the Ottawa area to decide who got how much from the sponsorship scandals. While determining which friendly ad agencies to bestow commissions on and which events to grant funds, the Adscammers would eat multi-course gourmet feasts, smoke Cuban cigars and down expensive wines -- all on our tab, too, symbolically laughing at Canadians behind their backs.

Quebec ad agencies used third-party companies to channel huge donations to the Liberal party and to prominent Liberal candidates. Others pressured employees to donate. Still other executives made employees contribute, then reimbursed them from company funds. Sponsorship contracts were dangled in front of ad executives as carrots for giving money to the Liberal Party. How could they resist? Forty percent "commissions" were common under the sponsorship scheme simply for passing on federal funds to real (if worthless) events.

One executive, Jean Lafleur, handed out $31 million in federal cash over six years, of which he and his family were allowed to pocket $12 million personally. Gilles-Andre Gosselin dispersed $20 million and kept $8 million in just two years. In perhaps the most incestuous Adscam deal, Lafleur hired the minister who created Adscam, David Dingwall, to lobby the federal cabinet to give more money to VIA Rail, itself an Adscam player and recipient. In a twist of intrigue worthy of Kafka, sponsorship monies were paid to a sponsorship ad agency to pay the sponsorship program's founder to lobby the source of sponsorship cash -- Ottawa -- for even more sponsorship money for a Crown corporation that was already dispensing buckets of sponsorship cash. Over just seven months, Dingwall received $133,500 from Lafleur ($19,000 a month).

There was even a half-million-dollar annual slush fund established within the sponsorship program to fund events primarily in Chretien's riding and the riding of Alfonso Gagliano, who replaced Dingwall as Adscam minister.

And don't forget, while all this was going on, the HRDC scandal was also unfolding. Ottawa pumped more than $300 million in job-creation grants into Quebec in 1996-97 and set up what has been described as a "parallel, private government" to administer it. Before any Quebec company received HRDC funds, its request had to be vetted by Liberal party officials and riding executives. At one point, a Liberal party staffer was placed within the Quebec regional office of HRDC to review all job-creation funds.

And all of that was on top of Grand-Mere and the grants and "loans" to Ottawa-favoured companies such as Bombardier and on top of the normal patronage orgy -- the appointments to federal boards and courts, the awarding of federal contracts, the subsidizing of local construction and so on.

Not even at its most active and most arrogant was the network of corruption within the Devine government in Saskatchewan even a shadow of the web the Liberals wove within Quebec before and after the 1995 Quebec referendum.

Their excuse has always been that it was about saving the country. Nonsense, it was all about enriching themselves and their friends.

© The Edmonton Journal 2005

TOPICS: Canada; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: canada; corruption; liberals

1 posted on 03/20/2005 8:17:49 AM PST by GMMAC
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Former Proud Canadian; Great Dane; Alberta's Child; headsonpikes; coteblanche; Ryle; ...


2 posted on 03/20/2005 8:18:47 AM PST by GMMAC (lots of terror cells in Canada - I'll be waving my US flag when the Marines arrive!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Careful Canadian Libs, there is a FReeper revolution underway there. You are about to get the ZOT.

3 posted on 03/20/2005 8:20:51 AM PST by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Make that an Islamic terrorist cradling Banana Republic.

4 posted on 03/20/2005 8:26:32 AM PST by Patti_ORiley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Why are people such greedy theives? I may disagree with Liberals, but crooks like these folks belong in jail.

5 posted on 03/20/2005 8:31:51 AM PST by jocon307
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jocon307

If you don't really believe in anything, you might as well just steal all the money. There's nothing else left.

6 posted on 03/20/2005 8:40:05 AM PST by proxy_user
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

The Liberal Party of Canada may well be the most successful criminal gang in history - unlike the Bolsheviks or the Sicilian Mafia, they learned how to change capos without bloodshed, using the extensive patronage treasure looted from taxpayers to salve their wounds.

Canada needs a Rebellion, again. ;^)

7 posted on 03/20/2005 8:49:35 AM PST by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

The Liberals are no longer the party of French speaking Canada. They'll be lucky to retain their minority Anglophone ridings in the Province next election. What the Gomery Inquiry has revealed is a portrait of a party less interested in keeping the country together than in feathering its own pockets. If the Liberals lose the next federal election, that would be coming none too soon. Life has a way of catching up with folks who commit criminal acts out of alleged high-minded principle. Its telling the people of Sakatschewan have been saddled with the socialist NDP as a result of the Conservatives' corruption. The people of Canada won't see the federal Liberals forced to disband in complete disgrace even though it would be in the country's best interests.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
8 posted on 03/20/2005 8:52:07 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Patti_ORiley

get real.

9 posted on 03/20/2005 10:00:53 AM PST by albertabound (It's good to beeeee Albertabound.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

Wow! I read homepages as a sort of hobby. I must've read a thousand of those suckers . . . yours is most definitely in the top two or three that I've ever seen!
10 posted on 03/20/2005 10:33:46 AM PST by geedee (You're a Patriot when a half-masted Old Glory makes you grieve, and Old Hillary makes you heave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: add925
Careful Canadian Libs, there is a FReeper revolution underway there. You are about to get the ZOT.

The ZOT? From who?

JimRob, Meekie?


11 posted on 03/20/2005 3:41:51 PM PST by fanfan (" The liberal party is not corrupt " Prime Minister Paul Martin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: fanfan
Oh DUH! Just read your post again.


*shrinking into chair*

12 posted on 03/20/2005 3:47:32 PM PST by fanfan (" The liberal party is not corrupt " Prime Minister Paul Martin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

When I visited Ottawa on vacation a few years back I was stunned by the way government officials talked about Quebec.

They had that condescending affirmative action mentality that reminded me of the way Democratic pols in the US treat blacks.

I guess they were hiding something. :-)
13 posted on 03/20/2005 3:49:42 PM PST by cgbg (Fire the Trustees of the Social Security Trust Fund with no money in it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson