Editor’s Note: This started out as a humor post, but gets more serious near the end. -tdaxp
Maybe it’s blogophlia, maybe it’s Canuckophobia, maybe it’s realizing that a post as dry as
A political scandal involving the Public Works Ministry, a government effort called the Sponsorship Program, and allegations of corruption in the ruling Liberal Party has Canada abuzz with rumors of payoffs, Mob ties, and snap elections. For the last two years, Canadian politics has been gripped by the so-called â€œsponsorship scandalâ€ â€“ tens of millions of dollars in government contracts which were funneled into advertizing firms closely connected with the Liberal government for little or no work, but with shadowy rumours that much of the money found its way back into Liberal coffers. Prime Minister Paul Martin, himself a Liberal, appointed the Gomery Commission to investigate these charges and determine whether to bring charges against government officials for corruption and malfeasance. (See the blog Small Dead Animals for some excellent background on the case.)
Brault said he met with Jean Carle, a key aide to then Prime Minister Jean Chretien to propose a more direct way of ensuring that Groupaction got a large share of federal advertising dollars in Quebec. Carle referred Brault to federal bureaucrat Charles (â€œChuckâ€) GuitÃ© and told him that â€œthere was room for everybody.â€ GuitÃ© later put together the sponsorship program, in which five Liberal connected firms — including Groupaction — were guaranteed a monopoly on government â€œsponsorshipâ€ advertising (e.g. federal
advertising at sporting or cultural events) and related work. The sponsorship program eventually became a huge slush fund into which over $250 million was poured, over $100 million of which was paid in fees and commissions to these five advertising firms, with little or any evidence of work done or value for money.
In exchange for these large contracts for little or no work, Brault kicked back generously to the Liberal Party, putting Liberal organizers on his payroll while they continued to perform party work (including, at one point, Prime Minister Jean ChrÃ©tienâ€™s brother, Gaby ChrÃ©tien), paying invoices to other companies for work actually done for the Liberal Party, and giving large donations — in cash — to the Liberal Party through Renaud or Liberal Party organizer (and close associate of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano) Joe Morselli.
can lead to this
But I love when something is abuzz in Canada. Particuarly something as atrocious as a blog censorship scandal.
I guess I should say something like how this shows that British authoritarianism still lives in the Great White North, but… it’s just Canadians.
In 80 Days is following the news (HTML code shamelessly stolen):
- Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open
- Adscam Trial May End Publication Ban
- Canadian Visitors Find CQ
- Liberals To Request Standing At Gomery Commission For Cross-Examination
Good thing that could never happen in America.
Update: Max Power tries to change the subject
Personally, I hate how the conservatives are jumping all over this. A liberal scandal is their wet dream. So Iâ€™d just like to say, for the record, that I know two conservatives (elected) that have eaten babies. Sure, the liberals may have spent 1 billion on whatever, but at least they donâ€™t eat babies.
Canada is not a nation. It should not exist as a state. It is an artificial state created by the British to contain America after the Civil War. It is a normally harmless monstrosity guaranteed to create maximal misery for British Columbian, Canadian, and Quebecois citizens. Canada should end.