Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Devil's Advocate

So Luc Lavoie is out and NDP spinster Robin Sears is in as Mulroney's spokesman. Not a good sign given how long Lavoie has been spinning for his old friend...

You've got to wonder if this has something to do with Lavoie's comments on the fifth estate special from February '06:

"There never was any money. He's too smart to do something like that. It's just too dummy. It's too damn stupid.

He said it himself under oath. So it would be major perjury, right? A former PM of a country like Canada doesn't go under oath to say something like this. You don't lie about this stuff. To think otherwise is pretty insulting."


Yup. Hard to disagree.


In other news, poor Jean Charest has now been pulled into this mess and the "name that scandal" contest has four finalists:

Airbust
Airbucks
Schreibergelder
Schreiberbriber

While I do love the way "Schreiberbriber" rolls off the tongue, I'm partial towards Airbucks myself.


5th estate Hat Tip: tGPOitHotW

Labels:

14 Comments:

  • Grit:

    Funny that you are one of the only liberals willing to talk about this issue today.

    Warren Kinsella wouldn't shut up about it for the last three weeks and today.....we learn more about his favorite punk song. Why is all quiet on the Liberal front?

    Because Schreiber told the committee in no uncertain terms that Mulroney got nothing from Airbus and did nothing illegal. He even admitted that he never discussed money with Mulroney while we was PM. Ergo, this is about the private dealings of private citizens.

    But, since we must talk about the integrity of the office of Prime Minister - lets have an inquiry about that. Lets call Francois Beaudion from the BDC as a witness and ask him about corruption of power and influence in Chretien's PMO.

    Just playing devil's advocate here.

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 8:24 PM  

  • "Schreiber, freed on bail by the Ontario Court of Appeal, told the Commons committee Tuesday that he made a deal on June 23, 1993, to work with then-prime minister Brian Mulroney on a future project -- but no financial compensation was discussed."


    And with that statement this committee should be adjourned. No compensation was discussed, no assignments were given or taken.

    A handshake agreement to work together sometime in the future. No cocktail napkins covered in figures and signatures just a verbal agreement.

    Time to move on...

    By Blogger conservativehabsfan, at 9:32 PM  

  • Why are you leaving out Glen Murray from the list? According the Globe, he was hired by Mulroney, too, along with Sears and Lavoie.

    By Blogger Kuri, at 9:41 PM  

  • Its over because Chretien and Alan Rock libeled Mulroney.

    The 2.1 million in compensation was just.

    Chretien engaged in a politically motivated witch hunt.

    Once again the Liberals wear this one.

    Stand down, you cant continue losing like this...

    By Blogger conservativehabsfan, at 12:09 AM  

  • Mulroney still took money while a sitting MP.... He didn't take it at that initial meeting, but did before he resigned as an MP.

    As a Liberal I don't think this thing is really worth going after... there's other things the Conservatives can be slagged on. But, some people love politics for the sake of politics (and there still is the ethical lapse of Mulroney taking money while in office... whether that merits an investigation, well I dunno).

    By Blogger Ivan, at 1:48 AM  

  • Please read this carefully

    there still is the ethical lapse of Mulroney taking money while in office....

    Wrong. While ethics is somewhat of a relative term, its quite clear that if Schreiber's testimony were true -- that the money was for future dealings and not current influence on the government -- there is no ethical misconduct. At least not by law and within the scope of the legislation that was in place at the time:

    1) No member of the House of Commons shall receive or agree to receive any compensation, directly or indirectly, for services rendered or to be rendered to any person, either by the member or another person,

    (a) in relation to any bill, proceeding, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, arrest or other matter before the Senate or the House of Commons or a committee of either House; or

    (b) for the purpose of influencing or attempting to influence any member of either House.

    Given that both (a) and (b) do not apply in this case, it would be next to impossible to find Mr. Mulroney in violation.

    Also, its perfectly legitimate and legal for a sitting MP to earn money on other ventures (Paul Martin and Canada Steamship lines ring a bell?) Mulroney could be found to be in violation only if the compensation he recieved was directly related to or influenced by issues before the House at the time he was an MP.

    Don't just take my junior legal opinion though. Almost every expert asked today confirmed the same. (CBC, CTV, The Verdict, etc.)

    Finally - the kicker. Even if the committee found Mulroney to be in violation of said Ethics legislation that existed at the time, lets take a look at his penalty:

    Every member of the House of Commons who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and not more than two thousand dollars and shall, for five years after conviction of that offence, be disqualified from being a member of the House of Commons and from holding any office in the federal public administration.

    How about them apples? So, the committee and Public Inquiry could spend between 5 - 60 million dollars to fine Mulroney a maximum of $2000. Which they can't because he did nothing wrong.

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 2:24 AM  

  • Hmmm, funny how the CONs choir doesn't mention perjury, eh? Me thinks they've forgotten something about Mulrooney taking funds under false pretenses, and while some MPs on the committee have lost part of the focus, not all have.
    And what of their current zepplin's attempt to slide this under the carpet -- threatening the opposition that he could start inquiries into other PMs? Lets not let that rest, even if it sounds like something ol' Jean could have said, but at least with a twinkle in his eye...

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 3:08 AM  

  • I think there are still some lingering questions regarding John A. MacDonald - can't we sort that out first? You know, kind of work our way up the Prime Ministerial chain until we can definitively put to rest some of these demons. Speaking of demons what about King...

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 3:09 AM  

  • ..funny how the CONs choir doesn't mention perjury, eh? Me thinks they've forgotten something about Mulrooney taking funds under false pretenses..

    A couple points:

    1. I think we need to be more informed about the libel settlement and whether Mulroney, as you say, "took money under false pretenses".

    The Chretien government settled with Mulroney to the tune of $2.1 million because they sent a letter to the Swiss which suggested that Brian Mulroney recieved illegal kickbacks for Airbus. Mulroney sued for libel because there was, and still is, absolutely no evidence that Mulroney was ever involved in the Airbus deal. (See Schreiber testimony today)
    Even if the government of the day knew what we know now -- that BM was paid 300,000 by KHS to lobby for an armaments company -- the government's allegation is still libel and slander. No Airbus connection. The settlement stands.

    2. A lot has been said about Mulroney lying or perjuring himself when he said "he had had no business dealings with KHS at the time. We met for a cup of coffee once or twice". Of course, thats misleading but you also have to consider how the question was asked. Mulroney was being asked whether he had any dealings with KHS with respect to the sale of Airbus to Air Canada. With that in mind - Mulroney told the truth. Could he have been more forthcoming? Absolutely. Its pretty slick and cheeky in hindsight. Did he lie or perjure himself? No.

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 3:59 AM  

  • At the risk of becoming extremely annoying, I have one last point.

    Mulroney was paid $2.1 million but he didn't pocket a nickel. It was a direct bill for his legal and PR costs in dealing with the governemnts allegations. To suggest otherwise is dishonest.

    By Blogger Brian Grenya, at 4:01 AM  

  • the Liberals are gonna wear this one.

    The $10 million in grease money to get Air Canada to buy Airbus went to people who could influence the deal.

    That would be Liberal MP's Cabinet members, Liberal bagmen & Assorted fart catchers who were given high paying non job VP jobs at AC when it was a crown corporation and could be stuffed to the rafters with party hacks.

    Follow the money. It will lead to above assorted coterie of Liberals and 99% of them will be in Quebec because Liberal governments put AC HQ there.

    Follow the money . . time for Gomery 2

    By Blogger Fred -, at 11:10 AM  

  • CG, What does tGPOitHotW stand for? Can you clarify that for your readers, whoever tGPOitHotW is seems to have had a lot of Hat Tips in the past couple days

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:34 AM  

  • tGPOitHotW stands for "the greatest political organizer in the history of the world". Just a friend of mine who keeps sending stories my way and demanded that he be acknowledged as such...as you can imagine this individual is very modest and humble about his self worth...much like Mr. Mulroney.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:14 PM  

  • Tories - So Schreiber had no credibility...until he said that he wasn't involved in a kick-back scheme?

    I've never been completed convinced that this needs an inquiry. I think it'd be good for Mulroney to explain why he took $300,000 in cash from Schreiber but this might very well turn into a waste of time.

    Of course, the Liberals have to go after Harper on this - they'd be crazy not to. Harper on the defensive about a quasi-scandal from 15 years ago beats the alternative.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:17 PM  

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