Degree of Guilt

As the Gomery Inquiry progresses the testimony just keeps getting more and more interesting. According to Kroll Lindquist Avey accountants,
...Groupaction Marketing, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the federal sponsorship program, may have given more than $1.7-million to the federal Liberal party in unregistered donations.

The sum is in addition to the $800,000 that nine advertising firms involved in the sponsorship program, including Groupaction, made in official donations to the Liberals, for a total of $2.5-million over the 10 years examined...

Actually the exact amount of the official donations is $801,627. Throw into the mix the fact our Liberal government understated the true value of the program - the accountants say the figure is $355 million, a full $105 million lower than what the feds claim - and it's certainly not hard to see where the charges of corruption are coming from. And while the accountants haven't been able to determine with any degree of certainty that the $1.7 million went to Liberal coffers, on the surface it's starting to appear as if Montreal adman Jean Brault was telling the truth when he originally made that startling claim.
The 15 payments identified by Mr. Brault include $965,000 to Alain Renaud, a lobbyist whom Mr. Brault said he paid while Mr. Renaud was working for the Liberals. Another $430,000 went to Jacques Corriveau, a Liberal fundraiser and friend of Jean Chretien, the former prime minister; according to Mr. Brault, Mr. Corriveau said the money was for the Liberal "cause," but Mr. Corriveau has insisted he was paid for legitimate lobbying work.

In addition, what I also find incredulous is the response provided by Liberal party lawyer Doug Mitchell,
...said the $1.7-million identified by Kroll greatly overstates the amount of "improper or illegal payments" received by the Liberals.

Greatly overstates the amount of improper or illegal payments. Hmmm. No denial of any wrongdoing. No flat out denial of complicity or direct involvement in criminal behaviour by the Liberals. Just an overstatement. That's like a bank robber on trial for making off with $1 million and his lawyer saying he only stole $250,000! In other words what's being disputed here is not the fact the Liberals are thieves but rather the amount of money stolen. Very interesting indeed.

More reading here and here.

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