Sunday, April 03, 2005

US blog may cause snap election - Sponsorship Scandal

April 4, 2005
Blogger busts Adscam ban
Ad exec's explosive testimony posted on American website

OTTAWA -- An American website has breached the publication ban protecting the explosive and damning testimony of a Montreal ad exec at the Adscam inquiry. The U.S. blogger raised the ire of the Gomery commission this weekend by publishing extracts from testimony given in secret by Jean Brault on Thursday.

The American blog, being promoted by an all-news Canadian website, boasts that "Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open" and promises more to come. The owner of the Canadian website refused to comment yesterday.

Adscam inquiry spokesman Francois Perreault expressed shock at the publication ban breach, and said commission co-counsel Bernard Roy and Justice John Gomery will decide today whether to charge the Canadian website owner with contempt of court.


"We never thought someone would violate the publication ban," Perreault said yesterday. "Maybe we were more confident than we should have been."

Gomery slapped a ban on Brault's testimony last week to ensure the Montreal ad exec would be able to find an unbiased jury for his fraud trial, which is set for next month.

Gomery also ordered a publication ban on the upcoming testimony of former sponsorship head Chuck Guite and former ad exec Paul Coffin.

But reporters and cameras have been allowed inside the hearing room as long as they don't publish Brault's testimony until the ban is lifted.

And members of the public have swarmed to the inquiry since Gomery cut off the live transmission, filling a special auditorium.

Rumours have swirled all weekend about a possible breach of the ban by American newspapers, Internet sites and television stations that are outside Gomery's reach.

Perreault warned that even if Brault's testimony has been outed by a U.S. website, it doesn't mean it is now public information in Canada.

"Anyone who takes that information and diffuses it is liable to be charged with contempt of court," Perreault said. "Anybody who reproduces it is at risk."

Sun Media lawyer Alan Shanoff said publishing the name of the blog, the Canadian news site or providing the Internet address could lead to a contempt charge.

Shanoff said American news organizations began breaching Canadian publication bans in earnest with Karla Homolka's murder trial.


"It became very clear from that case that publication bans are very hard to police," Shanoff said.

Shanoff said the Adscam breach would become more significant if Montrealers flock to the blogger's site to read Brault's testimony.

"The information, I gather, is very, very damaging and very prejudicial," he said. "If it's accessed by large numbers of people in Montreal where the trial will take place, it could have a prejudicial effect."

Brault is expected to wrap up his testimony tomorrow, when Gomery will hear arguments from lawyers as to whether he should lift the ban.

Brault's lawyer has asked a Montreal judge to delay the criminal trial until September. That decision is expected on Wednesday.

If the judge agrees, that might allay Gomery's concerns that Brault's Adscam testimony could negatively affect his fraud trial.

Comments from readers of the Small Dead Animals blog.
April 1, 2005 Comments

Robert Fife is now predicting a Conservative Government as a result. This has got to go straight to the top of the Liberal Party for it to be as serious as everyone is making it out to be. But of course, that is just speculation.
Posted by: Greg Staples at April 1, 2005 10:55 PM

Sweet...Instapundit linked it! Looks like you beat me to him.

Posted by: Greg Staples at April 1, 2005 11:35 PM

" The Liberals may try to get an election in before the public learn the details"

Oh no, say it ain't so, Joe, Paul, Jean, Haroon, Thomas (Walkom), Peter (Mansbridge), Neil(MacDonald), Greenspon, Taber, Joe(Red)Green etc, etc,etc - and all the rest of you liberal hacks.

The Lieberals(sic) would never do that.

Let's not forget that the Conservatives are extemists. My gawd, some of them actually believe human life is sacred.

This is the best news since the Iraq election. Now let's hope Canadians are as bright as Iraqis.
Posted by: Terry Gain at April 1, 2005 11:50 PM

How does that apply to any Canadian blogger whose server is not in Canada?
Posted by: Unclemeat at April 1, 2005 11:59 PM

that's all we need: theocon moonbats running canada. fuck it, i'm moving to amsterdam. north american is fucked.
Posted by: Bob at April 2, 2005 12:25 AM

Buh-bye, Bob.

Don't let the door, etc.....
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut at April 2, 2005 12:29 AM


Don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.

You may be a bit surprised when you get to Amsterdam to find that the ethnic Dutch are leaving the country because of the influx of theocratic Middle Easterners. Be sure to send us a report, eh?

Posted by: Mark at April 2, 2005 12:33 AM

Read rumours that testimony involves $3 million in Liberal kickbacks and Mafia involvement. Who knows?

In light of what was going on in the Immigration department and the fast track for Romanian "exotic dancers", I'd be surprised if there wasn't involvement by organized crime. I don't call them the "Libranos" by accident.
Posted by: Kate at April 2, 2005 12:41 AM

Mafia - wow, Canada just gets more and more interesting.
Posted by: Jay at April 2, 2005 01:31 AM

You mean there actually *could* be a level of corruption and mismanagement so bad that the Liberals might be held accountable for it?

Inconcievable. Therefore this must be one big April Fool's prank.
Posted by: Kevin at April 2, 2005 01:40 AM

"NOW DO YOU PEOPLE SEE WHAT HAPPENS WITHOUT HOCKEY??" *Read with anguished Charlton heston voice.
Posted by: Jenn at April 2, 2005 02:22 AM

Could this be a CIA operation to further Bush's nefarious goals? Hmmmm ;)
Posted by: mikem at April 2, 2005 05:04 AM

Let me add these to the pile:
Posted by: Sean at April 2, 2005 06:06 AM

The Canadian electorate will of course yawn and return a Lieberal government of some form, because whatever they may be - swindlers, mafiosos, drug traffickers, and general all-around incompetents - they at least aren't American-lovers, like those baby-eating Conservatives.

I liked professor Reynold's line: "A publication ban. How . . . Canadian." So true.
Posted by: Mississauga Matt at April 2, 2005 06:15 AM

Which link was Professor Reynold's line in?
Posted by: Jay at April 2, 2005 07:16 AM

"Which link was Professor Reynold's line in?"

aka Instapundit
Posted by: blackminorcapullets at April 2, 2005 08:06 AM

Hey Bob. Amsterdamn? Study up.
Posted by: Paul at April 2, 2005 08:16 AM

I'd be a little bit cautious about crowning a Conservative government just yet. It depends on the nature of the scandel and whether it actually does outrage people. Remember the events happened under the previous adminsitration and although Martin was a senior member in the Cabinet, he also did not get along with the Chretien circle. I suspect he can distance himself from it fairly effectively.

In addition, although the PC's and the Reform party are now united as the Conservatives, it would be optimistic to think that they still did not have their differences. Stephen Harper, try though he might, is still not thought of as being a "mainstream" conservative in central and eastern Canada. He is still viewed as a "right-wing" nutbar by a considerable number of people.

There has always been a considerable swing vote in Canada that shifts party allegiences during elections but this is mainly because the Liberal and PC parties were often fairly close on many populist issues. The strong right-wing focus of the Reform Party has always kept that central swing vote firmly on the Liberal side of the spectrum. I don't think that Harper has done enough to appear reasonable enough for a significant portion of those voters.

You still might get another Liberal minority...depending on how the campaign goes and how the votes split, they might even trade up to a liberal majority. How? The Libeals will take the Atlantic provinces, some selected portions of Quebec, the majority of seats in Ontario, a few in Manitoba and Sask., a some of the Northern territories. They will lose in Alberta and BC.

The entire election is frankly dependent on how much inroads that the Conservatives make in Ontario...and as long as they are perceived as "redneck reform party" they won't do well except in some of the rural ridings...If the tories can penetrate Ontario urban votes well enough, they might take a minority government.

That's my two cents.
Posted by: Deano at April 2, 2005 09:08 AM

Just checked my sitemeter - this post is getting over 500 hits an hour.
Posted by: Kate at April 2, 2005 10:16 AM

Somebody, somewhere must have posted the details of what was heard at the inquiry yesterday. It's got to be out there. Someone with access to a server in Zimbabwe or some place like that could not have much to fear by posting it, I'm sure. Send out the internet minions with arm-loads of keywords to scour the darkest corners of the internet. Perhaps one of the jihadist websites would be kind enough to post the details. What would they care? They're already being hunted down by the CIA and FBI. What's a few mounties on their ass for violating a publication ban? They'd probably enjoy outing a supposedly principled democratic Western government as a bunch of lying, corrupt, decadent infidels, don't you think?
Posted by: Homer Bombeck at April 2, 2005 11:17 AM

Deano: Martin may well try to distance himself from the Chrétien inner circle, but he did have this to say in the House on February 1st of this year, under questioning about the Sponsorship Scandal by the deputy Tory leader:

Mr. Peter MacKay: Mr. Speaker, clearly the Prime Minister has more in common with his predecessor than he cares to admit. He refuses to be accountable. He will not even get up in the House and answer simple questions, hiding behind apologists and ducking the issue.
Why is the Prime Minister continuing in the steps of his mentor and being stoney silent on this important issue? When will he end this Chrétien circus sideshow and let the commission get on with its work?

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member talks about having things in common, let us look at what we have in common: the elimination of the deficit and the creation of the national child benefit. Who was the person who said that we would not send troops into Iraq when he was trying to be forced by the Leader of the Opposition as he is involved in that?
Yes, I am very proud of what the last government did and I am very proud that I was part of it.
We will get to the bottom of what happened, which is why we created the Gomery commission.

As I recall, this was followed by thunderous applause from the Liberal benches.
Posted by: Chris at April 2, 2005 02:54 PM

The need to remain skeptical that anything will come of this, electorally, cannot be repeated enough.

When the Lewinsky story first broke out in the MSM, the only real debate among political analysts was over how long it would be before the President would be forced to resign.

Well, okay...there were a few skeptics who thought Clinton would try to hang on even through the impeachment process; but even that scenario was just the delaying of the inevitable, since we were all sure the Senate would drive him from office by a healthy margin if it came to that.

We all remember how that came out.

I don't believe a snap election is the best call for the Liberals, for several reasons; and if they don't go that route, then the key for the Liberals will be to follow the Clinton strategy as closely as possible. It starts with getting the publication ban rescinded--yes, at the Liberal Government's insistence if necessary--and all the goriest undeniable bits out into the open. Then the process can begin of:

a) shrugging off the worst of the provable stuff as old hat, in the past, Chretien's fault, etc.;

b) vigorously denying that can't be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt;

c) engaging in character assassination of all the key damning witnesses and investigators;

d) dredging up choice episodes of Tory corruption, stupidity, and mismanagement--real or imagined--from the past, to get the "everybody does it/they're all crooks/there's no difference really" mantra started;

then e) when the whole affair is well-worn enough to have waned from the shocking to the merely annoying, persuade the public that they would not have to be troubled by this whole sorry, unpleasant mess anymore if they make a point of punishing any politican who keeps bringing it up.

*Then* you're about ready to call that election.

To give it a special Canadian twist, you can try adding f) some deeply cynical backhanded praise of the Canadian political system, where people are sophisticated enough--like the Europeans, and most assuredly *not* like those rubes south of the border--to shrug off episodes like this, because after all, it's just the way the world works, nothing to lose one's sang-froid over.

Goodness, I hope I'm wrong...but I've a sinking feeling I'm not...
Posted by: Kevin at April 2, 2005 11:56 PM

Remember that the Liberals are in a minority situation. They *don't* have a choice whether to call an election or not. If they lose a non-confidence vote it's most likely going to lead to a election.
Posted by: Greg at April 3, 2005 04:11 AM

Martin can't continue to play stupid cause he was front and centre in the Chretien government and he did not resign or complain out loud. People have pointed out here that it has been illusion that he has been seeking the truth.

Furthermore people gave him the benefit of the doubt in the last election that he was 'clean.' Obviously the rotton apples fall close to the tree...

We need to convince the public that it is not only prudent to get rid of a suspicious PM but get rid of a rotten Liberal autocracy.

YES, the machinations run strongly as the liberals try their age-old tricks to maintain power at any cost for their own benefit and for that of their friends only. I see no desire for people to face annother election though to save the slimy liberals.
Posted by: Brian Walsh at April 3, 2005 04:31 AM

As an outsider looking in (kinda, my fiancée is Canadian) the question I have is how much did the $100M support the Liberals got affect the election? Some Canadian Conservatives I correspond with felt that they were going to do far better than what ended up happening. Was this optimism or did all that unknown money have an effect that wasn't predictable? For example, how much did that affect Saskatchewan where the CPC received more votes, but only one seat.

The outside view of Canada is that the Liberal strongholds of the metropolitan centers control much of what happens in Canadian politics. That the Liberals are a minority only because they don't actually "own" the votes of the NDP and the Bloc. Yet those parties cannot be seen to be friends of the CPC. The CPC only got 30% of the vote. Why would a scandal...even if it was directly tied to voters to the CPC? Are there that many moderate swing voters that voted Liberal last election?

Can the type of victory that the Progressive Conservatives had in 1984 be repeated in today's social climate in Canada? It seems to me that the CPC can be vilified in the population centers merely by claiming that "the Conservatives want to turn us into Americans". Unless I'm missing it, I'm not seeing the Conservative figure with the sort of communication skills and charisma that a Westminster type of Parliamentary system requires for sea change type swings.

Of course, all of this is from the perspective of an Okie and could be completely wrong!
Posted by: Quilly Mammoth at April 3, 2005 12:36 PM

Are there that many moderate swing voters that voted Liberal last election?

Yes, the canadian electorate only seems to support the party that gives the most handouts. There was a total collapse and destruction of the PC party a few years ago due to a scandle.

This attitude is more pronounced in the east,ON and PQ, were all politicians have focused due to our stupid political system. The fringes, primarily the west, only determine an election if the 2 parties are so closely aligned it has to be determined out here. The Liberals and NDP take full advantage of maintaing canadian dependency, and the people out east fall for it every election.
Posted by: rob at April 3, 2005 03:16 PM

It's depressing to realize just how much Canadians are willing to put up with in terms of corruption before even _considering_ throwing the bastards out. Even if the evidence includes videotapes of Mr. Dithers handing out bags of unmarked bills, a lot of people are going to try to ignore the evidence. Better the devil you know, and all that.

The Conservatives are still vulnerable to charges that they're religious zealots out to strip away civil liberties and institute a religious tyranny. There doesn't need to be any evidence of anything for a substantial proportion of the voting public to believe it.
Posted by: Nicholas at April 3, 2005 03:40 PM

I was horrified at my manager's knee-jerk reaction last election, which summed up for me, the outlook of your average "educated" middle-class Canadian: "Well, you CAN'T vote for those idiots! (meaning, the extremist, baby-eating Conservatives.) They don't know what they're doing! They'll run the country into the ground! You HAVE to vote Liberal."

This type of Canadian always assumes that I am like-minded. (Isn't everybody, eh?) They take for granted the universality of the Liberal appeal, as if it were a matter of fact, or the obvious choice.

This type of Canadian is reviled when they realize that I am, in fact, a baby-eating Conservative. ("Like, are you crazy, eh?)

And this type of Canadian invariably becomes visibly repulsed, and physically agitated when they learn that I am a supporter of George W. Bush. (You're a fuckin' asshole, eh!)

I agree with the analysis above, in "I'd be a little bit cautious about crowning a Conservative government just yet." Regrettably, I tend to believe that no matter what, the Liberals will always govern Canada.

I wonder about the numbers for western Canada, though. With Paul Martin moving 20,000 Ottawa public service jobs to B.C., he may have already bought the votes that he needs out there. If not, he can always move another 10,000 or so at a time until he has achieved the desired result. All this, with total disregard to the lamentations of the public service unions in Ottawa.

Now, I'm not a real big union fan, but they do have a point in this case; the moves are being dishonestly touted as "moving government closer to the people", when the real motive is in fact, "moving votes closer to the government"

Posted by: Duncan McAllister at April 3, 2005 03:49 PM

The scandel goes to the top, even to Paul Martin. What Canadian trusts their government? There are very few who do, but that's not the issue when it comes to an election in Canada. All the liberals have to do is win Ontario and they have a mjority government again, and to do that, it is really simple.

First of all 90% of all new media outlets are pro-liberal, so they will paint the Conservatives evil and sinister like they usually do.

Secondly, the liberals will get out that little old lady again and say "Steven Harper" and the little old lady will shake in her boots and say on que with her shakey voice; "He scares me."

Thirdly, the liberals will say; "Steven Harper has a hidden agenda." and the people of Ontario will say; "yes that's true, I'll vote liberal." and why? Because the Ontario people are sheepals and will do as they are told by the media and by the liberals.

That's how you win an election in Canada. You keep the provinces divided on western, central and eastern regions, scare the Ontario whimps into useless and blind submission.

In the morning the Ontario people will wake up as from a hang over and wondered why they voted liberal.

So much for Canadian politics. We know our politicians are crooks, liars and cheets. We know they rob the nation blind. We don't need an inquirery to tell us what we already know.
Posted by: Ed Doerksen at April 3, 2005 06:00 PM

hey to all you pessimist out there...remember Premier David Peterson in Ontario in the 1990 provincial election and the slogan of the people "LIBERALS LIE...LIBERALS DIE!!! Look what happen to Peterson...It will happen to Martin and his provincial cousin McGuinty...keep the faith
Posted by: allen at April 3, 2005 08:45 PM

You all bitch that the Liberals will be returned to government no matter how badly they fuck up. Maybe that should show you the agenda of the CPC is greatly out of line with the views of Canadians. Don't blame the voters for the fact that there is not a viable alternative to the Liberals.
Posted by: Bee at April 3, 2005 09:29 PM

Ok Bee,

Your at fault then...... what do you expect when the east collapses into dependency. So what your saying is CPC has to do a give away to the east so they can be elected?

To that I say, how desperate can you get?
Posted by: rob at April 3, 2005 10:00 PM

When will the conservatives ever learn? To me they are incredibly naive to thing that Canadian voters will vote for them just because the Liberals are a bunch of corrupt thieves. The media doesn’t need to portray the Conservative party as loonies, all they have to do is let some of their elected (!) members spout off and anyone with a brain looks for any other name on the ballot that doesn’t have Conservative beside it. I mean come on………does the Conservative party really think that anyone that isn’t religious, white, and straight, not living in western Canada will vote for them? Or those outside of Vancouver anyway. As a westerner now living in Ontario, Stephen Harper and some of his minister strikes fear into the hearts of many. The general opinion is better to pay off Quebec than be dictated to by a bunch of religious zealots. When will the get it that they are the reason they can’t get elected not the media or the stupidity of the voters.
Posted by: semac at April 3, 2005 11:50 PM

The general opinion is better to pay off Quebec than be dictated to by a bunch of religious zealots

Great.... another eastern moonbat that would rather have his pockets picked than opt for change...when are these guys going to learn.

Taxation rates are beyond comparison and they want the corrupt gov. librano's to take more....

Say goodbye to the west, with that kind of attitude there is NO need to be part of Afgan North(Canada)

April 2, 2005 Comments


How is it that corrupt communist elites are ruling Canada, and seemingly entrenched in the job? Canadians need to take a long deep look at their government, their media, and the health of their democracy.

I would love to see a list of these "projects," please. Have you seen a list of beneficiaries from the "Sponsorship" scandal? Innocuous name, isn't it? I guess the "Political Graft" or "Public Fraud" Scandal, would have been too accurate. Is there a list of Canadian MPs, and major politicians with oil and media interests? Obviously, I would like to do some research. Thanks for your post.
Posted by: Tom Penn at April 2, 2005 05:46 PM

The Western Standard did a nice piece a couple of issues ago about Paul Desmarai and Power Corp and it seems that all the establishment, inlcludin Bob Rae's brother is connected with it.
Posted by: Wimpy Canadian at April 2, 2005 08:09 PM

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