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4/10/2005

Maybe the Liberals used the gun registry program to siphon money to the party because they never really believed in program

So much for competitive bidding. One thing to keep in mind when reading all these news stories is that Paul Martin, the current Prime Minister, was finance minister for eight years. This is how the gun registry contract was awarded:

In yet another major allegation in a scandal that has jolted the country, former Groupaction employee Alain Renaud said he had the ear of Jean Pelletier, Chretien's chief of staff from 1993 to 2001. Renaud also alleged the right-hand man to former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano personally intervened in 2000 to prevent Groupaction from losing $20 million in sponsorship contracts. The inquiry was told Chretien's one-time riding organizer, Michel Beliveau, was the point man between Renaud and Pelletier, a good friend of Chretien, whenever Groupaction sought more contracts. "I saw Mr. Beliveau call Mr. Pelletier directly in his (Beliveau's) office," Renaud said under questioning from chief inquiry counsel Bernard Roy. . . . Renaud said Groupaction landed the lucrative gun registry contract in the mid-1990s because the firm was close to Jacques Corriveau, a graphic designer and friend of the former prime minister.


The tip of the "The iceberg"


If Adscam was the only problem Paul Martin faced, notes Greg Weston, he'd be in trouble. But things may be far, far worse than that ... Investigations by the auditor general and now the Gomery inquiry point to potentially widespread bid-rigging.


Another description of how the Canadian government operated with respect to the gun registry:

Mr. Brault's description of the Liberal machine at work in the province — wherein businessmen like him greased the wheels of the party with everything from envelopes of cash to bogus hirings so that party faithful were paid as they worked on election campaigns, to completely fraudulent invoices, and who were in exchange rewarded with lucrative contracts that they promptly inflated to make up for the dough they were pouring into party coffers — suggests the federal organization is less a political party than, as Conservative Peter MacKay said in the House yesterday, a criminal organization. . . .

If what Mr. Brault testified to is true, and the offences he alleged are proven (though let us be clear that he did not consider them to be offences, but rather the normal course of doing business with Ottawa), then the party would surely be a contender for the criminal organization label. . . .

This, of course, is the same Department of Justice that got into advertising for the first time in a big way, Mr. Brault testified, with the advent of the inept and ineffective boondoggle that became the billion-dollar federal gun registry. . . .

By 2001, that same contract was soon due for renewal. “We were at the crossroads,” Mr. Brault said. “There was uncertainty in the air, pressure from other agencies.” By then, happily for him, Mr. Brault had agreed to pay a monthly salary, in cash, for Liberal fundraiser Buryl Wiseman, the first instalment of which he said he handed over to another party fundraiser, Joe Morselli, over lunch in Montreal's Little Italy.

So, a few months later, still fretting about that unresolved gun-registry contract (God forbid it would have been put out for a real tender), he was splendidly positioned to ask Mr. Morselli for a return favour. He told him, he said, that he wanted the contract extended until mid-2002, or, as Mr. Brault put it, “I had suggested $100,000 if the competition was sidelined . . . if it's delayed, it's worth $100,000 to me.” . . .


bold emphasis added.

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