I have recently realized that I have been slacking off on my Canadian political news recently (actually a lot) and since I'm Canadian myself (bet you didn't know that-you should have if you've been paying attention as a regular reader...and your all regular readers, right?)
The reason I don't post more Canadian news is:
a) There are way better blogs than mine on the subject, such as Angry in the Great White North (stevejanke.com
which PETA got a whiff of and thought it was a animal cruelty site...funny.
b) Canadian politics are usually pretty boring unless there's a scandal of some sort such as the 2005-2006 Liberal Adscam. Yes, we had our own ad scam up here as well. Such is the story of the moment. It appears that former conservative P.M. Brian Mulroney is in another liberal-induced kick-back scandal. Just to fill you in, back in the early nineties, Mulroney was accused of taking kick-backs from Air Canada for airbuses that were supposed to go to the Canadian Forces for use in peace-keeping missions. The fact that the following P.M. Jean Chretien screwed the Forces out of the vehicles in his wholesale screwing of our men and women in uniform when he, like Pierre Trudeau before him, decimated our military is another story.
Well, long story short, Mulroney did no such thing. In fact, when he was absolved of all charges, not only was he found not guilty by an R.C.M.P. investigation, he was loudly and clearly proclaimed innocent. However, he did make some money off of this deal, when he sued the Chretien government for libel damages for the neat little sum of $2.1 million in an out of court settlement.
So now the Liberal Party of Canada in all their infinite wisdom and apparent gluttony for punishment, has decided to take the word of a convicted felon (and no, surprise, surprise; it's not even a Clinton) by the name of Karlheinz Schreiber, who is currently awaiting extradition to Germany on charges of extortion, bribery and tax evasion. Not exactly a reliable source. Of course the liberally-biased CBC has already convicted Mulroney of any wrong-doing. It reminds me of how when Mulroney was awarded for being the "greenest Prime Minister in history," the CBC immediately followed up the ceremonies with a concocted story on how he "wasn't really that environmentally friendly," blah...blah...blah.
The Liberals hear a fart in the wind and they think everyone but themselves has stunk up the air.
Now Mulroney is once again being accused of being untruthful. In an attempt to put this to rest (unlikely, considering the vindictiveness of the libs) Mulroney has now himself initiated an official inquiry into the matter.
As for the 1997 libel suit that Mulroney was awarded that $2.1 million from the Canadian government, current Liberal Party leader, Stephane Dion (who keeps losing seats in the Canadian parliament via Quebec like no other has) wants the payout to be reviewed.
In a Windsor Star article, via Canwest News Service from Ottawa by Juliet O'Neill, Dion says the government should start an inquiry about whether the settlement was obtained under "false representation"
He wants Mulroney to explain why he allegedly took $225,000 (who Dion repeatedly claims the sum is $300,000, a claim by...you guessed it, Karlhanz Schrieber) from Schrieber, a "business person who is in trouble with the justice system." That's the way Dion speaks. He says someone in prison for defrauding his own government is merely "in trouble with the justice system." Gee, Stephane, ya think?!
If Dion were to answer me in his own oh-so-broken English, he would undoubtedly say,
"You do not know what you are speaking about." That's pretty much it without spelling his words out phonetically.
Dion also accuses Mulroney during the 1997 investigation of not "[saying] the full truth. He did not say that he received cash."
Um, yes he did. It's a matter of public record and on a video-taped deposition. Dion also wants to know why Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not receive a letter sent to the Privy Council Office by Schreiber containing Mulroney's alleged dealings with Schreiber.
Again, Dion and the Liberals are taking the word of someone who has an unsavory character, to say the least.
The Privy Council has said that is because the letter contained correspondence about Mulroney's legal battle with Schreiber and was not a government matter.
Myriam Massabki, a Privy Council Office spokeswoman says,
"This correspondence from Mr. Schrieber contained letters to Mr. Mulroney and the subject matter was part of a private lawsuit which was before the courts."
So not only does Dion (who's falling so fast in the polls, I wouldn't doubt his leadership would be in danger of being recalled-if we had that option here in Canada) want to publicize private correspondence in a vain attempt to put Mulroney, to wit the entire Conservative Party, in some sort of scandal because of his own bad showing; he wants to engage in what essentially is double jeopardy.
His own party members have trouble supporting him, he's way down in the polls (at least himself if not the Liberal Party) and if it wasn't for the NDP (socialists) and the Green Party (environmentalists) Dion would no doubt be laughed right out of Parliament.
So it's no wonder with men like Dion leading the Liberal Party, Harper's numbers are almost at majority levels and it's exactly why the Liberals, nor the NDP called for a vote of non-confidence to force an election. Or even why the Liberals, even though they clearly wanted to, abstained from voting for the same when the Prime Minister concluded the Throne Speech (Canada's State of the Union address)
Man, I wish they'd just nut up and put their money where their mouths are.
In an attempt to distance the Conservative Party and himself from the German criminal, Mulroney has gone before the House of Commons Ethics Committee and apologized to Canadians for taking money from Schrieber when the disgraced lobbyist was working for Thyssen Canada.
Mulroney has insisted that while he broke no laws or parliamentary ethics rules, he made a huge mistake when he accepted envelopes stuffed with $1,000 bills.
"The feeding frenzy now seizing Ottawa was triggered by a vindictive journalist [Steve Cameron] and a lying lobbyist who was using him as his 'get out of jail free card," Mulroney said.
"When I look back on it today, I realize I made a serious error in judgment in receiving a payment in cash for this assignment even though it was decidedly not illegal to do so. That mistake in judgment was mine alone. I apologize and I accept full responsibility for it."
On the character of Schrieber, Mulroney said,
"We know why I am here today, because of an error in judgment i made 15 years ago while I was in the private sector, out of office. But principally because Karlheinz Schreiber, as you saw last week and again this week, will say anything, sign anything and do anything to avoid extradition."
Now that Schreiber is to face extradition to Germany for bribery, tax evasion and fraud charges, he is indeed trying to defend his actions of black-mail against the former P.M.
Since a May 8, 2007 letter from Schreiber came to light that threatened to expose alleged wrong-doing by Mulroney, Schreiber has done everything in his power to avoid blame in his quest to mislead
the Canadian people, as well as investigators, in his vein attempt to besmirch Mulroney out of pure vindictiveness.
Schreiber has testified that he initially agreed to pay Mulroney [the entire sum of their business agreement] but the payments stopped at $300,000 because he didn't deliver on the work of promoting Thyssen's peace-keeping vehicles internationally.
Mulroney refuted both claims, insisting he was paid three payments of $75,000 each and that he made substantial progress in the promotion of the vehicles.
And because the money was a "retainer" Mulroney said, he did not pay taxes on the payments until Schreiber was arrested in Germany.
As for the phantom letter from Schreiber to Harper, the Prime Minister was never apprised of the situation according to Mulroney.
Schreiber claims that "Mulroney assured me that he raised his case with Harper and received positive signs."
Harper has denied any letter and any such discussions about Schrieber.
"Prime Minister Harper is completely accurate," Mulroney said. "Moreover, he has had nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with any aspect of this in any way. I did not raise directly or indirectly anything relating to Mr. Schreiber, not only with Prime Minister Harper or with any member of the House [of Commons] on either side at any time."
He also denied reports he "skirted" lobbying rules by arranging a meeting between former Industry Minister, Maxine Bernier and Quebecor President, Pierre Karl Peladeau.
Remember, this was all started by a liberally-biased reporter and inflamed by the Liberal Party. So clearly, the smear game does not stop at the border when liberals think they smell blood.
*Source material compiled by Kathleen Harris of the National Bureau.