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April 14, 2005
It's The Loyalty To The Ex-Employees I Find Touching

Jacques Corriveau took the stand today at the Gomery Inquiry, and despite a haughty manner with the press, painted himself as a rather humble, if cultured, person of good fortune. Apparently Corriveau finds that easier to explain than admitting to any personal relationship with Jean Chrtien, especially as an explanation for the six million dollars in sponsorship subcontracts for which his firm did essentially no work:

Jacques Corriveau had been portrayed in previous testimony as a central power broker who earned $5.9-million in sponsorship subcontracts for which his design firm did no actual work.

The inquiry had heard that his companies paid him $9-million in dividends, thanks to large subcontracting deals with firms involved in the sponsorship programs. ...

"When fortune smiles on you, you don't turn it down," he beamed.

However, Mr. Corriveau denied that he had been a close friend of Mr. Chrtien, leader of both the Liberal Party and the country during that period.

He may have smiled when he said that, but he appeared anything but pleased to be there. He told the inquiry that his main motivation for living was "culture", and spoke of his love for Bauhaus architecture and fine arts. He also talked of travel and business, but curiously demurred when asked about how he combined the two by staying several times as a house guest of Chrtien's. Corriveau said he had only stayed at the then-Prime Minister's house once.

However, the man of culture stumbled rather badly when asked to explain numerous telephone log entries at the PM's house between himself and Chrtien. Corriveau told Justice Gomery that the calls related to the welfare of Chrtien's son Michel as one of Corriveau's employees. "I paid a lot of attention to his son," Corriveau explained, in a bit of an understatement. How big of an understatement was it? It turns out that Michel worked for Corriveau from 1989 to 1991 -- years before Chrtien became PM.

When does a business owner pay close personal attention to someone who no longer works for him? When the former employee's daddy can deliver $6 million in do-nothing government contracts, that's when.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 14, 2005 9:45 PM

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