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May 5, 2005
Liberals In Quebec: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

The Globe and Mail reports today that Liberal Party activists channeled over $300,000 in illegal cash drawn from Adscam sources into electoral efforts in Quebec. An upcoming Gomery witness has indicated that the money came from Chrtien crony Jacques Corriveau, a familiar power broker in the Sponsorship Program scandal:

Senior Liberal organizers allegedly showered about $300,000 in cash on Quebec ridings held by the opposition during the 1997 federal election campaign, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Michel Bliveau, a close supporter of former prime minister Jean Chrtien, made the allegation in preliminary interviews with members of the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship program.

Mr. Bliveau is scheduled to testify today about allegedly receiving the cash from Jacques Corriveau, another Liberal supporter and close friend of Mr. Chrtien, who got millions through the sponsorship program in the 1990s.

The testimony would be the first by a Liberal official describing illicit cash transactions in contravention of Canada's electoral laws. It builds on allegations from Jean Brault, former president of Groupaction Marketing Inc., who told the inquiry of secret payments to Liberal officials in the 1990s and early 2000s -- including payments to Mr. Corriveau he was told were "for the cause."

If Bliveau testifies as predicted, it will mark the first real threads of electoral fraud perpetrated by the Liberals through the Adscam monies. So far, the Gomery Inquiry has documented plenty of personal enrichment at the expense of the Canadian taxpayers, and even Liberal Party featherbedding at favored ad agencies, but this will demonstrate that the primary purpose of Adscam was to get unregulated cash into the hands of Liberal Party leaders in order to gain an unfair, and unregulated, advantage over the other parties.

Bliveau's recollection that he received the money from Corriveau and from provincial Liberal minister Marc-Yvan Cote makes it more difficult for Martin to pretend that a small, breakaway contingent of Liberal ministers created the entire Adscam issue. That cash went directly to ridings in Quebec held by other parties and which chronically ran short on cash for the Liberals. The sudden infusion of a large amount of money had to be noticed by many within the party structure, especially since funds weren't coming from any other source. That would appear to implicate a large portion of the Liberal Party in Quebec with responsibility to keep the books for election contributions and outlays, and not just a couple of renegade Grits playing cowboy.

The picture keeps getting more focused even as the conspiracies continue to widen.

UPDATE: Had to fix the title -- I used the second person plural conjugation for 'rouler' instead of the infinitive. Thanks to CQ reader Mitch for reminding me of my high-school French. Carol Stein Armstrong, my late and much-respected Frech teacher, thanks you as well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 5, 2005 12:51 PM

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» Final Witness Phase of the Gomery Inquiry from Angry in the Great White North
We're in the home stretch. Now that Chuck Guite has finished testifying, we're down to the last 17 witnesses, who will cover "facts pertaining to Liberal Party of Canada and/or Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec)". Here is your program. You... [Read More]

Tracked on May 5, 2005 1:41 PM

» Canadian Adscam Scandel: $300,000 in Cash Goes to Liberal Party? from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
The Globe and Mail reports today that $300,000 in cash has gone from Adscam sources to Liberal Party electoral efforts: Senior Liberal organizers allegedly showered about $300,000 in cash on Quebec ridings held by the opposition during the 1997 fe... [Read More]

Tracked on May 5, 2005 7:24 PM

» Liberal Party worker admits to wrongdoing -- not his first time? from Angry in the Great White North
Despite his teary testimony, this is not the first time Michel Béliveau has been caught up in a Liberal Scandal. [Read More]

Tracked on May 6, 2005 11:55 AM



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