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December 8, 2005
Harper Calls For Goodale Resignation Over Insider Trading Scandal

Tory leader and PM candidate Stephen Harper called for the resignation of Ralph Goodale over allegations of Liberal involvement in insider trading based on early warning of policy decisions by Goodale. The Finance Minister's office stands accused of leaking information to selected investors in order to allow them to profit off of policy statements before being made public:

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper called today for Finance Minister Ralph Goodale to resign his cabinet post, saying that there is "growing evidence" that there was a leak of policy changes for income trusts that sparked trading in financial markets and that the information "may have leaked from senior Liberal sources."

"I would say that given the revelations we now have, given the information we now know, that in any country, in any other advanced democratic country where we had a government that operated according to normal ethical standards, the finance minister would have already resigned, rather than continuing to deny and stonewall information," Mr. Harper told reporters at a campaign stop in North Bay, Ont.

"I hope they'll take responsibility, Mr. Goodale will step aside, and we'll get to the bottom of this."

Mr. Goodale announced on Nov. 23 a reversal of the freeze of tax rulings on income trusts, but there was a flurry of trading in the trusts on financial markets hours before the announcement. Mr. Goodale has denied any leak, and said there are authorities to investigate such allegations.

This scandal appears to have escalated rather quickly, as opposed to the slow build of interest in Adscam over the past year. Investor's Voice has also called for a public investigation by the Ontario Security Commission in order to restore public trust in the FMO. Diane Urquhart, the investor advocate, appeared on the television show Business Morning to demand an annoucement so that Canadians can continue to have faith in the investment markets (video here). Goodale has denied releasing any information prior to his speech, but market specialists like Urquhart suspect something happened; the pattern of exploitation appears too strong to be coincidental.

At the very least, Urquhart has it right -- Canada needs an independent investigation that follows the money of those who benefited from these transactions and find out the connections of those involved. This could get bigger than Adscam.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 8, 2005 10:31 PM

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