Saturday, January 07, 2006

Borque: Pettigrew involved in Option Canada scandal

Update below:


Pierre Pettigrew, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Montreal-area MP, is under fire today in a published report saying he received thousands of dollars from the shadowy federalist agency Council for Canadian Unity, better known for its tenuous links to Option Canada, now the subject of an embarrassing election-time RCMP probe. Pettigrew, who confirms he worked as a "consultant", claims he had no idea how the agency was financed. "Let's be clear. I had a client. What it did with my reports, I have no idea. How it was financed, I have no idea." Developing.

"I have no idea". Finally, a Liberal tells the truth.

UPDATE: The Globe & Mail:
The Globe and Mail reported Saturday that a new book on Option Canada will report that a current cabinet minister received $12,000 from the group.

But yesterday morning, Liberal Leader Paul Martin identified Mr. Pettigrew as the minister in question. And Mr. Pettigrew convened a snap press conference to say that as a private consultant he had billed $12,000 to the Council for Canadian Unity, not Option Canada, in 1995.

Despite reviews in 1997, internal government auditors nor then-Auditor General Denis Desautels were never able to determine how Option Canada spent $4.8-million Heritage Canada grants issued just before the 1995 referendum campaign.

But the Liberal government closed the case and did not reveal spending details.

Option Canada was secretly formed in September, 1995 by leaders of the Council for Canadian Unity, an organization whose charitable status prevented from taking part ion political campaigns.

Mr. Pettigrew said it was the Council, not Option Canada, who hired him to analyze the impact of Quebec separation on industry in the province.

"My client was the Council for Canadian Unity," he said.

"My work was analysis. For example, I did reports on the impact of Quebec independence on certain industrial sectors."

Previous articles about: Option Canada
Option Canada documents were left "next to dumpster"
Option Canada update
Significance of Option Canada scandal
Yet another Liberal scandal: Option Canada


At 2:08 PM, Blogger TheTorontoTory said...

Come join the Tories in Toronto blogroll and show Canada that Toronto has a right and is not totally filled with kooks.


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