Saturday, January 07, 2006

Option Canada documents were left "next to dumpster"

From the Montreal Gazette:

Canada's auditor-general did not make much headway in the case. Neither did Quebec's chief electoral officer.

But the secret of how a shadowy federalist group, Option Canada, spent $4.8 million in the lead-up to the 1995 referendum might lie in a box of documents found near a Dumpster at a suburban shopping mall in the fall.

On Monday, Quebec writers Normand Lester and Robin Philpot plan to publish a new book, Les secrets d'Option Canada, that details the information found in that box and also includes copies of the papers.

"We obtained all the accounting documents of Option Canada," Philpot said yesterday. "We decided (the book) is best way to make things known."

The authors would not reveal who left the papers near the Dumpster.

They wouldn't even say in which suburb they were found.

Lester has said he obtained them by promising to use them for journalistic purposes, after which he would turn them over to Quebec's chief electoral officer for investigation. He said he will protect his source.

Lester did not return phone calls yesterday, but in an editorial on CKAC radio he promised "plenty of revelations."

Questions about the money given to Option Canada before the 1995 sovereignty referendum have been floating around for 10 years, since Gazette reporter Claude Arpin broke the story of the group's existence and funding. Although the original amount given to Option Canada has been reported as $4.8 million, a press release announcing Monday's launch says the new book will show it was actually $5.2 million that was spent.

"At last we know where all the money went, almost down to the penny, and it will be in the book," Lester said.
Damn! Should have learned French at school!

Previous articles about: Option Canada
Option Canada update
Significance of Option Canada scandal
Yet another Liberal scandal: Option Canada

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