Friday, January 06, 2006

Significance of Option Canada scandal

The amount of money involved in the Option Canada scandal is, relatively speaking, piddling. $4.8 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the amounts involved in other Liberal scandals. Even more so, when you consider that the RCMP is focussing in on a mere $300,000.

Of course, it says something when such a statement can be made. However, the real significance of Option Canada is that it demonstrates a close link between Paul Martin and the misuse of taxpayer funds.

At Stephen Taylor' site, this close link is summarised affectively in one paragraph:

Claude Dauphin was a Quebec Liberal MNA for the riding of Marquette in 1981 and was re-elected in 1985 and 1989. He served as an MNA until 1994. In 1995 he was the president of Option Canada. He was the chief Quebec advisor to Paul Martin when the current Prime Minister was Minister of Finance in 1997. In 2001, Dauphin was elected as a city councillor in Lachine and currently serves as the Montreal borough's mayor after he was elected in November 2005.
It would appear that Option Canada was nothing more than a shell company, utilized so that the thinktank Council for Canadian Unity could keep its tax-exempt status. Francois Casgrain, Quebec's chief electoral officer commented:

One cannot help but wonder whether Option Canada was ever in fact operational, instead of merely a bogus firm ('une compagnie bidon') whose sole purpose was to assume (referendum) expenses already incurred by the Council for Canadian Unity, thereby providing the accounting loophole that would calm Revenue Quebec and Revenue Canada."
One wonders how the Liberals ever thought that they could get away with this. Did they think that they could blindside Revenue Canada and Revenue Quebec auditors? How were they going to deal with the auditors for CCU? In fact, who were the auditors for CCU?

Once again, the more you read about the Liberal scandals, the more you get the feeling that what has been uncovered so far is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Previous articles about: Option Canada scandal
Yet another Liberal scandal: Option Canada


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