Monday, April 04, 2005

The Land of Shifty Canucks

In breaking news you probably won't find anywhere in the mainstream media, Canada's not real big on freedom of the press. Quick rundown, Canada's Liberal party is finding out that containing the details of a gigantic scandal is rather tricky business. It would seem that they've been funneling money to select advertising companies, and said companies do little or no work for their share of approximately $250 million before they kick-back about half of that to the Liberal party for campaign purposes. The obligatory ties to the mob or other organized crime are also involved. In addition, the threat of snap elections to offset any political fall-out was rumored. Fun stuff.

To investigate said activities, the Gomery Commission was created. Almost all testimony heard by the Commission has been made public, but then it was decided to enact a publication ban on the testimony of three pivotal witnesses: Jean Brault, president of the ad agency Groupaction, Charles Guité, an officer of the Public Works ministry who worked on the Sponsorship Program, and Paul Coffin, president of the ad agency Coffin Communications. After the contents of the testimony of Jean Brault was reported by this blog, their attempt at keep a lid on the scandal resulted in threats that any Canadian publication that reported on barred testimony or any website linking to above blog could be held in contempt of court. To clue you in on the imagination of those involved, this quote from Inquiry official Francois Perreault: "We never thought someone would violate the publication ban," Perreault said. "Maybe we were more confident than we should have been." Never thought that someone would find out the details of explosive testimony and then publish it? If you say so. For a rundown of the events, go here(start at the bottom and go up).

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