Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Martin Exonerated by Nothing

Somehow, I knew "exonerated" would be used in the headline. At least Bloomberg had the good sense to put the term in scare quotes:
Canada's Martin `Exonerated' in Scandal, Gomery Says

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin had no role in an advertising contract scandal that cost the governing Liberal Party its legislative majority last year, an inquiry found, boosting his chances of regaining control in elections planned for next year.

Martin, 67, should be ``exonerated from any blame for carelessness or misconduct,'' Justice John Gomery said in a report released today in Ottawa.

BS. Martin was Minister of Finance. There are only one of two possibilities for the former "Minister of Everything":
1. He knew about the scandal, which is likely since he was the senior Quebec MP and the Minister of Finance.
2. He didn't know about the fraud, and therefore is completely out of the loop and incompetent. The amounts mentioned in Adscam are highly material and therefore he should have known about it.

Side Note: Why is Gomery issuing statements of 'exoneration' for Martin, anyway? Isn't that a bit beyond the mandate of his inquiry?

UPDATE: How do you square Gomery's findings with this, from Norm Spector:
Like all members of the cabinet, Mr. Martin bears collective responsibility for "everything good and bad" (as Mr. Chrétien put it) that the Liberal government did in the 1990s. And, though the sponsorship program was clearly not his baby, Mr. Martin benefited from the majority governments secured thanks to Quebec support.

Furthermore, testimony at the inquiry indicated that Mr. Martin's office sought out sponsorship grants — including for supporters and financial contributors such as former hockey star Serge Savard, who was not a constituent. Indeed, as David Anderson, the minister from B.C., blurted out after a grant to a Victoria music festival was unearthed by the media, all ministers were aware of the program.

Hmmmmm....

2 comments:

Reg said...

The fact he was in Finance is less damning than his vice chair position on the Treasury Board. That's where the terms of reference made the report incomplete to start. Martin wasn't going to let Gomery look into what ministers should've known or done becasue that is where he would have been called into question. Plausible ignorance is everything to a Liberal. Gomery was to look at the actions rather than inactions.

Shamrocks! said...

Reg:

good point. i'd still like to know why gomery is going out on a limb for this guy. Why did he even choose to fully 'exonerate' martin? Makes you wonder why martin was so confident in promising an election after the gomery report was issued, eh?

And as norm spector put it yesterday:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20051031.wxspector31/BNStory/National/
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Like all members of the cabinet, Mr. Martin bears collective responsibility for "everything good and bad" (as Mr. Chrétien put it) that the Liberal government did in the 1990s. And, though the sponsorship program was clearly not his baby, Mr. Martin benefited from the majority governments secured thanks to Quebec support.

Furthermore, testimony at the inquiry indicated that Mr. Martin's office sought out sponsorship grants — including for supporters and financial contributors such as former hockey star Serge Savard, who was not a constituent. Indeed, as David Anderson, the minister from B.C., blurted out after a grant to a Victoria music festival was unearthed by the media, all ministers were aware of the program.

Beyond this, Mr. Martin bears a level of personal responsibility for the sponsorship program, which may explain why his story has shifted on one important matter.

In the beginning, Mr. Martin's advisers said he did not know about the source of sponsorship funding until he became PM in December of 2003. But in his testimony before the Gomery commission, Mr. Chrétien linked Mr. Martin directly to the program when he stated: "During the course of my administration, the minister of finance and I always agreed to set aside $50-million a year for expenditures related to national unity that would be decided upon during the course of the year."

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meet the new liberano boss, same as the old liberano boss.