To go on TV and beg for your own sorry ass is beneath a Prime Minister, or at least it should be. Regardless, Martin is history. This is his and Chretien's legacy and saner minds within the Liberal Party (if there are any) will try to distance themselves from this mess the first chance they get.
So on to better news, it seems that Paul Martin's story is getting weaker by the day:
While Paul Martin insists he isn't close to Claude Boulay, one of the ad executives embroiled in the sponsorship scandal, Mr. Boulay testified yesterday that he met Mr. Martin at least twice a week when he worked on the politician's election campaign in 1993.Now I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I'ld remember someone if I 'met' with them twice a week for several months.
Mr. Boulay's wife, Diane Deslauriers, went further. She testified that she saw Mr. Martin daily during that campaign. “At the end, you realize [those campaigning] were a family for 35, 40 days,” she said, adding that Mr. Martin went to her home at the end of the campaign for brunch with a dozen volunteers.
The couple took turns testifying before Mr. Justice John Gomery's inquiry into the federal sponsorship program.
The inquiry also heard an implication yesterday that Mr. Boulay tried to influence the testimony of another witness to hide an alleged secret payment of $50,000 to Jean Charest's Quebec provincial Liberals.
The alleged illicit payoff to Mr. Charest is one of a string of damning allegations of kickbacks, false invoicing and other irregularities the inquiry has been told.
Mr. Boulay's firm, Groupe Everest, received $67-million in federal sponsorship contracts but Mr. Boulay denies he got favours because of his Liberal contacts.
With the scandal threatening his minority government, Mr. Martin has distanced himself from Mr. Boulay and Ms. Deslauriers. “I don't know them well,” Mr. Martin told the inquiry in February. “I don't recall them,” he said when asked whether he had any contact with them from 1990 to 1994.
Wonderful stuff indeed.
You've got to give credit to Paul Martin for one thing though: he's made being a conservative in Canada fun again!