The Oliphant Commission’s report has been released finally, and the findings in the four-volume report is that former prime minister Brian Mulroney broke his own ethics code when he engaged in inappropriate behaviour and evaded the truth about his business relationship with the disgraced German-Canadian lobbyist, Karlheinz Schreiber.
We have now had a decades-long vendetta by the CBC against Mr. Mulroney that must have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars; a multi-year full-blown RCMP investigation; a drawn-out witch-hunt of a House of Commons committee inquiry into Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney’s affairs; and a two-year $16-million public inquiry—including $1.8-million to cover Mr. Mulroney’s legal fees.
For a total cost to taxpayers of what must surely exceed $20-million, have we got value for money or only the satisfaction of CBC types and some opposition politicians—notably NDP MP Part Martin—parading their moral superiority? I suggest the latter is more likely.
This is one hell of a sum to discover that the former prime minister did not, as Schreiber had testified1, make a lobbying agreement between the two men while Mulroney was still prime minister. And that—according to Oliphant and the RCMP—Mr. Mulroney apparently did not break any laws.
The opposition can paint Mr. Mulroney’s “inappropriate behaviour” in the worst light they can, but that will not make Canada any better a place, nor feed a single child nor make a single Canadian better off in any way.
Compare Mr. Mulroney’s actions (after leaving office) to the fact that former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin presided over a Liberal Party during Adscam and claim to have not know what was going on. Consider that while $100-million2 was being shoveled out the door by Liberals, neither Chrétien nor Martin had a clue what was going on, or so they claim.
1Justice Jeffrey Oliphant rejected Schreiber’s testimony that the lobbying agreement between Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney was made while Mulroney was still prime minister in 1993.
2The auditor general reported (February 2004) that the Liberal government paid more than $100 million to communications agencies for little or no work. As it turned out a lot of this money ended up in Liberal Party coffers and in the pockets of Liberal Party supporters.