Saturday, January 29, 2005

Martin to Back Gomery

On Monday, lawyers representing Prime Minister Paul Martin's government will argue in support of Judge Gomery remaining in charge of the sponsorship hearings.

Jean Chretien earlier this week argued that Gomery should be removed from the inquiry because of biased statements made this past December. Opposition leader Stephen Harper had put pressure on Martin to defend the integrity of the inquiry.

However, the news that Martin will defend Gomery comes as new questions are raised about Gomery's choice of chief counsel, Bernard Roy. Alfonso Gagliano's lawyer has recently raised questions about Roy's ties to the Conservative Party. Roy served as principal secretary to Brian Mulroney from 1984-'88.

Sadly, recent events surrounding the players in the inquiry have taken the focus off of the facts of the case. The Liberals paid $250 Million for services which were of questionable worth. That is undisputed. Gagliano claims that the money was well spent, a critical part of keeping the Quebecois happy. Even so, this 'scandal' doesn't even compare to similar problems in other countries. The US has given billions of dollars worth of contracts to Dick Cheney's former company, much of it for work that was never done.

$250 Million for a program which some of its architects strongly support. This policy is being attacked by a party which opposes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is in favour of two-tiered health care and is trying to foster a relationship with the American Republican party.

That makes sense, right? It's not just political gamesmanship, an attempt to bring down their opponents. The Conservatives are above that, right? Right?


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