On the Farm

On the Farm

Friday, January 11, 2008

An invitation to appear

My e-vite from the Commons Ethics Committee arrived yesterday:

Good Afternoon Ms. Cameron,
I am contacting you on behalf of the Standing Committee on Access to Information Privacy and Ethics. The Committee would like to invite you to appear as a witness regarding the Mulroney Airbus Settlement on the 29th on January from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.
Please confirm that you are available for this date either by email or by calling me at the number below, and I will give you more details.
Thank you,
Erica Pereira,
Committee Clerk

"So how many other journalists have been invited?" I asked.
"And who are they?"
Two, I was told. Myself and Norman Spector.
"Norman Spector is not a journalist," I said. "He was Mr. Mulroney's chief of staff, Canadian ambassador to Israel and was made president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency."
He was also a senior bureaucrat in British Columbia and today, in retirement, he writes highly partisan columns and a blog.
Other journalists' names were originally on the list submitted by committee menmbers, but they have disappeared. So, in fact, only one journalist is appearing: me. And that's because the committee believes, I was told, that I know more about the case than the others and because I wrote a book about it.


Jo5ey said...

Stevie: If you have not already done so, please check the web site "The Republic" published in Vancouver and check out the article by Kevin Potvin = "Is Campbell a "made man"? For an investigative reporter as competent as you, there is a mine field here to look into. Jo5ey

Anonymous said...


I think you'll enjoy this (I laughed till I cried!). It is a "reworking" of Brian Mulroney's bio borrowed from Ogilvy Renault's website:


Anonymous said...

Mr. Mulroney had testified that he briefed Mr. Schreiber, in 1994, in New York City, with Mr. Doucet present as the work he had done on his behalf in Russia, France and China. Mr. Doucet confirmed Mr. Mulroney’s account and added that at about the end of the meeting “Mr. Schreiber handed Mr. Mulroney an envelope. Indicating that it contained payment for services and expenses.” Now would this not clearly indicate that by this time Mr. Mulroney had already performed some if not all the services and had earned the fees received? Consequently this would be earned income in the year 1994; and yet Mr. Mulroney has admitted that he did not declare this as his income for several more years. Consequently would not he be considered to have been avoiding taxes and filing false tax returns? Would he not have been subject to criminal and civil penalties? Of course by voluntary declaration subsequently he may have avoided some if not all these penalties. It is there fore essential that he be required to produce his statement of voluntary tax declaration as well supporting documents.

Other points worth perusing are as follows:

1. Regardless of the way Mr. Schreiber operated in Cash, it did not in any way preclude Mr. Mulroney from depositing the cash in a bank account and then subsequently sending appropriate bills for his services and expenses to Mr. Schreiber, as any honest businessman or professional would do for a legitimate business transition. Mr. Mulroney did neither and provided no legitimate reason for such a lack of basic accounting. Did he declare these amounts received as unearned fees in his financial statements to the tax department or elsewhere?
2. Mr. Mulroney claims that he kept all this cash in various safety deposit boxes, and offered no explanation for doing so, and provided no details or documentation as to when and how the money was used and accounted for.
3. Mr. Mulroney claimed that he declared the entire amount of $225,000 when he could have deducted his legitimate travel or other expenses, and that left an implication that it was an act of his generosity. It is very likely that Mr. Mulroney had already claimed his expenses for tax purposes or charged them to another client, so in fact he had no expenses to claim.
4. Mr. Mulroney made light of not paying GST, offered no documentation in support of his contention that it was international work, and there is a question as to how Revenue Canada dealt with this matter.

I am an accountant with some four decades of professional experience, and during all these years I have never heard of such large amounts of cash being disbursed for legitimate reasons. Mr. Mulroney himself admitted that he used credit cards, not cash, to pay his travel expenses.

From what we have learned so far, one could reasonably conclude that what ever the reason for these payments from Mr. Schreiber to Mulroney was it was something they did not any one to know and in fact concealed this fact for years. Mr. Mulroney never intended to declare these amounts as income and did so apparently because he could no longer rely on Mr. Schreiber’s silence.