Freedom of the Press and Gomery

According to PoliticsWatch some MP's are angry about an article published in the Globe & Mail last week. The article divulges the fact that "MPs decided at a secret meeting this week to recall three key witnesses from the 2004 parliamentary inquiry into the sponsorship scandal and grill them on their subsequent "divergent statements" to the Gomery inquiry..." This may well be the first time a Parliamentary committee has investigated possible perjury.
Chretien chief of staff Jean Pelletier, Jean-Marc Bard, who was an aide to former public works minister Alfonso Gagliano, and former bureaucrat Chuck Guite are the three witnesses to be recalled. Not surprisingly, Liberals tried to block the investigation calling the move "partisan." Fortunately they were outvoted by the members of the other three parties.
The article at theh Globe contains the following pieces pulled from the Library of Parliament report:
On the record
Jean Pelletier, Former chief of staff to prime minister Jean Chrétien

Before Parliament: "We, at the Prime Minister's Office, were in no way involved in the administrative management of the program."

At Gomery: "Certain events would ask too much, and I would say, 'No, that doesn't make any sense, that's too much.' "

Jean-Marc Bard, Former chief of staff to public works minister Alfonso Gagliano

Before Parliament: "Mr. Gagliano never asked me to do fundraising" for the Liberal Party of Canada.

At Gomery: "At one point, the minister asked me, because they were having trouble putting together a fundraising table in eastern Quebec, to help the person who chaired the fundraising committee. ...

Chuck Guité, Former bureaucrat in charge of the sponsorship program

Before Parliament: "To say [political officials] interfered, i.e., with the selection of agencies, never. I would not let them do that because ministers are not to interfere with the selection process."

At Gomery: "A decision was made in discussion with the minister and Mr. Pelletier what agency would get it. If I had to do the decision on who got what, the list would have been quite different."

Establishing the Gomery Commission may well be the only useful thing Paul Martin did while Prime Minister.

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