Subject: Norman Spector, Globe and Mail, Jan. 4, 2008 at p. A-13
Letters to Editor: Globe and Mail:
Norman Spector has given very general reasons why Prime Minister Harper should be for and also against a "public inquiry into the Schreiber/Mulroney affair". Spector concludes that "Mr.Harper is hoping that David Johnston (who was named specifically to define the extent of the inquiry) will recommend against holding a public inquiry…", Spector adds, nevertheless, that Harper "has no other option but to pursue the truth. And would be wise to give the impression of doing so energetically."
But cannot we Canadians expect directness and honesty from our Prime Minister and those who advise and surround him, other than double-talk and giving "the impression" of "energetically" pursuing "the truth" ?
Harper called for a public inquiry, just as one was called for and carried out over the Liberal sponsorship scandal. That inquiry exposed a very unsalutary mess and resulted in a clean-up, as well as the defeat of the Liberal government.
Similarly, the Schreiber/Mulroney questioning before the Commons Ethics Committee has begun to reveal that Mulroney received three envelopes each containing $75,000 in Canadian $1000 Bills, one of which Mulroney testified he deposited in a bank safety deposit box in New York and the other two envelopes in a personal safe in his home in Montreal. But those $1000 Bills are used only once, are signed for when issued and when cashed and are easily traceable. Who cashed them? And are those persons still around in the present government or its entourage? The public is entitled to know.
And Schreiber, has testified that there were one hundred, not seventy-five $1000 Bills in each envelope. Who cashed the other Bills - a Mulroney advisor, a member of Cabinet, of Parliament, of Senate? Schreiber is an admitted, arms-dealer of questionable practices, but he no doubt used the marked Bills, rather than cash, to prevent being double-crossed. Mulroney seems to have fallen into a trap, which is least partially of his own making.
The public inquiry must proceed to a full conclusion. We Canadians should expect nothing less from our Prime Minister, our members of Parliament and Senate and from David Johnston.
William Tetley, Professor, McGill Law Faculty